Swindled: The Dark History of Food Fraud, from Poisoned Candy to Counterfeit Coffee

51qu7eQULZL._SX313_BO1,204,203,200_Bad food has a history. Swindled tells it. Through a fascinating mixture of cultural and scientific history, food politics, and culinary detective work, Bee Wilson uncovers the many ways swindlers have cheapened, falsified, and even poisoned our food throughout history. In the hands of people and corporations who have prized profits above the health of consumers, food and drink have been tampered with in often horrifying ways–padded, diluted, contaminated, substituted, mislabeled, misnamed, or otherwise faked. Swindled gives a panoramic view of this history, from the leaded wine of the ancient Romans to today’s food frauds–such as fake organics and the scandal of Chinese babies being fed bogus milk powder.

Wilson pays special attention to nineteenth- and twentieth-century America and England and their roles in developing both industrial-scale food adulteration and the scientific ability to combat it. As Swindled reveals, modern science has both helped and hindered food fraudsters–increasing the sophistication of scams but also the means to detect them. The big breakthrough came in Victorian England when a scientist first put food under the microscope and found that much of what was sold as « genuine coffee » was anything but–and that you couldn’t buy pure mustard in all of London.

Arguing that industrialization, laissez-faire politics, and globalization have all hurt the quality of food, but also that food swindlers have always been helped by consumer ignorance, Swindled ultimately calls for both governments and individuals to be more vigilant. In fact, Wilson suggests, one of our best protections is simply to reeducate ourselves about the joys of food and cooking.

Order the book
Food 2.0 LAB in association with Amazon

Books by the same author –

                       

Bookmarquez le permalien.

FOOD 2.0 LAB : Articles récents

Les commentaires sont clos.

Cuisine de l’été – Amertume du concombre. Petite leçon de physiologie végétale.

Vocabulaire culinaire : Comment dit-on « pâté en croûte » en japonais ?

Musique et Art culinaire : les rhapsodies du goût (1/3)

Zone de guerre et vie sur Mars : imprimante alimentaire 3D et survie en espace hostile

Quoi de neuf au rayon emballage ?

Figures du Chef Cuisinier : l’éventail des possibles

Cuisine de l’été – Manger des huîtres ? Petite leçon d’écologie

Musique et Art culinaire : les rhapsodies du goût (2/3)

« Roastbeef », « beefsteak », « bifteck » !

Atlas de l’Alimentation