Interview with Bruce Bradley: A Former Big Food Executive Talks

This is a guest post from my husband, Jason Leake, and is part of his new interview series for the blog. To learn more about Jason check out our team page or his post entitled “Real Food From a Man’s Perspective.”

Bruce Bradley Fat Profits book author

Want to Save this Recipe?

Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox. Plus you'll get great new recipes from us every week!

Save Recipe

Bruce Bradley, former Big Food exec

Most of us have heard at one time or another about how the food industry is the devil. But is it really? Or are all these kale-loving real food bloggers (like us) just overreacting? Today I am talking with Bruce Bradley, a former Big Food exec turned food advocate, blogger, and author, to find out the real deal. To my knowledge, Bruce is the only former Big Food marketer actively speaking out about concerns over the food we eat, and he has just published a novel called Fat Profits which exposes the industry.

Interview with Bruce Bradley

Q: What was it like working as a marketer for Big Food companies like General Mills, Pillsbury, and Nabisco? How did the industry and your feelings about your job change during those 15 years?

A: I started working as a processed food marketer in the early 1990s. The industry was very different then. Obesity rates weren’t making headlines. Walmart wasn’t selling groceries. And it was before the food industry went through a massive wave of consolidation that has whittled down the control of our food supply into the hands of a very small group of HUGE companies.

In the beginning I didn’t have any qualms about Big Food. My first couple assignments were on LifeSavers Candy and launching IceBreakers gum. Then when I moved on to work at Pillsbury I ran their cake and frosting business. None of these brands were advertising health benefits, and I figured I was marketing occasional indulgence, which didn’t seem evil.

Fast forward ten years and red flags were popping up. Obesity rates were climbing, and I saw more and more products making questionable health claims. I wasn’t enjoying my job anymore, and I wondered what sort of example and legacy I was leaving for my son. The final kicker happened when my dad became very ill. It was then that I decided to leave Big Food, help take care of my father, and follow my passions and dreams.

Q: What do you think every parent should know about Big Food?

A: The most important thing to remember is that Big Food companies are run for profit, and not the long-term health of consumers. Let’s face it, Big Food first and foremost answers to Wall Street, and in most cases the concepts of good nutrition and food safety fall by the wayside.

We also need to realize that Big Food is smart, stealthy, and wants to create an emotional relationship with us. After all, food is powerfully linked to our feelings, friendships, and family traditions. Big Food companies use this to their advantage. My guess is that many of the moms and dads reading 100 Days of Real Food are already clued in to this. They realize that something is very wrong. Unfortunately, the vast majority of parents think everything is fine. They trust Big Food and haven’t discovered a lot of information is being hidden from them. That’s got to change, and that’s one of the reasons I’m speaking out.

Q: How does Big Food decide what products to produce and how to formulate them?

A: Well, they’re experts at this game. Big Food spends billions of dollars examining food trends, understanding consumers’ needs, and then building products and marketing campaigns that appeal to consumers.

Some real food lovers may wonder, “If that’s true, why don’t we see more products coming out of Big Food that we like?” Although organic and minimally processed foods are definitely growing strong, they still represent a small niche for these huge, multinational food companies. Also, the profit margins are typically much smaller.

So what ends up happening? Big Food crafts highly processed look-a-likes that appear to be good for you but really aren’t. By focusing on a hero ingredient like “whole grains,” pressing the limits of current regulations, and lobbying for loopholes or lax food regulations, we find ourselves on a slippery slope where a lot of products your average consumer considers healthy are in reality highly processed junk.

Q: I can only imagine what goes on during marketing brainstorming sessions, but you’ve been there. What are some of the more deceptive examples of marketing campaigns Big Food has conceived to sell us more processed food?

A: You’re right, most marketing campaigns are incredibly misleading. Here are two that deserve a special place in the Hall of Shame:

