Book of the Month

The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

By Michael Moss for New York Times Sunday Magazine, Feb. 20/24, 2012

On the evening of April 8, 1999, a long line of Town Cars and taxis pulled up to the Minneapolis headquarters of Pillsbury and discharged 11 men who controlled America’s largest food companies. Nestlé was in attendance, as were Kraft and Nabisco, General Mills and Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Mars. Rivals any other day, the C.E.O.’s and company presidents had come together for a rare, private meeting. On the agenda was one item: the emerging obesity epidemic and how to deal with it. While the atmosphere was cordial, the men assembled were hardly friends. Their stature was defined by their skill in fighting one another for what they called “stomach share” — the amount of digestive space that any one company’s brand can grab from the competition.

James Behnke, a 55-year-old executive at Pillsbury, greeted the men as they arrived. He was anxious but also hopeful about the plan that he and a few other food-company executives had devised to engage the C.E.O.’s on America’s growing weight problem. [....]

Read the full article at

Harvard graduate Moskowitz: “I did the best science I could.  I was struggling to survive and didn’t have the luxury of being a moral creature.  As a researcher, I was ahead of my time.

I am thinking Moskowitz must use a dictionary that defines 'survive' differently than mine 

It is an interesting article that contrasts starkly with something I looked up yesterday.  Bovril --- aka beef tea as it turns out.  Someone used it in a tv program I was watching and I did not know what it was so I looked it up.  Turns out it was an MRE developed for Napoleon III in 1870 when France was at war with Prussia.  It must be more satisfying than the ones mentioned in the article because it is still around continuing to satisfy generations of soccer and English football fans.

I added it to my grocery list but likely will not find it.  Other older MREs Marmite and Vegemite have eluded me so far.  

As long ago as high school I have wanted to find a simple, satisfying nutritious ready-to-eat everyday meal.  Not much luck so far.  After reading your link, I may now know why.


  It must be more satisfying

I made its acquaintance when living in England.  Trust me, let this cup pass from your lips...


I figured but curiosity prevails.  That and research for an alternative history story.


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