29 Following


Currently reading

The Theory of the Leisure Class (Modern Library Classics)
Thorstein Veblen, Alan Wolfe
Death in the Pot: The Impact of Food Poisoning on History - Morton Satin Satin is a molecular biologist and former director of the UN's Food and Agriculture division. He is undoubtedly a much better biologist than he is writer. His writing is turgid and dry. He makes his explanations of basic biological concepts as tangled and convoluted as possible. His grasp on history is even weaker. It's clear that he depends heavily on only a few sources, and takes them at their word; no cross-referencing or double-checking for him! The book is supposed to trace food poisoning from prehistoric periods to 2006, but it's a slap-dash, poorly organized, seemingly random bunch of essays.

I did like seeing the numerous instances in which the establishment was slow-moving (to the point of criminality) in reacting to food adulteration. From the Roman government's slow reaction to sapa to the Japanese government's refusal to hold corporations responsible for their industrial waste, this is an age-old problem. The range of ways food can be dangerous to humans is very wide and quite fascinating. Still, I would definitely not recommend reading this book.