Appetite for Profit: How the food industry undermines our health and how to fight back
The United States is currently embroiled in a national debate over the growing public health crisis caused by poor diet. People are starting to ask who is to blame and how can we fix the problem, especially among children. Major food companies are responding with a massive public relations campaign. These companies, including McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Kraft, and General Mills, are increasingly on the defensive. In response, they pretend to sell healthier food and otherwise position themselves as "part of the solution." Yet they continue to lobby against commonsense nutrition policies. Appetite for Profit exposes this hypocrisy and explains how to fight back by offering reliable resources. Readers will learn how to spot the PR and how to organize to improve food in schools and elsewhere. For the first time, author Michele Simon explains why we cannot trust food corporations to "do the right thing." She describes the local battles of going up against the powerful food lobbies and offers a comprehensive guide to the public relations, front groups, and lobbying tactics that food companies employ to trick the American public. Simon also provides an entertaining glossary that explains corporate rhetoric, including phrases like "better-for-you foods" and "frivolous lawsuit."
No solution in sight
By Dennis Littrell - July 26, 2007
I agree with Michelle Simon that
(1) we cannot believe anything the corporate food giants tell us (2) they haven't the slightest interest in promoting healthy eating habits, not even for our children (3) they are in it for profit, pure and simple (4) they are in part responsible for the obesity epidemic that is sweeping the country (5) their reaction to criticism is to spin, not to change.
What I don't agree with is that they are to be condemned for their practices any more than corporations in other industries. As Simon points out in the first chapter, "Anatomy of a Food Corporation: Why We Can't Trust Them," their officers have a fiduciary responsibility under the law to look out for the interests of their stock holders. In making this point Simon is following Joel Bakan whose excellent book (and film documentary) The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power (2004), made it clear that corporations are, effectively... read more
hah, I sense no bitterness
By F. Bi "newsboyhat" - May 28, 2007
Undoubtedly just one person is going through one five-star review after another and clicking "No" to "Was this review helpful to you?" judging by the patterns in the reviews below. Well, whoever he or she is, the person will just have to go through another. People can discredit Michele Simon all they want, but it doesn't change the fact that pretty much everything she's saying in "Appetite For Profit" is right.
There is nothing more American than what this book is trying to do: bring to light one of the toughest issues our society faces today (aside from the sustainability argument and climate change). While her views and frustration are evident, along with the massive scale of this problem, Simon successfully reframes the question with Big Food. All their cloying slogans, their favourite phrases, their dirty lobbying tactics and their endless pocketbook are exposed in "Appetite for Profit." All this hoopla about "personal responsibility" and "freedom of choice" coupled... read more
By Linda Bacon "Nutrition Professor and Researcher" - January 13, 2007
I wish you could read a health claim on a food label and trust it. I wish the government recommendations on what to eat reflected science more than corporate interest. I wish food industry claims about community responsibility reflected their actions. But none of these are evenly remotely true. Appetite for Profit is a brilliant book that exposes the hypocrisy. When you read about the extent to which profit is prioritized over your health, you'll be enraged. But hang in there - by book's end, you'll also know how to channel your anger to fight back. Thank you, Michele Simon, for providing this essential activists' guide to food politics.
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