The Poison Squad: One Chemist's Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

The Poison Squad: One Chemist's Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

A New York Times Notable Book From Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times-bestselling author Deborah Blum, the dramatic true story of how food was made safe in the United States and the heroes, led by the inimitable Dr. Harvey Washington Wiley, who fought for change By the end of nineteenth century, food was dangerous. Lethal, even. "Milk" might contain formaldehyde, mo A New York Times Notable Book From Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times-bestselling author Deborah Blu...

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Title:The Poison Squad: One Chemist's Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century
Author:Deborah Blum
Rating:
Genres:Nonfiction
ISBN:1594205140
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:352 pages pages

The Poison Squad: One Chemist's Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century Reviews

  • Mark
    Feb 12, 2019
    Another superb book by Deborah Blum. Like her previous book, The Poisoner's Handbook, Blum dives deep into our recent past to show how different we were in some ways just a century ago, and yet how alike we are in many respects. The Poisoner's Handbook told the story of the birth of...
  • June
    Jan 25, 2019
    Politics and food, how little has changed. Yet how much has changed! It?s hard to believe that such a short time ago our children were actually dying from poisoned milk. The FDA isn?t perfect but it?s a huge step forward. ...
  • Erin
    Jan 15, 2019
    Listened to audiobook. I may be more interested in this book than your average American because I do work with agriculture regulations, but I loved this snapshot of the Dr. Wiley and the eventual creation of the FDA. It is both comforting and frustrating to see that the more th...
  • Lisa
    Feb 02, 2019
    So why do they bleach flour? Read this and you will find out and probably never buy bleached flour again. Having worked in QA in the pharmaceutical industry, I was familiar with the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 as the beginning of the regulation of pharmaceuticals, but hadn't really ...
  • Emily
    Dec 26, 2018
    This author's previous book is one of the most popular I've encountered, in that everyone I know who's read it, loved it. It was about the emergence of forensic medicine (and solving poisoning cases) against the backdrop of Prohibition-era New York. In this work she takes on a scie...
  • Becca Younk
    Mar 19, 2019
    I loved The Poisoner's Handbook, so of course I had to read this when I spied it on display at the library. It's not quite as good, but still a compelling and interesting read. It's a bit scary to think about all the ingredients listed on labels that I wouldn't even be able to guess wh...
  • Marieka
    Feb 01, 2019
    This didn?t draw me in like I thought that it would. I generally tear through this type of book, but I?m maybe 5/6 of the way through and stuck, and I?m considering leaving it unfinished. Maybe it?s that it focuses too much on Dr. Wiley and goes into too much detail? I can?t ...
  • Hannah Levy
    Jan 27, 2019
    Only lasted half the book - SO. BORING. It?s a shame because her other book Poisoner?s Handbook is one of my favorites. ...
  • Christina
    Jan 30, 2019
    I was only able to get this from my library via audiobook. Thank goodness. If I had read this via book it would have taken me forever as I read, stopped, re-read, pondered, and looked up things. I have food allergies so I have to read EVERY label. Thank goodness I can. Today we still d...
  • Melissa
    Feb 01, 2019
    This was fascinating (and horrifying/disgusting) discussion of post industrial America and the food industry pre- regulations. ...
  • Jillian Doherty
    Mar 09, 2018
    Page turning and solicitous! This incredible story widens the view of what we think we know about how our nation?s food. From flood shavings in the chowder, to exactly how much plaster makes sour milk looks just right again ? this book is for anyone who loves reading about history ...
  • David
    Nov 17, 2018
    It is heartening to see this excellent new history getting favorable attention on the radio, in newspapers, in online journals, and in both food blogs and science blogs. In addition, there are already many reviews here on Goodreads that adequately summarize and elaborate on this boo...
  • Katra
    Mar 16, 2019
    An account of an appalling struggle to remove poisons from food. You'll never trust a food conglomerate again (except for Heinz - go Heinz!) and want to stone anyone who mentions deregulation. ...
  • Leah K
    Dec 26, 2018
