Untangling history’s greatest controversies

Every month, host Zach Cornwell takes a hard look at the historical conflicts that raise difficult questions, stoke controversy, and send our moral compasses spinning.

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The Kitchen Cartel: Pure Food & Drug Act 1906

Fake coffee. Rotten meat. Poison milk. This is the story of a few good men and their bitter fight to make America’s food supply safe. Hounded by enemies and discredited at every turn, a handful of scientists and activists challenged the titans of the 19th century food industry – and won.

SOURCES:

Blum, Deborah. The Poison Squad: One Chemists Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century. 2018.

Morris, Edmund. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. 1979

Sinclair, Upton. The Jungle. 1906.

Hilts, Philip J. Protecting America’s Health: The FDA, Business, and One Hundred Years of Regulation. 2003.

Wilson, Bee. Swindled: The Dark History of Food Fraud, from Poisoned Candy to Counterfeit Coffee. 2008.

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