  • Frosted FlakesKid’s Cereal: Take refined GMO corn, lots of GMO sugar, and add a fun, playful tiger and what do you have? Probably one of the worst cereals out there for your kids. But despite being a nutritional disaster zone, Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes markets itself to kids using little league sports, catchy slogans like “Show Your Stripes,” and aspirational phrases like “fuels you up for the game.” With Tony the Tiger acting as “coach” and leveraging the insight that kids desperately want to excel in sports, Frosted Flakes manipulates young minds into believing a highly processed breakfast cereal can make you perform better on the field. I’m sorry, Kellogg’s, that’s wrong. As an alternative you can get the kids involved and make homemade granola together instead.
  • Vitamin WaterBeverages: Water and vitamins both sound like a pretty good thing, right? But when you put them in the hands of a global beverage behemoth, what do you get? VitaminWater. This faux healthy brand embodies slick marketing. With packaging that has clean lines, empowering flavor names like “revive,” and advertising that is devilishly effective, Coca-Cola has effectively convinced millions of consumers that VitaminWater is healthy. The sad truth? VitaminWater is merely water, lots of sugar (32g—the equivalent of 8 sugar cubes), GMOs, very little real juice, and some vitamins. Talk about misleading! Instead, try some water with a splash of juice, a slice of lime or lemon, or some fresh mint leaves.

Q: It’s easy to paint the picture of the “big bad food corporations” and pin all of our problems on them. But what about their side of the story?

A:  I believe the average person that works in the food industry is well intentioned. Nobody I knew was trying to hurt anyone. The problem is, it’s hard to see the forest from the trees. It’s very easy to get lost in the mentality of “I’m only selling Oreos. They’re fun and fine as long as you eat a balanced diet.” Unfortunately, this attitude shifts all the responsibility to the consumer.

The fact of the matter is we need ethical leadership in the food industry. Obesity rates skyrocket wherever the Western, highly processed diet takes root. Big Food companies need to step up and take responsibility, but that’s not going to happen any time soon.

While I’m no fan of a lot of regulations, government plays an important role. It needs to get its act together, set the rules of the road, improve food safety, and increase the transparency of what’s in our food.

Q: I get that corporations are driven by profits and they need to sell more product, so long as they stay within the confines of the law. But changing the laws, now that could lead to selling even more products. How does Big Food influence our government policies?

A: This is the deep, dark secret that your average consumer and most food company employees are completely unaware of. Behind the scenes, Big Food spends millions of dollars on lobbyists that shape food policy and regulations. These lobbyists also create tax-exempt, “charitable” organizations that are public relations machines and take up issues and causes that food companies want to influence, but don’t want to be associated with. The kicker? Due to tax laws, Big Food’s contributions to these organizations are a complete secret.

This is the ugly underbelly of food politics. It rarely sees the light of day, but it’s a constant, powerful force that impacts what this country eats. It’s the machine that made pizza a vegetable for school lunch programs, and it’s literally fighting to keep Americans in the dark about their food.

Right to Know Proposition 37Q: It’s interesting to me that poll after poll shows the vast majority of Americans feel genetically modified (GMO) food should be labeled, but after Big Food spent $46 million to fight Proposition 37, it was defeated 53% to 47% this November. Proposition 37 called for labeling GMOs in California, not banning them. Why are Big Food and Big Ag companies willing to spend so much money to keep us in the dark?

A: There’s no doubt in my mind that a GMO labeling law would result in Big Food switching to non-GMO ingredients. Obviously, Big Ag companies like Monsanto that sell the GMO seeds and the pesticides designed to work with them have a lot to lose, so they’ve convinced food companies that prices for commodities like corn, soy, and sugar will go up if GMOs are labeled.

Even though there are plenty of reasons to believe prices wouldn’t increase long-term, Big Food is frightened by the threat of rising input costs. Why? When the price of corn or other inputs rise, Big Food must take price increases on their products to maintain or grow their profits for Wall Street. But it’s difficult for Big Food to take prices up, especially during this recession. In fact during recent price increases, less expensive private label knock-offs have stolen volume, and Big Food’s profits have suffered.

Not surprisingly, this all comes down to profits. With Wall Street at their throats, Big Food is trying to minimize any risk to commodity prices by fighting efforts to label GMOs.

Q: Do you think the real food movement will continue to gain momentum? What, if anything, will hold it back?

A: Yes, the real food movement will continue to grow. Big Food is deeply entrenched in their deceptive ways, and it’s only a matter of time until we reach a tipping point and a broad base of consumers say “enough is enough.” Unfortunately, I don’t think that day is right around the corner. Things will probably get worse before they get better.

One of the key challenges for the movement is unifying under a common vision. Right now I still see a lot of disagreements between factions, each trying to prove the other wrong. That’s not unusual since the real food movement encompasses a wide swath of people—vegans, vegetarians, paleos, omnivores, etc. But if we can work together and unite under the common goals of real food, achieving greater transparency, and improved food safety, success will come sooner.

