October 18, 2013
Alpha Study Club met October 8. 2013, at the home of Kathy Herink with 21 members in attendance. President Deb Wentzien opened the first session in our 101st year by sharing social, cultural, and demographic changes in the United States over the past 100 years. Pat Goos reviewed, “Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us” by Michael Moss. In the spring of 1999 the heads of the world’s largest processed food companies-from Coca-Cola to Nabisco-gathered at Pillsbury headquarters in Minneapolis for a secret meeting. On the agenda: the emerging epidemic of obesity, and what to do about it. Increasingly, the salt-sugar-fat-laden foods these companies produced were being linked to obesity, and a concerned Kraft executive took to the stage to issue a warning: There would be a day of reckoning unless changes were made. When he was done, the most powerful person in the room-CEO of General Mills-stood up to speak, clearly annoyed. And by the time he sat down, the meeting was over. Since that day, with the industry in pursuit of its win-at-all-costs strategy, the situation has only grown more dire. Every year, the average American eats thirty-three pounds of cheese (triple what we ate in 1970) and seventy pounds of sugar (about twenty-two teaspoons a day). We ingest 8,500 milligrams of salt a day, double the recommended amount, and almost none of that comes from the shakers on our table. It comes from processed food. In this book, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Michael Moss shows how we got here. The Secretary’s and Treasurer’s reports were read and approved. No correspondence was received. New business began with Marcia Plett’s motion to provide money to purchase new Gladbrook Library books. The Social Committee will attend the Scholastic Book fair in December and make the selections. For roll call, each member brought and/or shared an old and often favorite book. A wide range of book titles, such as “Dick and Jane”, “Andersonville Prison”, “The Story of Bible History”, and “Elements of Farm Practice”. One of the most treasured was a hymnal in the Welsh language. Publication dates extended from 1964 to as far back as the 1870’s. We congratulate the committee on an enjoyable way to begin our next century. Deb closed with an inspirational verse about Good Books. The Social Committee served a delicious selection of sandwiches and finger desserts, flavored coffee and tea. Our next meeting will be held at the home of Veta Hildebrand.
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