Journey Beyond Weight Loss

About Podcast Success Stories Banish Belly Fat Workshop Login

How the Food Industry Hooks Us - Part 1: Craving

Today is the first in a series about how the food industry has many tools at their disposal to get you to purchase and consume their products. These weapons have been developed to gain an advantage for them to get you to spend your hard earned dollars on their products. In this episode, we explore their use of “Craving”. Future episodes will discuss the other general categories of Convenience and Children’s products.

Source Recommendations:

Fed Up (documentary):

Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss (book):

Fat Chance by Robert Lustig (book):

3:59 - Food industry has tricks up their sleeve to crave their food, lure with convenience, hook children
8:07 - The job of these food scientists is to experiment with ingredients, and experiment with people.
9:21 -  Food Scientist: I’ve optimized I’ve optimized soups, I’ve optimized pizzas, I’ve optimized salad dressings, and pickles... in this field, I’m a game changer!

Below is the full raw transcription of this podcast:

"Well hello friends, and welcome back to the podcast. I’m so glad to be here with you today, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing…. I hope you’re having a great day. I just took a little walk run and the endorphins are flying high and I have to say I feel GREAT!

Today I wanted to talk to you a little bit about the food industry in the US, this is going to be the first of a series of episodes, because I really want you to understand the deliberate things the food industry is doing to make sure we buy their products.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with a company doing what it needs to do to maximize profits, but when this is happening at the expense of public health, I have a problem with that.

And that’s exactly what’s going on with the food industry in the US. I think other countries have a little better handle on this… the government serves as a better watchdog. But not here where I am in the US.

If you want to learn more about this, I have several books and a documentary I’d recommend, and I’ll put these in the show notes for you. The first is a documentary called “Fed Up” - It came out in 2014 and is produced by the famous TV journalist Katie Couric. It’s an awesome documentary and I recommend all my patients and online clients watch it. AT the time I’m recording this podcast it’s available on Amazon Prime Video.

I also have a few books to recommend: The first is a book called Salt Sugar Fat, by Michael Moss. This book is fascinating, as Michael has interviewed food scientists at major food corporations and spills all their secrets… and I’m going to discuss some of those secrets with you today.

Another book I’d recommend is called Fat Chance by Dr. Robert Lustig. He’s a pediatric endocrinologist and my personal hero, because he really helps us understand what sugar is doing to our bodies.

So what I’m going to teach you in this series is information I’ve learned from these teachers of mine and others, as well as my own experience.

Ok. What you need to know is that the food industry has a lot of tricks up their sleeve to get you to spend your hard-earned money on their products, and they fall into 3 general categories: Craving, Convenience, and Children’s products.
I’m going to talk about Craving today, and then in future episodes I’ll talk about Convenience and Children’s products.

So let’s talk about Craving first.

The executives at high levels of the various food conglomerates are going to benefit greatly - sell lots more of their products - if they can get you to crave it. That makes sense, right?

So remember Marchelle’s story from last week, … she wanted to get off sugar for years, but had a hard time imagining not being able to have her coffee creamer every morning.

It was Nestle French Vanilla creamer. I checked the ingredients in this product. First ingredient is water, second ingredient is sugar, and third ingredient is vegetable oil. There are a whole bunch of other ingredients that you can’t pronounce… but there’s actually no real cream in it. Imagine that. No real cream in that coffee creamer.

Remember what Marchelle said… for years she felt helpless when she thought about having to do without her creamer.

Remember what she said about when the pandemic hit: She was worried that there would be a run on coffee creamer like there had been on toilet paper, so she asked her husband to stock up on bottes of this stuff at Costco.

Remember also that she said drinking coffee was essentially an excuse to be drinking the creamer.

Well if you look at the label, each tablespoon of this creamer has 5 grams of sugar. Add ¼ cup of this creamer to your coffee, and that’s 20 grams of sugar.

This is just one example, but Marchelle and I have discovered that lots of people really struggle with these coffee creamers! If you’re one of them I’d love it if you’d go to the show notes at, episode #5, and leave me a comment.

So the food industry has done a brilliant job here of manufacturing something that is highly addictive. They had to get the sweetness just right, and they had to get the flavoring just right. Think about it for a minute… How do you think they do this?

Well, they hire food scientists, food engineers, really. This is well documented in the book I told you about, “Salt Sugar Fat” by Michael Moss.

