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200 × 120 mm
176 pages
13 Jan 2020
Food Controversies
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Food Adulteration and Food Fraud Jonathan Rees

What do we really know about the food we eat? A firestorm of recent food-fraud cases, from the honey-laundering scandal in the USA, to the 40-year-old frozen ‘zombie’ meat smuggled into China, to horse-meat episodes in the UK, suggests fraudulent and intentional acts of food adulteration are on the rise. While often harmless, some incidents have resulted in serious public health consequences. At the heart of these dubious practices are extortionists, disgruntled individuals and professional criminals, while many consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about this malfeasance.

Jonathan Rees examines the complex causes and surprising effects of adulteration and fraud across the global food chain. Covering comestibles of all kinds from around the globe, Rees describes the different types of contamination, the role and effectiveness of government regulation, and our willingness to ignore deception if the groceries we purchase are cheap or convenient. Pithy, punchy and cogent, Food Adulteration and Food Fraud offers an important insight into this vital problem with our consumption.

Jonathan Rees is Professor of History at Colorado State University – Pueblo. His work on food history includes Refrigeration Nation (2013) and Before the Refrigerator (2018).

Introduction: A Matter of Trust

1 Partial Substitutions
2 Tainted Foods
3 Counterfeit Foods and Complete Substitutions
4 The Importance of Place
5 Testing
6 Policy, Strategy and Legislation

Conclusion: Adulteration and Culture
Note on Sources and Select Bibliography