Finally, I think we can’t underestimate the challenge of how we welcome people to the real food movement. As a single parent who works a full-time job, I know the struggle of juggling an overwhelming number of balls. Accepting people where they are on their journey, kindly helping them along the way, and not judging them if they shop at the wrong place or still have some “bad” habits will be essential in growing the movement. The more hurdles we put in place, the more daunting joining the movement will become.

That’s one of the reasons I like 100 Days of Real Food. It’s extremely helpful, provides lots of tips, has great recipes, and encourages people to make simple changes they can fit into their lives.

Q: I’ve enjoyed browsing your blog, Facebook, and Pinterest content. What can readers expect from you there and what are some of your more surprising findings? I must say some of what I’ve learned really angered and astonished me!

A: My food marketing experience gives me a unique perspective. I can spot Big Food’s shenanigans from a mile away, so on my blog I share the tricks, traps, and tools marketers use to get us eating more and more processed foods.

Advertising is an area of expertise, so a lot of my posts, like this one about Oreos, examine manipulative ads. I also try to uncover misleading product claims. For example, one of my most popular posts exposes the process used to make Truvia and challenges their “naturally sweetened” claim. Finally I’ve recently joined Pinterest, and I’ve created a new board called “Packaged to Deceive” where I share deceptive processed food packages that don’t live up to their claims.

Packaged to Deceive Pinterest Board by Bruce Bradley

My genuine hope is to educate people and give them a keener sense of how Big Food manipulates. It’s always a great feeling when you know you’ve helped someone “see the light.”

Fat Profits, a novel by Bruce BradleyQ: Tell me a little bit about your novel Fat Profits, why you wrote it, and your intended audience.

A: I wrote Fat Profits for many different reasons. I’ve known since college that I’ve wanted to write professionally, but life just swept me up on another course. So when I left corporate America, it was in part to chase a dream.

Using my food industry experience and growing faith in the real food movement, I decided a novel would be a powerful way to illustrate Big Food’s greed and corruption. So blending the fast-paced action of a thriller, a heartfelt story of friendship and love, and an important message about food, Fat Profits was born.

The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Real food enthusiasts are entertained and love getting a behind the scenes glimpse into Big Food. Thriller aficionados savor the action and suspense and are left wondering, “do I really know what’s in my food.” As one early reader put it, “Fat Profits is a fun, heart-pounding, suspenseful read! What a great way to start a conversation about real food!”

So I’m very excited. It’s amazing when you follow your dreams what wonderful things can happen!

Thank you Bruce for sharing your inside perspective. It’s hard to plead ignorance after hearing such information, but I know the barrage of messages from food marketers – in many disguises, I might add – can still be very confusing and overwhelming. I encourage everyone to take a look at Bruce’s content, which will hopefully keep you from being deceived.

On a side note I’d also like to make sure everyone knows about our sponsor, No More To Go (as in No More “To Go” Meals!) They are a meal planning service that will email you 5 complete dinner recipes along with a corresponding grocery list every week. They’ve made recent improvements to their site including a clickable mobile grocery list, recipe ratings, and the ability to view all your past menus. All recipes have modifications for gluten free, vegetarian, and kid friendly meals. Check them out!

Please share your thoughts on today’s interview in the comments below – Bruce and I will both be checking them periodically. And I’m very curious to hear who you’d like me interview next! No promises, but let me know and I just might get my people in touch with their people :)

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but 100 Days of Real Food will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us spread our message!

About The Author

39 thoughts on “Interview with Bruce Bradley: A Former Big Food Executive Talks”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Wow! I just found this on facebook. What an eyeopener for those of us who do not understand the amount of greed that corporations really have. Thanks for enlightening us in the matters of how the big food guys are really a monopoly. Too bad we cannot split these guys up like Ma Bell was in the eighties……

    Hopefully, people will pay attention and get these gmo’s out of our food!

  2. I cannot believe Prop. 37 failed! Everywhere I went I saw signs supporting it, and then the sponsored commercials started coming out and even my own friends I thought I had convinced were telling me how it would cost taxpayers so much more per year. It was kind of eye-opening (in a disgusting way) to see how much influence money can have over what people come to be passionate about. I guess for most citizens, “ignorance is bliss” when it comes to knowing what is really in food. Hopefully, the same issue will be on the ballot again in 2016, with hard work and dedication, and voters will really think hard about what they are blindly accepting from Big Food and make a change for the better.

