Eat Your Heart Out

Eat Your Heart OutAuthor: Felicity Lawrence

Pub: Penguin

ISBN: 978-0-141-02601-5

Price: £8.99

Author of Not on the Label, investigative journalist Felicity Lawrence is back on the warpath. Determined to show ‘why the food business is bad for the planet and your health’, Lawrence searches out some of the industry’s darkest secrets. And find them, she does.

From resolving why her cat has got so fat to appreciating how those in the business world have been allowed to stay that way, Lawrence takes no prisoners.

As the tuna in her cat food has been replaced by rendered poultry, corn gluten meal, ground rice and dried beet pulp, so too have our diets been manipulated to create high margin-to-cost businesses.

The book uncovers startling truths about how consumers have been tricked, including marketing campaigns that persuade us it’s worth paying a fortune for a bottle of sugar with some probiotic yogurt mixed in. 

Lawrence maps out the history of breakfast cereals – from Mr Kellogg’s pious campaign to combat constipation and masturbation to the creation of the puffed up, sugary balls that children love, but have no more nutritional value than the cardboard they come in. We learn about the way we worked our way up the food chain and put so many farmers out of business; how Poland’s entry into the EU has meant it now has American industrial pig farms in its back yards; and how Kurt Berger employed Margaret Thatcher as an ice-cream innovator and persuaded food manufacturers to put palm oil into almost every product we eat (at the expense of southeast Asia’s rainforests). But most importantly, we learn that there are just a few key players in each market that have learnt the formula for tricking us out of our money, our health and the future of the planet.

Densely packed, depressing and enraging, Eat Your Heart Out is a vital book.

Sally White