Did you know there is boric acid in some contact lens cleaners, or that if you consume a lot of it, it'll make your vomit aqua-colored? How about shark liver oil in hemorrhoid cream? Quinic acid in your coffee? In This Is What You Just Put in Your Mouth? From Eggnog to Beef Jerky, the Surprising Secrets of What's Inside Everyday Products by Patrick DiJusto, these are only a few of the fantastic assortment of facts about foods and other products we bring into our homes and tummies.
Broken into two parts (the totally inedible and the maybe-shouldn't-be edible), this book covers 50 different products, ranging from A1 steak sauce to Titleist golf balls. Though the information about the materials was enormously interesting, I was most intrigued by the author's introduction and personal notes about his research into each product. Sometimes Di Justo was met with open arms by a company whose item he was researching, and others he was shut out in the cold (typically indicating the company's desire to hide delicate information about their products). Sure, it was fun and also gross to learn there's some ground up guar bean endosperm in our family's beloved Southern Comfort Egg Nog, but what was really fascinating is the back story behind the author's research and all he learned about FDA standards and investigations...and how loosely FDA standards can sometimes be enforced.
As a mom and middle school librarian, I feel it's important to note that there are a few products of an, ahem, adult nature that Di Justo reviews, making it inappropriate for younger teenagers or children. The book is still very useful as a reference source even for these age groups, only with adequate guidance.
What Di Justo is really trying to do is to show Americans the dirty details behind the products we love and purchase on a regular basis. Also, he is hysterically sarcastic, and it's easy to see how his seven years of successful blogging for Wired magazine led to the publication of this book. His wit is entertaining, but his goal in prodding the masses to become more informed consumers hits the mark.
And even if you're not into that sort of thing, you have to admit that this book is at the very least 250 pages of some rather priceless trivia.
I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this honest review.