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Where's the Beef?
Not long before reading Stuffed, I read The Omnivores Dilemma. Perhaps it is only in comparison to Michael Pollans thought-provoking work that Stuffed struck me as a bit uninspiring, more like a business school case study than a book for popular consumption. As a former food executive, Hank Cardello argues that the food industry has contributed to the obesity crisis in the United States, and suggests some incremental changes that could ameliorate those effects. His suggestions are directed at the food industry itself. As a consumer who tends to avoid packaged foods, I felt like a third party, an eavesdropper on a conversation among food industry insiders that didn't have much to do with me.
More food for thought...
I consider myself a "foodie" as are probably most of the other reviewers of this book - or am I wrong? That to me is the point of a lot of the discussion in the book. If everyone desired or cared enough to read (and apply) these types of books we wouldn't even have the obesity issue. The way an individual or family eats is a lifestyle decision and, for me, Cardello has given yet another perspective on things - some of which I knew, some I didn't.
We are all part of the market!
I enjoyed the book and found it easier to read than I expected. I did have two favorite chapters that I'd like to mention because I think it would entice a reader. The first, is "Let them eat cupcakes" - a discussion on how schools have vilified the cupcake (and I agree it has become the scapegoat) . My favorite, however - because I strongly agree with - was "Stealth Health". This chapters describes basically ways to help those that cannot seem to help themselves. It describes and suggests ways to make food healthier without the consumer even knowing about it. I do it even with my family...why not in fast food chains or packaged goods?
I recommend this book to individuals or book clubs, it a great way to get people talking and thinking about food and choices.
Ever wonder why you give in to your impulses to buy certain products? Hank Cardello's book Stuffed will give you the answers. From the suppliers to markets to fast food and dining establishments, we are part of the entire process that often causes us to compromise taste for convenience. Stuffed provides the groundwork for anyone desiring to better understand the evolution of the food industry. More importantly, Cardello has written an excellent cross between an historical account of the food industry and a quick study of product marketing for any industry. Future marketers, this book is for you!
Stuffed - With The Same Old Stuff
My review was slow in coming, not because the book was not read, but because I could not agree with myself about the worth of the book. Hank Carddello presents a very readable picture of merchandising in the food industry. He has the experience to evaluate the methods used. Many of the revelations are common sense observations and others do shed some light on how many of us are duped into poor eating habits. He says that companies resist change (healthy ones) not beneficial to corporate earning reports. I liked his honesty.
He also said that obese Americans choose to be unhealthy. I agreed with that statement too. However, he goes on to remove the responsibility of behavior from the consumer. The blame is placed on the food and beverage industry. His cure-all necessitates change from the producers and not the consumers. In my opinion there are too many instances where the consequences of behavior are removed from the individual. I see us becoming a nation of whiners always blaming someone else for our shortcomings. Can I sue Krispy Kreme because I am Fat?
Reading Stuffed brought out all of the ways that the marketing sector of our world manages to trick us into all sorts of varied behaviors. The book brings this out in a variety of ways and lets the reader know that we have been duped into believing all that the ads tell us. It also explains the fact that we truly do not know what it is that we are putting into our bodies and that product placement is everything. The point is well made in the first chapter and repeated with very specific detail throughout the book.
Very enjoyable book
I really enjoyed this book. My husband and I are baby boomer's now in our 50's, and while we were always thin and active while young ,we did grow up
A good overview of America's food industry
eating high sugar cereals, junk food and a lot of fast food in our teens and early adulthood.Now we are both trying to head off becoming diabetic.
We are both in the medical profession and know from patient and unfortunately our own family members the devastating consequences of this disease. Although
we are very educated in nutrition and have managed to both lose over thirty pounds each and turn our blood work results around, I am aware first
hand of not only the limited choices out there but also how conscious one has to be about ingredients. I certainly hope the future of the food industry can
beas healthful as this book says it could possibly be. I really look forward to more sugar free choices especially chocolate.
"Stuffed" is a good overview of America's food industry, highlighting the practices of the packaged foods industry, the grocery trade, and the restaurant industry. Not surprisingly, their policies promote profits, not health. The author offers an interesting insider's insight, with eye-opening anecdotes. The book becomes more interesting when the author offers real business-based solutions - ideas that could offer food industry profits while benefiting the customer nutritionally. This book is an easy read, and sparked my desire to be more vigilant and aware when making my grocery/restaurant choices.
Let Them Eat Cupcakes!
While some of what Cardello writes about is well-known and been written about before, there is enough updated material and personal, insider stories to keep this book interesting. This book seems to be a good introductory discussion for people interested in learning about the topic, but it isn't the kind of expose that will really shake things up among people already entrenched on opposite sides of the issue. As a parent of two small children, I found the chapter "Let Them Eat Cupcakes" quite entertaining.