In her new book, Pandora’s Lunchbox, business journalist Melanie Warner talks about the often disturbing processes behind many of the foods on our grocery stores shelves. Some 5,000 food additives go into our food (Warner 106). Only half of these have been studied for toxicity (Warner 105-111). Companies, she says, are no longer selling food but engineered foostuffs. With ingredients such as Potassium Bromate known to cause tumors in rats, and systems that turn a 7 hour cooking process into 15 second ordeals, convenience, marketing and food safety concerns have turned our modern food system into a nutrient devoid money making machine.
This is the first in a three-part Big Food series for Letters & Politics, a syndicated public affairs radio show out of Pacifica’s west coast station, KPFA 94.1 FM. This series investigates how the processed food industry came to dominate the American plate to become a top industry earning over one trillion in annual sales. The series digs into America’s food labs, food habits and food policy to detail how America became hooked on processed food.