Appetite for Profit - Michele Simon’s Book

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Appetite for Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines Our Health and How to Fight Back, Michele Simon’s first book, will be available at the end of October. For a sneak preview, including free content, visit her website. Here are some reviews:

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

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.”