  3. Great interview! No matter if you trust Mr. Bradley’s intentions or not, blowing the whistle on dishonest food companies and educating consumers is one of most important things we can do for ourselves and our children. Keep doing what you know is right for you and/or your family and encourage those around you to do the same. Soon the minority will become the majority and change will happen.

  4. What a great article. I totally agree that sharing information without judgement or intimidation needs to be the way forward for real food. No one responds well to being backed into a corner. Share the knowledge and they will come. Thanks!

  5. Am I the only one that gets disgusted by people like this? He takes no responsibility for his actions in any of this and then continues to try and profit from it through his book.

    It’s great to hear the insight, but how about a little remorse?

    1. Ashley – I can’t speak for Bruce, but I’ll tell you how I feel. Knowledge, perspective, and awareness are powerful things. At 36 years of age I look back and laugh at my former self at various stages in my life. But every day I move forward with positive intent and do my best with what I have today. Life is a journey.

    2. Ashley, I know where you are coming from and i have mixed feelings about it. First of, Mr. Bradley is not a whistle blower and to me he does not come across as an evil guy. All he did as a marketing guy for “Big Food” was doing his job, selling products we don’t need. I don’t see anything inherently bad with doing it. It always surprises me that people tend to play dumber than they are when it comes to food and nutrition. Every company is out to make profit, no exception. The car sales man wants to sell you the car he makes much profit from, the doctor might order the one or other test too many, the lawyer might not always be brutally honest with you, etc. Every day we are bombarded with commercials, but we know very well that buying Nike shoes won’t make as run faster and purchasing cosmetics won’t make us look like supermodels. So, why are we not able to apply that basic common sense to food?

      GMOs, carrageenan, pesticides & Co distributed through “Big Food” are not the ones making us fat. The left-wing “real food” movement found its villain in GMOs. Imagine GMOs would be entirely banned instantly and all the products available were 100 % organic. My prediction is, obesity would still be on the rise. Organic food does not substitute lack of basic cooking skills, lack of exercise, lack of a food culture and lack of time. I am just tired of all that whining and blaming instead of looking at your own actions and see how you can improve.

      Prop37 – was it really taken down by big dollars from “Big Food” or by a poor campaign based too much on scare tactics? I am pro GMO labeling, but not in the from of Prop37. The major sponsors were Dr. Mercola and several organic corporation. Why would the organic growers be so concerned about GMO labeling? Maybe because forcing their competitors to label would boost their sales? Even worse, organic food is explicitly excluded from the regulation (why?) and the terms “natural” would only be allowed to be used on certified organic products (why?) (source: Prop37; how many supporters have actually read the text?). GMO labeling, yes, if it is done in a fair (!) way for the sole purpose of informing the customer. Prop37 – no, thank you.

      Mr. Bradley, as much as I enjoyed your interview here, I am not a big fan of your blog and your reviews. After all, you are a marketing guy ;-) You catch people with scare tactics and impressive key words, deliberately ignoring the basic dogma “the dose makes the poison”. GMOs, pesticides & Co are always good sellers. I basically share your critique about the kid’s cereal. As a parent I find it very annoying that companies are allowed to attract kids with Dora the Explorer, Tony the Tiger etc. Kellogg’s Flakes are a nutritional disaster, but is the homemade granola much better? Granola makes grains appealing to kids because they are roasted in oil and sugar. In addition, it is very well known and documented that the roasting process is producing acrylamide & Co, known carcinogens.

      Vitaminwater – I haven’t seen their commercial, but just from looking at the bottle and ingredient list I would not consider it a scam. It is exactly what it says: water, some vitamins, some sugar, some flavors. Mr. Bradley criticizes the high sugar content, although it is clearly written in the nutritional facts. Also, 32 g sugars in 591 ml (5 %) is a lot if you drink liters of it each day, but it is considerably less than you find in coke (11 %), apple juice (10 %) or grape juice (16 %). GMOs – major contributors could only be fructose and cane sugar (together 5 %). There is no GMO cane out, and fructose might stem from GMO maize if it was derived from starch. However, the maize endosperm is basically dead tissue and hence very low in DNA. I doubt there is any (transgenic) DNA left by the time you have extracted fructose.

      My personal hall of shame:

      Buttermilk – in the US the buttermilk sold is not buttermilk in the sense of ‘what is left after butter production’ (there was an article about it in the New York Times). Similarly: heavy cream, mascarpone, yoghurt, and most other dairy products.