The job of these food scientists is to experiment with people and optimize the sugar content, the flavorings and the mouthfeel of the products to create the optimal experience for the consumer… which they call the “Bliss Point.” Yes, that’s b-l-i-s-s point.

Michael Moss interviewed a food scientist named Howard Moskowitz, who has been responsible for engineering foods for Campbell’s Soup, General Foods, Kraft and PepsiCo, among others.

Here is an excerpt from the book:
“In the lingo of product developers, Moskowitz’s stock in trade is known as “optimization,” and he is not bashful in chronicling his deeds: “I’ve optimized soups “I’ve optimized pizzas. I’ve optimized salad dressings and pickles. In this field, I’m a game changer.”

Moskowitz used this technique to determine the highly profitable formula for Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper, which has been hugely popular and has made its parent company billions of dollars since 2004 when the product was introduced.

Here’s how he did it, and this is excerpted from the book:

He varied the different ingredients and then tested them on thousands of consumers. To optimize Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper, he tested sixty-two distinct formulas—thirty-one for the regular version and thirty for diet.

The formulas were then presented to the tasters and Moskowitz’s system is specifically designed to engage the tasters and convince them of the seriousness of the test. “We don’t let them talk,” Reisner said. “The rooms look professional, with nice computers. These are not junky places we have. The people are paid well, and the moderator will tell them there is no talking or discussing the products. They have to turn off their cell phones. They start to feel like their opinions count.”

Starting on July 12, 2004, in Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, and Philadelphia, the Dr Pepper tasters began working through their samples, resting five minutes between each sip to restore their taste buds. After each sample, they answered a set of questions: How much did they like it overall? (0=hate; 100=love.) How strong is the taste? How do they feel about the taste? How would they describe the quality of this product? And perhaps most important of all: How likely would they be to purchase this product? (From “definitely would buy” to “definitely would not buy.”)

The scores were then added up. A score of 60 suggests the product will sell well. Fourteen of Moskowitz’s variations scored 61 or better, with two at 67 and two at a spectacular 70.

Moreover, more than half of the panelists said that they would definitely buy the product, which in food marketing surveys is considered a terrific result.

So all of these opinions are logged and then the data is spilled into a computer program that spits out the winner.”

The biggest hits—be they Coca-Cola or Doritos or Kraft’s Velveeta Cheesy Skillets dinner kits—owe their success to formulas that pique the taste buds enough to be alluring but don’t have a distinct overriding single flavor that says to the brain: Enough already!

So do you get this? Essentially Howard Moskowitz and other food scientists ENGINEER food products… and they know exactly how to do it so that you can’t stop eating – or drinking – their perfectly highly addictive products.

This is WHY Marchelle couldn’t imagine her life without Nestle French Vanilla Coffee Creamer, and was concerned about shortages when the covid crisis hit.

Another example of an engineered food product is Cheeto’s Popcorn, Flaming Hot flavored. My daughter’s friends brought these over one night and couldn’t stop raving about them. I said - hey let’s chalk one up for the Frito Lay food engineers …. They found a winner!

The ingredients say it doesn’t have more than 1% sugar in it, and yet the 3rd ingredient is maltodextrin, which is sugar, a form of sugar that actually gets digested and lands in your bloodstream faster than table sugar. In my experience, anything with maltodextrin in it makes me crazy with cravings.

So you might check your favorite foods – the ones you crave – and see if there is any maltodextrin or any other form of sugar in them. It’s likely the food engineers at Frito Lay or Kraft or General Foods or Pepsico have been working very hard to make sure your bliss point is being triggered by these products, so you will crave with a capital C.

So that’s the first C. Craving. Find the bliss point. The bliss point creates billions of dollars for the food industry… and billions of pounds of fat for their consumers.

I hope this makes sense to you. My job here is to help you to stop blaming yourself and begin to recognize that essentially, we are all pawns of a very deliberate attempt by the food industry to get us hooked to their products. Cigarette manufacturers did the same thing, until they were stopped by a political force that was stronger and started educating people.

So consider this the beginning of YOUR education. And please share this podcast with anyone and everyone you think will benefit.

Head on over to and leave me a comment. Have the food engineers managed to take your brain over with cravings for stuff that triggers YOUR bliss point? I’d love to know.. And I’d love to know what you plan to do with this information now that you understand it.

If you’d like more help with this, just sign up for my free course, The 4 stages of weight mastery, It’s available at and I’ll see you next week!"

Dr. Angela


This episode was produced and marketing by the Get Known Podcast Service


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.