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Salt, Sugar, Fat

Since the 1950s convenience foods have ignited the processed food industry. In his new book Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, Michael Moss says that the government has been the industry’s best friend and partner in encouraging Americans to become more dependent on processed foods. According to Moss, processed foods are engineered using addictive recipes and manipulated ingredients whose structures have been chemically-altered. He says processed foods are manipulated using weaponized salt sugar and fat ingredients including 40 varieties of restructured salt and with tobacco-industry like marketing campaigns aimed at various ethnic groups and children, products are poised to addict or as the industry prefers to say, appeal and allure.

This is the second 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.

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The Kitchen of Champions cooks it up

Harley DeCent preps beef patties for the grill.

Over the last three years the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in Oakland has developed a program, part academy and part job placement workshop, where standout individuals dealing with various levels of distress such as prison re-entry and homelessness metamorph into lean mean cooking machines.

In twelve weeks this program covers 400 instruction hours and carries out 30 tests. On average 76 percent of Kitchen of Champions graduates find work after the program.

Lonnie, a recent grad, Chef Michael Stamm, and Brett Forman talk about the Kitchen of Champions in this segment.


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Population contemplation

Crowds at the Eat Real Festival 2010 photo by 5112 http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnjoh/

According to the 2007 American Community Survey in 2007 there were 6.958 million people living in the Bay Area. That’s nearly 7 million people watching movies, walking to the bus stop, smoking, eating, sleeping and carrying out the myriad, disparate activities that people do in cities. Following are excerpts from two very different interviews carried out at this year’s US Social Forum.

Inspired by the Bay Area Population at large this piece touches on
settling our minds by catching a short glimpse into the various
viewpoints that surround us.