      Anything labeled with “French”, “Italian”, “German”, “Belgian”, etc. – it is normally an excuse to charge a higher price by making it sound European, but it is far off the original. Examples: there is no Alfredo Sauce in Italy and the sour taste of German Sauerkraut comes from fermentation and not from added vinegar. In addition, imported products are often not the original ones, but separate productions especially geared towards the American taste.

      Simple products containing a ridiculous number of ingredients. For instance, Progresso Plain Bread Crumbs has 50 (!) ingredients, while the ones I bought from the Latin Market only has 3 (flour, salt, yeast).

      Products ignoring basic science. For instance, germinated grains. Plants are naturally powerhouses of pesticides. Plants can’t run away and therefore they have to be prepared to chemically defend themselves. It is estimated, that 99.99 % of all the pesticides we consume are of natural origin ( There are plant species and tissue types known to contain an excessive amount of unhealthy chemicals and you are better off avoiding those. Grain seedlings/sprouts (rice, barley, corn) contain very high levels of benzoxazinoids, but that fact is ignored. I found germinated/sprouted grain products distributed by smaller organic companies and none of those companies answered my e-mails in which I asked them if they had tested the benzoxazinoid levels.

      Long story short: yes, we have an obesity problem, but I do not think it is (solely) attributable to GMOs and “Big Food”. Concentrating too much on those issues might distract from maybe more important factors. I personally think, that obesity in the US is more an education and poverty issue than a GMO issue. I am not concerned about the upper or middle class family dwelling in luxurious problems (does my supermarket carry enough organic vegetables for my daily green shake?). I am more concerned about the low income family with limited resources (both in terms of time and money). For Jason, it would be great to see an interview with someone working “at the front”. Someone working in a low-income area and trying to improve things there. What are the main issues there? Why did attempts like the one from Jamie Oliver badly fail?

      1. I agree with alot of what you are saying and feel like you’ve thought alot about your positions without accepting the propaganda. I’m curious why you are anti-GMO, then? It is THE issue I have with the real food movement. Research done by qualified scientists and peer reviewed by experts has shown GMO products to be a non-issue just because they are GMO. Any food can be bred and have the unfortunate result of creating a health or environment issue, but only GMO’s are rigorously tested for those things before FDA approval. We should be more concerned about non-GMO breeding techniques since no approval is required. So I’d honestly be interested in your concern over them.

      2. You are right, I don’t accept the propaganda of the “real food/clean eating movement”. You must have somewhat misread my writing, I am not against the use of GMOs. New varieties should be tested, no matter how they were created. But unlike others, I am not strictly against GMO labeling, provided it is done in a fair way. The bills proposed so far are not about informing consumers, they are markting tools for the organic industry.

        I consider a GMO label similar to a vegan, kosher or halal label – none of those labels are related to food safety, but they are important for certain people. But for fairnesses sake, those people who consider a GMO-free-label important should be the ones paying for it. Therefore I favor a private label (like the current GMO free project) over a state-funded label. All those celebrities and mommy bloggers like Lisa Leake, Food Babe or Robyn O’Brien who are demanding ‘just label it’ have one in common, they have never worked in farming, food production or food regulatory. A GMO label is – similar to an organic label – a very expensive one to implement and control.

    3. Ashley, I’m sorry if what I’ve said leads you to believe I’m shirking responsibility. Certainly I wish I had asked more questions and made some different decisions in my life. Guilty! But hindsight is 20/20, and just being sorry and living in the past isn’t very helpful to anyone. So I’m honestly trying to increase awareness of what’s truly in their food, and I’d like to help make a difference.

  6. So glad to hear that, like me, many people do not fall for the garbage we are being fed and advertised. Unfortunately, it is still difficult to convince others, including my children when they see the big beautiful advertisements. I will continue to eat most of my food, without opening a box, can or bag. Thank you so much for this interview, to Mr. Bradley for writing the book, and for all the work both of you are doing. I would also love to see an interview with David Wolfe, or Daniel Vitalis, or any of the many contributors to the book and film “Hungry for Change”. Hungry for Change and Food Matters is another movement toward real food that I have fallen in love with.

  7. Great post. Love hearing from those from the “inside.” Look forward to reading not only his blog, but also his book. Would love to see an interview with Robyn O’Brien in the future.

  8. …he left out all of the negatives and falsehoods surrounding the organic food business.

