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This October, CIFC’s Michele Simon will publish her first book called, Appetite for Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines Our Health and How to Fight Back.


Book Summary


The United States is currently embroiled in a national debate over the growing public health crisis caused by poor diet. Many people are starting to ask who is to blame and how can we fix the problem, especially among children? The 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 are pretending to sell healthier food and otherwise position themselves as "part of the solution.” All the while, they continue to lobby against commonsense nutrition policies. This book explains how to fight back by offering reliable resources. Readers will learn how to spot the PR, how to not be fooled, and how to organize, for example, to improve school food. Appetite for Profit, for the first time:


  • Explains why we cannot not trust food corporations to “do the right thing”


  • Describes the local battles of going up against the powerful food lobbies


  • Offers a comprehensive guide to the public relations, front groups, and lobbying tactics that food companies employ to trick the American public


  • Provides an entertaining glossary that explains corporate rhetoric,
    including phrases like “better-for-you foods” and “frivolous lawsuit”


Endorsements for Appetite for Profit


Marion Nestle, New York University nutrition professor and author of Food Politics and What to Eat, says:

Appetite for Profit is nothing less than a “how-to” manual for anyone who wants
to stop food companies from marketing junk foods, especially to children. Michele Simon brilliantly exposes what food companies really mean when they say they market responsibly, and how they use trade, professional and, sometimes, government groups to protect sales and attack critics. I am requiring all of my public health nutrition students to read this book.


Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet and Democracy’s Edge, says:

Clear and convincing! Simon rips the mask off the food industry, exposing a dangerous hypocrisy that’s turned food into our biggest health threat.


John Stauber, author of Mad Cow USA, Toxic Sludge is Good for You and Trust Us, We’re Experts, says:

In Appetite for Profit, Michele Simon lays bare the disaster of industrial food, exposing the corporate greed and propaganda controlling our media and politics on critical issues of health and sustainability. Read this very important book.


Reviews of Appetite for Profit


Library Journal - Starred Review


While food is ubiquitously available in our country, nutritious food is difficult to find, and it is becoming increasingly hard to discern the nutritious from the junky. This is exactly what Big Food wants, according to public health attorney Simon (Hastings Coll. of the Law, Univ. of California; founder, Ctr. for Informed Food Choices). This exposé of Big Food's unethical behavior and devious marketing
strategies is a convincing call to action. Simon, a vegan, does not offer readers advice on changing their diet. Instead, she proffers tips on how to see through corporate rhetoric that does not match with reality and how to protect children from junk-food marketing. Concerned parents will no doubt find this an especially valuable tool. Appendixes provide a glossary to understanding corporate-speak,
a guide to industry front-groups, a breakdown of the myths debunked throughout the book, and resources for those who want to effect change. An essential purchase for public health collections, this book is recommended for public and academic libraries as a follow-up to Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation and Marion Nestle's Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health. - Mindy Rhiger, St. Paul

Publishers Weekly Review


Simon, a health policy expert and law professor, skewers the food industry for undermining the health of Americans with "nutrient deficient factory made pseudofoods." In lawyerly fashion, she explains the ABCs of the business imperative of "Big Food" (Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods and McDonald's, among many others): make short-term profit without regard to the product's nutritional value or societal effects. Permissible tactics, she says, include false advertising, sham "healthy" food initiatives and co-opting the government, press and academia. Simon also argues that food-industry advocates use front groups to attack critics and spread misinformation about nutritional needs. Simon also chastises her fellow food activists for applauding all "steps in the right direction," no matter how inadequate; the press for its passive publication of scientifically dubious industry statements; and the government for abandoning effective regulation of the food industry. Her case made, Simon offers a host of suggestions and a manual-like set of directions to parents and other food activists on how to work with legislatures, school boards and the media to create a "just food system" that is "sustainable, affordable, accessible, and convenient."


Sneak Preview of Appetite for Profit


Table of Contents


Sample Chapter: Battling Big Food in Schools





Upcoming Speaking Events

(check back for more details)


September 15: National Food Policy Conference, Washington, DC


October 10: Bridging Borders Toward Food Security, Vancouver, BC


October 10: Litquake, book festival, San Francisco


October 27: Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood Annual Summit, Boston


October 30: Boston College, with Professor Juliet Schor


October 31: Boston University, with Professor Ellen Ruppell Shell


October 31: Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy


November 1: Massachusetts Public Health Association


November 4: Legal Approaches to the Obesity Epidemic, Boston


November 5-8: American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Boston


November 10: Healthstyles, WBAI radio, New York City


November 13: New York University, with Professor Marion Nestle


November 15: University of Pennsylvania, with Professor Mary Summers


November 16: New York City Nutrition Education Network, with Anna Lappe


How You Can Help Spread the Word


Pre-order the Book


Host a Book Talk

Contact author Michele Simon at: or (510) 465-0322 to schedule a speaking event in your community.


Donate to the Tour Fund


Thanks for your support!