Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Food Giants' Endless Appetite for Profit

In recent years, a number of notable books have shined a light on the darker side of our new food obsession. Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation, Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma and Peter Singer's The Way We Eat, among many others, showcase how the decisions we make at grocery stores or restaurants affect us and the planet. But very few books address the policies that shape the food supply and influence eating habits in this country, policies that make some foods cheap or expensive, that bring us "fresh" asparagus from Argentina, and that arguably have led to our current epidemics of obesity, diabetes and other health problems brought on by our food choices.

Michele Simon's new book, Appetite for Profit aims to address this oversight. Simon is the founder of the Center for Informed Food Choices and Research and Policy Director for the Marin Institute, and Appetite for Profit helps illuminate the many ways that food companies -- from General Mills to McDonald's -- market the unhealthiest foods to boost their profit margin and fight any attempts to reverse this trend.

read interview with Michele Simon (Alternet.org)