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The Strange Chemistry of Plants, Poisons and Processed Foods

George Zaidan



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01 September 2020
With high-octane hilarity, Zaidan reveals what will kill you, what won't, and why. INGREDIENTS offers the insight of a chemist on the stuff we eat, drink, inhale, and smear on ourselves. Apart from the burning question of whether you should eat that cheese puff, Zaidan explores a range of topics. Here's a helpful guide: Stuff in this book:

How bad is processed food? How sure are we?

Is sunscreen safe? Should you use it?

Is coffee good or bad for you?

What's your disease horoscope?

What is that public pool smell made of?

What happens when you overdose on fentanyl in the sun?

What do cassava plants and Soviet spies have in common?

When will you die? Stuff in other books:

Your carbon footprint Food sustainability GMOs CEO pay Science funding Politics Football Baseball Any kind of ball really Zaidan makes chemistry more fun than learning potions making at Hogwarts as he reveals exactly what science can (and can't) tell us about the packaged ingredients sold to us every day. Sugar, spinach, formaldehyde, cyanide, the ingredients of life and death, and how we know if something is good or bad for us - as well as the genius of aphids and their sweet butts - are all discussed in exquisite detail at breakneck speed. AUTHOR: George Zaidan is a science communicator, television and web host, and producer. He created National Geographic's webseries Ingredients, and he cowrote and directed MIT's webseries Science Out Loud. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Science, and Gizmodo. He is currently executive producer at the American Chemical Society.
By:   George Zaidan
Imprint:   Duckworth
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm, 
ISBN:   9780715653821
ISBN 10:   0715653822
Pages:   304
Publication Date:   01 September 2020
Recommended Age:   From 18 years
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Unspecified

George Zaidan is a science communicator, television and web host, and producer. He created National Geographic's webseries Ingredients, and he cowrote and directed MIT's webseries Science Out Loud. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, The Boston Globe, National Geographic Magazine, NPR's The Salt, NBC's Cosmic Log, Science, Business Insider, and Gizmodo. He is currently executive producer at the American Chemical Society. Ingredients is his first book.

Reviews for Ingredients: The Strange Chemistry of Plants, Poisons and Processed Foods

'If you ever thought that chemistry might be really interesting (it is), but your eyes glazed over in high school chem class, this is the book for you. George Zaidan will keep you laughing out loud as he shares the wonders of our most useful, practical science, with brilliant analogies that even an 11-year old can understand.' -- Daniel J. Levitin, author of Successful Aging and This is Your Brain on Music 'If you crossed Bill Nye with Stephen Colbert, you'd get George Zaidan. Ingredients is a masterful piece of science writing.' -- Daniel H. Pink, author of When and Drive 'Ingredients has all the ingredients I'm looking for in a science book: it's chock full of interesting information, it reveals the science behind an everyday subject-and it's written in a breezy, easy-to-understand voice-and it's funny! I can't recommend it enough.' -- Brian Malow, Science comedian 'When I taught a writing intensive course for nutrition and food science seniors, the main objectives were how to read scientific papers critically and how to argue effectively in print. I thought several times while reading this book that, rather than using peer-reviewed papers, I wish I could have had this book for my students. Pick any argument George makes and tell me, with references, why you agree or disagree. They probably would have learned more that way and certainly would have enjoyed their reading more.' -- David Klurfeld, former Professor and Chair of Nutrition and Food Science at Wayne State University 'Ingredients is a friendly introduction to the chemistry behind our health, but it's also a compelling portrait of how science is conducted and knowledge is built. Turns out, Cheetos and the scientific method have something in common: there's a lot going on, and not everyone knows what. George does a masterful job of showing where chemistry can answer questions about our health and environment, and where it-as well science in general-is lead by politics, culture and even *gasp* opinion.' -- Mike Rugnetta, host of Idea Channel 'Through incredibly weird and wonderful analogies (and delightfully nerdy wit), George helps you understand how scientists work toward the truth. I wish he'd rewrite all of my high school science textbooks!' -- Emily Calandrelli, author of the Ada Lace Adventures 'Everything in our lives is made of chemicals. But unfortunately very few of us are chemists. Ingredients is a road map for navigating the confusing polysyllabic world we find in product labels and in viral news stories. Zaidan's blend of humor and science will not only make you a better-informed consumer of all things chemical. Ingredients will also make you appreciate the chemistry that makes our world possible.' -- Joe Hanson, Creator/Writer/Host of It's Okay to Be Smart 'George Zaidan's mix of razor-sharp wit and pin-point accuracy are rarer in science than a T-Rex performing nuclear fusion. Ingredients has the answers to age-old questions-how many Oreos is too many Oreos?-and many more you never thought to ask. Like an optometrist performing stand-up, Zaidan is eye-opening and hilarious.' -- Daniel Stone, author of The Food Explorer 'Omfg this book is FABULOUS! It's hilarious, insightful, sassy, and reassuring. A delightful roller-coaster of science communication.' -- Kallie Moore, Co-host of PBS Eons 'By all means, pick up George Zaidan's high-octane Ingredients if you want to know more about Cheetos, sunscreen, butter substitutes, and other fascinating bits of everyday chemistry. But above all, you should buy Ingredients because it teaches you how to think better-like a smart, informed, and wickedly funny scientist.' -- Sam Kean, author of The Disappearing Spoon and The Bastard Brigade 'If you are looking for a guide in understanding the everyday chemistry of our lives, you could not do better than George Zaidan. And his book, Ingredients, is everything that should lead you to expect: funny, edgy, fascinating, dismaying, reassuring, and overall, just incredibly smart.' -- Deborah Blum, Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Poison Squad 'At last, a book on nutrition that tries to make you understand how little we know instead of offering blanket prognostications. If instead of a simple solution, you want a guide to how to think about health, this is it.' -- Zach and Kelly Weinersmith, New York Times best-selling authors of Soonish 'I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that food is very important, and yet we are terrible at talking about it. Nutrition is a mess of marketing, classism, science, truth, guilt, confusion, and outright hucksterism. Ingredients lifts the film from our eyes with humour and reassurance.' -- Hank Green, author of An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

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