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Chemicals We Eat

By (author) Melvin A. Benarde
Format: Hardback
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education - Europe, New York, United States
Imprint: McGraw-Hill Inc.,US
Published: 31st May 1971
Dimensions: w 130mm h 210mm
ISBN-10: 0070044228
ISBN-13: 9780070044227
Barcode No: 9780070044227

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Kirkus US
This is much less personal and amorphous than Mr. Benarde's Our Precarious Habitat (1970); entirely food centered as against Unfit for Human Consumption (p. 213) and certainly without a trace of the rabid alarm of Beatrice T. Hunter's Consumer Beware (to follow). Actually it itemizes with very specific specifications the chemicals which are in our food to begin with (in their natural state, such as phalloidine in mushrooms or the equally deadly botulinus bacteria) as well as those which are added for longer shelf life (packaged foods are necessary for the working housewife). He lists what food additives do and should be (if safe and effective), discusses labeling (here one of the few rebukes - what we want is a "compromise between a monograph on nutrition arid essentially nothing as we now have"); older fashioned ingredients (leaveners, thickeners, emulsifiers which have glorified peanut butter, for instance); acids. He lists the FDA testing and grading guidelines and finds them satisfactory; he feels that the nationwide hysteria over the cyclamates, for instance, is unjustified - it is difficult to extrapolate animal data to man. Many will join him on this - not Miss Hunter who contends that it should never have been marketed because it had "caused eye damage in newborn mice." The book therefore is generally sanguine and approving of The Chemicals We Eat. (Kirkus Reviews)