What Makes Junk Food Addictive?

Episode 854 1h


We are getting sicker every day from cheap, addictive junk food. The food industry approaches food as “engineering projects,” with the end goal of creating “heavy users”—a disturbing internal term used by food manufacturers that helps them make as much money as possible at the expense of public health. It’s time we take a look at the intentional manipulation of our taste buds and the politics that support these practices.

In today’s episode, I talk with Michael Moss, Dhru Purohit, Calley Means, and Nina Teicholz about the formula to get you addicted to junk food and the money spent to influence you to buy more. Michael Moss is a New York Times investigative reporter turned food-focused journalist, Pulitzer Prize winner for Explanatory Reporting, and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us as well as the book Hooked: Food and Free Will, focused around food and addiction.

Dhru Purohit is a podcast host, serial entrepreneur, and investor in the health and wellness industry. His podcast, The Dhru Purohit Podcast, is a top 50 global health podcast with over 30 million unique downloads. His interviews focus on the inner workings of the brain and the body and feature the brightest minds in wellness, medicine, and mindset.

Calley Means is the co-founder of TrueMed, a company that enables Americans to buy exercise equipment and healthy food with FSA/HSA dollars. He is also the co-author (with his sister, Dr. Casey Means) of an upcoming book on food-as-medicine. Earlier in his career, he was a consultant for food and pharma companies and is now exposing practices they use to weaponize our institutions of trust. He is a graduate of Stanford and Harvard Business School.

Nina Teicholz is a science journalist and author of the New York Times bestseller, The Big Fat Surprise, which upended the conventional wisdom on dietary fat–especially saturated fat—and spurred a new conversation about whether these fats in fact cause heart disease.

Full-length episodes of these interviews can be found here:


This episode is brought to you by Rupa University, AG1, Butcher Box, and Seed. The Doctor’s Farmacy podcast works with a select group of sponsors to allow for ongoing production and allow it to be zero-cost to anyone who wishes to listen to and watch the podcast.

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Ep. 854 - What Makes Junk Food Addictive?