    Of course, no one wants to hear about those.

    What this boils down to is personal responsibility. If you don’t like it, don’t eat it.

    You can also tie childhood obesity to government and whiney parents who didn’t want Little Johnny having to go outside to play or to PE because he might get laughed at or hurt playing kickball, so they stopped it.

    1. It sounds good to blame the whiney parents of “Little Johnny”. I am not sure if you are a parent, but I am. I have 2 children and have never met any parents that don’t want their children to be physically active in PE or anything else. I am not saying this never happens, but honestly, can you say it happens more often that a parent trying to feed thier child a healthy diet, only to find that everything available is made with unknown ingredients or by even more unknown processes.

      The food that goes to school with the majority of kids who take lunches, the food served at hot lunch, and the food my children eat at thier friends house is horrible. I don’t only blame the parents, I do blame companies that push the limits of the law to falsely label thier product. And the companies that spend millions to fight the rest of us for pushing to reveal the truth.

      I for one, do not want more regulations on products companies can’t sell, I just want them to truthfully tell us what they are trying to sell us.

    2. @Wiley: Yes, there are more and more issues in the organic business. Many of them are happening thanks to the power and influence of food companies, but obviously one interview can’t hit every topic. And while I agree with you that ultimately it does comes down to personal responsibility, I think Big Food companies, lobbyists, and government have used that as a cop out. How can we expect people to make good decisions if most of the facts are hidden from them? Let’s make what’s in our food transparent, and I’m confident people will start eating better and enjoying healthier lives.

  9. I’ve had this figured out for quite a while. A few years ago I headed a Women’s Group. It was aimed at teaching just these principles. Big Food Gets Into Your Head Because They Study You! I gave it up. No one was interested in learning these things. I never did figure out why they continued to attend classes. (shrug)

  10. This was a long post but I read it from beginning to end which doesn’t often happen when I am scouring the web! Great interview and I can’t wait to share it any way I can.
    Ignorance is NoT bliss!

  11. Great interview! I’ve already started following Bruce on Pinterest and am now headed to his blog. It’s very empowering to be able to get information from someone like him.

  12. Bruce, while I think deceptively packaged is interesting, I think it would be really great to track those foods that get an A+ in terms of what is really healthy, at this point, it’s like finding a needle in a haystack. Looking forward to reading your book. I hope it opens eyes.

  13. I really enjoyed reading this and I particularly liked the part where Bruce says “Accepting people where they are on their journey, kindly helping them along the way, and not judging them if they shop at the wrong place or still have some “bad” habits will be essential in growing the movement. The more hurdles we put in place, the more daunting joining the movement will become.” I am continually amazed by people (who really want more people to join the movement) criticise and belittle people who still shop at a supermarket/don’t buy all organic/eat meat blah blah blah etc etc. Accepting people where they are is the key. Small changes or ANY changes are better than burying their heads to this massive and very scary reality. Acknowledge that they are trying and let’s work together!!!

  14. This article misses the other side equation of BigbFood. Look at.the Directors on Big Food boards. Half are from the healthcare industry. The pharma industry big players all have animal health divisions. Not for Rover but for cows, pigs and chickens. They make the meds that allow”live” in their production environment standing all day in their own feces. Seems that would.make the animals.sick but not with the meds. The meds then cause the animals to make humans sick so that humans can close.the loop and go back to pharma to get pills to.fight.the.effects of the food. Overall, unfortunately, this cycle is so.engrained in America that is responsible for most of the economy. Big food, big pharma and all the supporting IT, packaging, transportation, faclilites construction, etc. that enable them to do business. So while it sounds good to go back to 19th century foods, its not happening. When you hear “emerging markets” referring to China and India, the inside joke is that its their bellies that will be emerging thanks to the usa diet. Bottom line is we’ve evolved from homo sapien to homo americano in a short 30 years. Theres no stopping this machine so the select few of us who see the light will get to be the last of a 10,000 year old version of our species.

  15. I love the packaged to deceive link! Reading Michael Pollan taught me never to trust food claims. But there are times when I can’t make everything myself from scratch. For instance when I bring apple pie to Thanksgiving diner (2 1/2 hours away) I can’t bring homemade ice cream, nor is there enough time for my freezer bowl to freeze in time for me to make it there. I actually suggested to my MIL to buy Breyers last year because it was “all natural”. I really hope your message is heard by all the sheep out there consuming the SAD diet who are perfectly willing to buy into all the ridiculous health claims.

