Pandora’s Lunchbox: How Processed Foods took Over the American Meal

junk food Pandora’s Box, by Melanie Warner, is an exposé of the reign of processed foods over the American consumer market. Launched earlier this week, the book discusses major misconceptions of processed foods and delves into healthier eating habits that the nation can adopt. Warner did her research for about eighteen months, gathering compelling arguments from food scientists about just how twisted the processing world can get.

In her book, Warner uncovers exactly what goes into the foods that consumers buy. For instance, she talks about cheese processed using milk protein concentrates. These MPC’s are largely imported and the regulation standards surrounding them are very weak. She also shows how so many foods contain soybean oil, which has been linked to obesity as it slows down the functioning of the thyroid. An interesting chapter in the book looks at the misguiding idea of selling processed foods that are healthy. In this chapter, she observes how the consumer gets easily confused when food companies claim that their processed products are healthy, while in reality they are not.

Warner hopes that with this book, consumers become more aware of what they are digesting and that food companies do a little bit more to make their products safer for the consumers. She realizes that a complete overhaul of the food industry is highly unlikely and thus suggests solutions that are much more achievable, such as paying more attention to foods that have undergone as little processing as is possible, like frozen vegetables. She herself admitted to the fact that she did not give up processed foods, even when writing the book, but has taken steps to achieve a healthier diet and hopes the average consumer will do the same. While being a very interesting read, Pandora’s Box should make one think long and hard about their diet.