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263. Why We’re Hooked on Processed Foods with Michael Moss #WellnessWednesdays
Episode 2639th August 2023 • Be Well by Kelly Leveque • Kelly Leveque
00:00:00 00:51:43

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In today's episode, I welcome Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Michael Moss, author of two New York times bestselling books on the processed food industry: Salt, Sugar, and Fat and Hooked. He's a frequent guest of newscasts from the CBS This Morning to the BBC, and he spent his career as an investigative reporter with the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Michael helps us pull back the curtain on the big business of food to understand how chemists are getting you hooked on processed products. We talk about the “blisspoint”, the power of food memory, why our biology is mismatched to our current food environment, how the food industry has controlled the diet industry, and how we can flip the switch on food giants for better health and more appreciation for the food we eat. Let's welcome Michael Moss to the show.

We also cover…

00:02:00 — How Processed Foods Are Engineered for Addiction

• Michael’s work with the investigations group at the New York Times during 9/11

• The story behind his Pulitzer Prize winning reporting on the food system and food safety

• Uncovering engineering of the “bliss point” and “flavor burst” in food 

• Devious aspects of convenient processed food and the science behind habit

• Read: Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss

• The impact of food memories

00:16:00 — Exploring Food Chemistry & Diet Industry Deception 

• Explaining how processed foods don’t have a satiety backing

• Understanding the term vanishing caloric density

• Read: Hooked by Michael Moss

• What’s going on in flavor labs in the food industry?

• The mismatch between our biology and the food environment

• How Michael believes we can bring about change in the food industry 

• Tristan Harris of Social Dilemma:

• Ways that the food industry has taken control of the dieting industry

00:31:00 — Changing Our Food Story: Tips for Parents & Consuming Responsibly

• Michael’s advice on engaging with processed foods and their addictive nature

• Get ahead of mid-day cravings 

• How to get kids to enjoy vegetables

• Communicating and setting boundaries with kids around junk food 

• Creative ways to show kids that good food is slow food

• Pasturebird: (use code “BEWELLBYKELLY” for a discount)


• Website:

• Twitter: @MichaelMossC

Connect with Kelly:


• Instagram: @bewellbykelly

• Facebook:

Be Well By Kelly is produced by Crate Media.

Mentioned in this episode:

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