Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Dames Who Read – The Poison Squad by Deborah Blum

November 1, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


The Poison Squad by Deborah Blum

One Chemist’s Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Today thinking cooks and eaters have learned to carefully examine the ingredient lists on prepared foods, looking to avoid additives or preservatives that may not be necessary – and may even be harmful – in our diet. But in the past, not only were those ingredients not listed in any reliable form, but were often not necessary, and in many cases actually poisonous! Or at the least, entirely questionable. And generally false.

Ground chalk in baking powder, lemon drops colored yellow with poisonous lead chromate, chocolate faked by using burned sienna, a pigment made from oxides of iron and manganese, or “ketchup” made from red-dyed pumpkin, were just a few of these examples.

We expect to be protected by laws set by the federal agencies such as USDA or FDA. Our ancestors had no such protections. But when those agencies were established, it was a monumental fight between politicians and manufacturers, a struggle between money and safety.

Our fall, Back-to-School, selection will deal with those struggles and solutions and indicate how, when and why food products and ingredients are managed today. It’s a true and well-researched tale or intrigue and eye-opening discoveries you may have never considered.

No, we will not tempt fate by forming our own Poison Squad and trying any of these harmful items. In fact, this book review will be on Zoom, so any ingestibles are up to you in your own home! Grab a bite and a glass and join us for what is expected to be a lively discussion.

Thanks to DWR fan Toria Emas for proposing this fascinating book for our group!!

Tuesday November 1, 6 pm via ZOOM.

The event is free, but please register before October 28 to receive the link.




November 1, 2022
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Categories:


Les Dames d’Escoffier Chicago
%d bloggers like this: