The Crazy Makers: How the Food Industry Is Destroying Our Minds and Harming Our Children

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Certain to be one of the year's most controversial books, here is an unprecedented look at how American food manufacturers and their "products" may be endangering our children by sabotaging their brains.

In the tradition of Silent Spring, The Crazy Makers is an indictment of American food processors and what they are serving the nation. Are they distributing food, or ...
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Certain to be one of the year's most controversial books, here is an unprecedented look at how American food manufacturers and their "products" may be endangering our children by sabotaging their brains.

In the tradition of Silent Spring, The Crazy Makers is an indictment of American food processors and what they are serving the nation. Are they distributing food, or manufacturing products that redefine what we think food to be? How far afield of true food has the search for profit and the need to meet consumer trends led food manufacturers?

Nutritionist Carol Simontacchi shows how the pseudo-foods being promoted today--from infant formulas to health-conscious prepackaged meals--are, in fact, physically eroding our brains. While it has been proven that food choices contribute to degenerative diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, Simontacchi maintains that our mental condition is also at risk. Examining the relationship of diet to changing levels of chemicals in the brain, Simontacchi finds that:

consumer baby-formulas and baby foods can be harmful to an infant's brain development;
ingredients and residues such as MSG and neurotoxins are present in our children's food, hidden by misleading labels;
stripping essential minerals from the foods being served to teenagers can be linked to anorexia nervosa, bulimia, poor cognition and behavior; and
schools that strike deals with fast-food companies are among the worst saboteurs of a child's healthy diet and mind.

Based on new research, information retrieved via the Freedom of Information Act, and a formal study conducted by Simontacchi of schoolchildren's eating habits, The Crazy Makers identifies how the new "foods" may be driving us crazy.

Carol Simontacchi is the host of "Your Personal Health," a nationally syndicated radio show that airs on over two hundred stations. An online columnist for, she is a certified clinical nutritionist in private practice in Portland, Oregon, and the author of a number of books on nutrition.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Why have depression rates soared in the post-WWII era? Why does one in four adults have a mental health crisis in any given year? According to Simontacchi, a clinical nutritionist (Your Fat Is Not Your Fault), the cause is a diet that consists of processed food deficient in crucial nutrients. Turning her attention first to the eating patterns of pregnant women, Simontacchi finds a connection between prenatal nutritional deficiencies (in fatty acids and B complex vitamins, among others) and "hidden" defects, which show up not at birth but later, as poor memory and the inability to concentrate. She also reports on a small study she conducted with teenagers: one group was given a nutritious breakfast drink and the other group was not. The youths who received the drink, she discovered, felt better in six areas of emotion, such as anxiety, depression and vigor. She also finds links between the poor eating habits of teenagers and fatigue, depression and self-destructive behavior. Throughout, Simontacchi documents her arguments with reference to mainstream journal articles and nutritional studies. But her tone is sometimes overwrought: "We are being systematically starved," she writes, eating not real food but "toxic food artifacts" made by food manufacturers. Her comments about the superiority of breast milk over formula may plunge into guilty despair anyone who didn't breast-feed her children for at least a year. But in a more positive vein, she offers pro-active strategies for improved nutrition--including pages of sensible suggested recipes for improving not only physical but mental health as well. (June) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Library Journal
Simontacchi, a certified clinical nutritionist and the author of several books on nutrition, claims that processed food products are affecting healthy brain development during all stages of life, from infancy to adulthood. Processed foods lack essential nutrients and contain coloring agents, artificial flavors, toxins, and other substances that may be linked to anorexia, bulimia, poor cognition, mental illness, depression, headaches, fatigue, and other ailments. Simontacchi challenges many contemporary views about the foods we eat and takes the food industry to task for destroying our bodies and our brains by manufacturing "food artifacts." Her blanket condemnation of processed foods and her failure to discuss the cultural, genetic, and psychological causes of these illnesses may turn off many readers, who will find her solutions questionable. Nevertheless, she backs up her assertions with references to research showing the impact of poor nutrition on human health and brain development. She recommends unprocessed organic foods, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and the appropriate combinations of fats, vitamins, minerals, proteins, and carbohydrates to maintain healthy brains. A multistep approach to better nutrition and menus to help achieve it are also included. Recommended for nutrition and alternative medicine collections.--Irwin Weintraub, Brooklyn Coll. Lib., NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585420353
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/2000
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2007

    One of the best books I've read in 10 years

    I have purchased many copies of this book to give to friends. It should be required reading in every high school. This info could change the health profile of the USA.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2001

    A 'Must-Read' for Mothers

    I read nutrition books all the time; but this book is truly a 'gem'. Very informative about the bad stuff we're feeding our families. I especially like the lists of symptoms caused by vitamin and mineral difficiencies. THAT alone really opened my eyes. I wish this book would have been written 15 years ago when my boys were small. Excellent reading!

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