I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Michael F. Jacobson, PhD, the Founder of the National Food Museum, Co-founder of the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, DC, and the author of Salt Wars: The Battle Over the Biggest Killer in the American Diet.
Mr. Jacobson led the Center for Science in the Public Interest for four decades. CSPI led efforts to win passage of laws and regulations to ban artificial trans fat and several other food additives, obtain Nutrition Facts labels on packaged foods and calorie counts on chair-restaurant menus, improve school foods and food safety, define the term “organic,” and reduce sodium levels.
I believe ingesting foods high in sodium over time increases the occurrence of dementia and published an article on this subject that I link below.
In our conversation, Dr. Jacobson explains the following :
- The effects of too much salt in the body
- The inaction of the FDA on salt
- Sources of salt in the American diet
- How to lower food-related sodium intake
Michael F. Jacobson holds a BA in chemistry from the University of Chicago and a PhD in microbiology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After graduating from MIT, Jacobson moved to Washington, DC, to volunteer with Ralph Nader. He soon met two other Nader’s Raiders with doctorates, and the three created a new nonprofit organization, the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Jacobson began his career in Washington by writing books about food additives (Eater’s Digest) and nutrition (Nutrition Scoreboard) and has been working ever since to improve the healthfulness of the food supply by promoting better government policies, improved corporate practices, and more knowledgeable consumers. Jacobson and CSPI led efforts to ban trans fat, publicize the harms of consuming too much sugar (especially from soft drinks) and salt, and win passage of the law that required Nutrition Facts labels on foods. After serving as the Co-director or Executive Director of CSPI for four decades, in 2017 he stepped down and is now a Senior Scientist at the organization.
His latest book is Salt Wars (October 20, 2020). He previously co-authored Restaurant Confidential; Fast-Food Guide; Food for People, Not for Profit; and Marketing Madness.
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