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The Poison Squad by Deborah Blum

Let us harken back to the turn of the twentieth century, when coffee was a mix of scorched sawdust and peas, meat was preserved by formaldahyde-fueled additives, and “brown sugar” consisted of ground-up bugs. Let us then meet Dr. Harvey Wiley, who faced a nation that believed people should eat what they want and took the renegade position of “Hey, maybe poisoning ourselves is a bad thing?” While there are shiver-inducing descriptions of the food people were consuming, the more terrifying fact exposed here is that businesses were willing to bribe, lie, and threaten the government in order to save costs and continue manufacturing poisoned food. (Terrifying but not surprising, and an activity that continues to lurk in our politics.) The writing is deft, and I highly recommend this book. - Rachel

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The Poison Squad: One Chemist's Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781594205149
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Penguin Press - September 25th, 2018

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