  16. I think the “real food” movement is tied, in people’s minds, to the extreme factions of the green movement and to the All Big Companies Are Evil movement. That’s why I rolled my eyes at it. I was tired of hearing about it. When I could see how harmful ***almost everything we buy*** off the shelves of, say, Walmart, I began to see “Real Food” as a separate issue. It isn’t entirely, but the common thread to a skeptic (me and most of my circle of friends) is the sanctimonious way these issues are preached about. A lot of folks will disagree, and that’s fine.

    These have become political issues, I guess is what I’m trying to say. Big Brother, in our collective face, telling us what to eat, where to shop, what we can’t or must do on our property, and shoving their ideals down our throats by means of laws and imperatives. The human instinct is to react with equal and opposite force. As a Republican, I do what I can to not be wasteful, etc but I don’t buy into the extreme leftist views on the above issues.

    If we can turn the “real food” issue into one of health, not politics, there will be an uproar against Big Food and a tide change in attitudes and habits.Frankly I am really angry at myself for buying into Fake Food marketing. I feel outrage when i read labels. I feel sadness when i see a child eat crap, act accordingly, and get punished for it. Because that was me, only a few monhs ago. I feel like I’ve experienced a miracle, the difference is so extreme.

    So how do we get people from all walks of life interested? What can we say that will not alienate them? That’s the key. And if nobody’s buying the crap food, Big Food WILL react accordingly.

    1. This is a really great comment. I particularly liked the “child is fed garbage, acts accordingly and is punished for it”. This is SO true and I see it constantly.

    2. I relate to your sentiments completely. I’m republican and am concerned with the causes you mention. As far as the environment goes, I’m not much of an outlier in my Republican family, but I definitely stick out when it comes to talking about healthy food.

      It’s weird how touchy of a subject food is. Even if you tell people just how you eat without any sort of judgement attached, it is taken very personally. I can’t even broach the subject with my extended family.

      As far as getting all concerned people on board and not alienating them, I wait until others bring it up and share a little bit of knowledge at a time if they ask for it. Which is why I think a blog like this is great. When people are curious, they stumble upon it and learn as much as they can take. Then they come back later to learn more.

  17. It was a very good interview. Although the use of your bolding was laughably un-subtle. Perhaps it would have been better to encourage readers to read the entire article instead of just highlighting and bolding every single negative thought he had. Because he does say some positive things as well and they (for some reason) just don’t stand out as much.

  18. It is frightening that our First Lady chooses to restrict food items rather than address the issue of GMOs and the big food industry. It’s a sham and a shame. I read “Sugar Blues” many years ago and have not had “to go” food in decades. I am in shape and fairly active. My adult children are far more knowledgeable about proper diet than I, and I still find myself in a Stop and Shop on occasion.

    100 Days of Real Food is an inspiration to me. I found it on Facebook from a much younger friend with small children and find myself waiting to read it daily. There are some hard working moms who deserve so much credit for sticking to the difficult task of feeding their children properly and being creative.

    Many thanks for this excellent article. I will read this book. Barbara Hashian

    1. @Barbara youre so right about the first lady. Priceless that the pres punts this issue to her. He needs obseity to justify his legacy as the get “healthcare for all”. Thats all that matters to academics is their legacy. “obesitycare” is the biggest sham of legislation in the history of the world. Also note that world.fair 2015 in milan is focused on the global food system of the future. of the more.than 100 countries signed up, guess which country isnt going?

  19. The tricky labeling makes me so sad. People always say we just have to be smarter, and check more carefully, and we do. They’re right. But in every other area of my life, I’m used to giving people the benefit of the doubt and assuming we’re all on the same team. It stinks that when it comes to food, a box labeled “natural” and “no MSG added” and “contains whole grains” could actually be dangerous.

    1. This is a great comment and exactly how I feel. I’m getting so tired of feeling like I’m in a warzone every time I need to pop into the supermarket. I feel like I am always “on guard” and having to “catch out” these evil idiots with every food product that I buy. It saddens me that almost everything I pick up, has to get put back on the shelf due to the laundry list of shocking ingredients.

  20. Thank you for posting this! I am constantly trying to educate people on the evils of the Big Food companies. All they care about is their bottom line and they focus on whatever “buzz words” they can to sucker people in. Never trust a food that has to make health claims. Most of which are false if you read the fine print.