    A fascinating look at the beginning of the FDA and the man who made it possible. Definitely kept me interested. We've come so far and have so much further to go. ...
  • Jelena R
    Feb 01, 2019
    Tedious. ...
  • Filippe
    Jan 12, 2019
    ?The Shutdown is Bad For Anyone Who Eats Food?, says Stephen Colbert on Friday, January 11. ?Don't Panic: The Government Shutdown Isn't Making Food Unsafe?, counters NPR?s Dan Charles on Weekend Update the following morning. It?s 2019, but you?d be forgiven for thinkin...
  • Emily
    Jan 29, 2019
    3.5 stars, rounded down. I thought this book was very well researched and well written, but got bogged down by all the political details. The subject matter is fascinating but I think she could've done more focusing on the food and less on the political minutia. ...
  • Jeimy
    Oct 22, 2018
    This is billed as a fascinating story about how food was made safe in America, but I have to disagree with the second part of that statement. It is about how food was made safer. However, it doesn't take much for readers to see how much our capitalistic government bends to serve the wh...
  • Brenda A
    Sep 13, 2018
    Dude. The Industrial Revolution, for all its major leaps toward with invention and innovation, definitely fucked over some people. Like a lot of people. The biggest take away from this nonfiction book is that given the opportunity, big business will screw us over tenfold unles...
  •  wade
    Jan 30, 2019
    This is a well researched non fiction book that focuses on the work of chemist Dr. Harvey Wiley to bring purity to our food products. The time period here is the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. You will not believe the stuff they put in food as dyes, preservatives and f...
  • Papaphilly
    Nov 14, 2018
    What an amazing book. This is both truly well written and a reminder how history repeats. if you hear about how good the food used to be, this book reminds you how good the food really was not. The Poison Squad: One Chemist's Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twe...
  • Grace
    Jan 21, 2019
    I think this is an important read to understand the politics and process behind the eventual creation of the FDA. It is essential to understand that throughout time, industry/corporations in masse have actively fought against protecting individuals if they perceived the requested chang...
  • Vaira Selvakani
    Jan 29, 2019
    Definitely an eye opener into how FDA dealt with adulteration and consumer food safety. Worth the read. ...
  • Mary
    Nov 07, 2018
    Fascinating but, at the same time, deeply disturbing, account of the decades-long effort by Dr. Harvey Wiley, a chemist in the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the beginning of the 20th century, to protect consumers from adulterated food and drugs. A hundred years ago, Dr. Wiley's nam...
  • Amy
    Nov 01, 2018
    During his successful 2016 campaign for the White House, Trump promised to have his cabinet "submit a list of every wasteful and unnecessary regulation which kills jobs, and which does not improve public safety, and eliminate them." His FDA commission, Scott Gottlieb, followed that pro...
  • Beth Menendez
    Jan 05, 2019
    Solid 4.5 stars. I'm dinging it half a star because it is a scince-y book that can get a little dry at times and I think it may lose some readers because of this. However, for anyone who think that the Whole Foods movement and Clean Eating is a new fad, you are gravely mistaken. Debora...
  • Maureen Caupp
    Jan 31, 2019
    A very interesting read about the work done at the turn of the twentieth century by the United States Department of Agriculture to determine the contents of food and drinks, the impacts of the added compounds on health, and the continuing battle to regulate harmful additives and requir...
  • Nicholle
    Feb 01, 2019
    I give this book 5 stars (out of 5). I loved the science/chemistry and history behind the story. The author is an excellent science writer and wrote such an intriguing story. The parts where she described the politics behind the story were boring to me (I cannot stand politics), but a ...
  • Claudia
    Oct 25, 2018
    Today, when talking about the safety of our food, we are concerned with MSG; high-fructose corn syrup; trans fats, synthetic sweeteners, artificial colors among others. In the late 1800's into the early years of the twentieth century, you would have been concerned more about arsenic, f...
  • E
    Nov 29, 2018
    Clearly well-researched, it's a look into the life of Dr. Harvey Wiley and also the precursor department to what we know as the FDA today. It's both fascinating and horrifying, the list of preservatives and agents that industry manufacturers considered common to put in their food for t...