Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2017

Lustig on processed food: a critical review

In a recent opinion piece in JAMA, Robert Lustig has written a ‘viewpoint’ entitled: “Processed Food – An Experiment That Failed”[1].This blog attempts to provide a critique of that article. I apologise for the length but I’m afraid it is necessary. The article begins with a definition of processed food. Not one drawn up by the internationally recognised organisations such as the FDA[2], the FAO[3]or EFSA[4]. Instead he choses the definition established by the prolific food writer Joanna Blythman[5], whose 7 popular food and health books range from: “Swallow this - Serving up the food industry’s darkest secrets” to “How to avoid GM foods”.Blythman has 7 criteria for defining processed foods:
ÞMass produced ÞConsistent batch to batch ÞConsistent country by country ÞUses specialised ingredients from specialised companies ÞConsists of pre-frozen macronutrients, ÞStays emulsified ÞLong shelf life or freezer life
It isn’t clear from Lustig’s article (I haven’t read nor do I intend to read Blythma…