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This Is What You Just Put in Your Mouth?:…
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This Is What You Just Put in Your Mouth?: From Eggnog to Beef Jerky, the…

by Patrick Di Justo

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Interesting, but not overly informative look at what makes up common items. Author Di Justo decided to take a look at various items we eat, use, apply on our skin, use in our houses/cars/offices, etc. to see what they were made out of. They range from the mundane like tap water to the news-worthy in vaccines. The book is fairly formulaic, looking at various items, explaining particular ingredients and providing other tidbits, anecdotes and sometimes the backstory to his research.
 
This was mildly entertaining, but not really something one could use as a reference. There were some really interesting bits of information (birdseed is used in those artificial fire logs to get that popping sound). Some of the explanations will gross you out. Some will help reassure you and explain something is NOT THAT BAD, regardless of what others may say.
 
But there isn't any depth (he looks at anywhere to about 5-10ish ingredients or parts) and the back stories are often only a page or two (sometimes more) long. While it wasn't surprising he wouldn't get help from big companies (or small ones sometimes), it was also really cool to see some of the anecdotes and experiments he tried, including dying his hair, drinking Listerine, testing whether his girlfriend's mascara would have a charge with some magnets, etc.
 
This book is quite timely, with mentions of Jim Carrey, and could be extended to talk about things like GMO labeling plus the discussions of what companies are using to to put in their products. And this may spur someone to do more research, but as it is it's not really a book I am glad I had bought, or at least should have gotten it as a bargain book. It's not really something to re-read again unless you have an interest on a specific product or are interested in how he went about his research, but I'm sure there are probably better resources in general out there.
 
Maybe a good gag gift for a hypochondriac who will never use any product in this book ever again, but I'd borrow it from the library if I could redo how I acquired this book. ( )
  acciolibros | Feb 11, 2018 |
Written by the same guy who writes the consumer product column for Wired Magazine, which is one of my favorite parts. He researches the ingredients to various everyday food and household products and explains what each ingredient does and what it's effects are on us and our environment. His wry humour and snarky comments made this a very entertaining read.

I did not previously know that much of the cinnamon we buy in the US isn't actually cinnamon, but a lesser-quality plant material. Or that Spam is canned raw and cooked right in the can. Refrigerators in the 1920s used ammonia as coolant, which could and often did leak, poisoning and killing families. (maybe we DO need to keep the EPA!)

The take-away - do not eat Slim Jims or chicken nuggets. Do buy Vita Coco. We already know that we should eat more natural food and less processed ones, but this book explains in chemical detail exactly WHY. ( )
  Darth-Heather | May 17, 2017 |
Interesting, but not overwhelmingly so. I don't eat or use 98% of the products listed because I already know how terrible they are, but it was a quick read with interesting tidbits, so I'm happy. ( )
  imahorcrux | Jun 22, 2016 |
Interesting, quick read about the chemical composition of the things we eat and things we put on our bodies. This is an anthology of articles written for Wired magazine. There are some very surprising facts revealed here, and the old adage about not asking how sausage is made comes to mind.

This book got kind of tedious after a while, and it seemed to be the same thing over and over. I can see it working successfully as a one-item article, but a book of them got pretty repetitive after a short time.

My favorite parts of the book were the back stories, where the author explained why/how a product was chosen or how he was ultimately able to find the ingredients. ( )
  ssimon2000 | May 31, 2016 |
This review is also available on my blog, Read Till Dawn.

Di Justo definitely did his research for this book. He bats around words like "carrageenan" and "3-isobutyl-2-methoxy-pyrazine" as easy as anything, listing off their origins and common uses in terms that anyone (including me) can understand. Each little chapter is only a few pages long, listing out the most bizarre and disgusting ingredients in the featured product. He doesn't just break down food items, though - trust me, you do not want to know what's in that fabric softener you're putting on your clothes!

This is the sort of book that's good in small doses. I read it over the course of a few days, and I think I suffered overload. There reaches a point where nothing shocks you. "Horse fat? Manure? Diesel exhaust? Okay, whatever." Get the book and read it in small doses. A few here, a few there - it's the kind of book you flip through with your friends, making gagging sounds and proclaiming loudly at the crazy stuff they add to make your food look like food. Read it all in one go like I did, and it's senses overload!

Now, I do have a complaint or two to make. My favorite parts of the book are the extra notes he adds to the end of entries, providing some backstory or a funny anecdote about a particular product. However, sometimes he is a bit too crass for my taste. He uses swear words a couple of times, and a bit of crude humor. Also, two of the products he breaks down are "enzyte" and "K-Y Yours Mine Couples Lubricant." I, a rather straight-laced teenager, am a bit hazy on what exactly these are. However, I couldn't get through either of these entries because of all the innappropriate jokes about the products.

It's really too bad that he crosses the line a few times, because if he didn't I would happily recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone looking for a well-researched and hilariously gross look at the food in our pantry. As it is, I still recommend it but with a warning to skip the two products I mentioned above and a heads up that the humor, while usually fine (and hilarious!) becomes too much sometimes.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Jaina_Rose | Mar 1, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0804139881, Paperback)

What do a cup of coffee and cockroach pheromone have in common? How is Fix-A-Flat like sugarless gum? Is a Slim Jim meat stick really alive? If I Can't Believe It's Not Butter isn't butter, what is it?

All of these pressing questions and more are answered in This Is What You Just Put In Your Mouth? Based on his popular Wired magazine column What's Inside, Patrick Di Justo takes a cold, hard, and incredibly funny look at the shocking, disgusting, and often dumbfounding ingredients found in everyday products, from Cool Whip and Tide Pods to Spam and Play-Doh. He also shares the madcap stories of his extensive research, including tracking down a reclusive condiment heir, partnering with a cop to get his hands on heroin, and getting tight-lipped snack-food execs to talk. Along the way, he schools us on product histories, label decoding, and the highfalutin chemistry concepts behind everything from Midol to Hostess fruit pies.
Packed with facts you're going to want to share immediately, this is infotainment at its best—and most fun!—which will have you giving your shampoo the side-eye and Doritos a double take, and make you the know-it-all in line at the grocery store.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:46 -0400)

What do a cup of coffee and cockroach pheromone have in common? Di Justo takes a cold, hard, and incredibly funny look at the shocking, disgusting, and often dumbfounding ingredients found in everyday products, from Cool Whip and Tide Pods to Spam and Play-Doh. He schools us on product histories, label decoding, and the highfalutin chemistry concepts behind everything from Midol to Hostess fruit pies.… (more)

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