Naturally Dangerous: Surprising Facts about Food, Health and the Environment / Edition 1

Naturally Dangerous: Surprising Facts about Food, Health and the Environment / Edition 1

by Collman
     
 

ISBN-10: 1891389092

ISBN-13: 9781891389092

Pub. Date: 05/28/2004

Publisher: University Science Books

Full of surprising anecdotes, curious facts and historical oddities, this remarkable little book connects observations from our everyday lives to the scientific principles that explain them. You will find information on organic produce, irradiated foods, trans fat and fat substitutes, natural herbs, designer drugs, Mad Cow Disease, Prions, cancer, DNA testing, global

Overview

Full of surprising anecdotes, curious facts and historical oddities, this remarkable little book connects observations from our everyday lives to the scientific principles that explain them. You will find information on organic produce, irradiated foods, trans fat and fat substitutes, natural herbs, designer drugs, Mad Cow Disease, Prions, cancer, DNA testing, global warming, acid rain, aphrodisiacs, pheromones, and much more. Chances are if there is something you were wondering about, you will find it covered here. Should you be eating margarine? Are cell phones safe? Read on!The author has avoided scientific jargon and mathematics to make this book of interest to nonscientists and scientists alike.


About the Author

Jim Collman is a Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University. A member of the National Academy of Sciences and a recipient of numerous research and teaching awards, Collman is also an avid fly-fisherman with broad interests in the environment, health, nutrition and the history of science.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781891389092
Publisher:
University Science Books
Publication date:
05/28/2004
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
280
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Prefaceix
Acknowledgmentsx
Illustration Creditsxi
Overture: Is Anything Safe?1
Exaggerated Health Scares and Scientific Ignorance3
Chapter 1Chemicals Lurking in Your Grocery Store7
Proteins and Amino Acids7
Essential amino acids9
Protein diets12
Carbohydrates12
Artificial sweeteners15
Bread and Cereals17
Fats17
Trans fats19
Fat substitutes21
Chocolate22
Asparagus23
Foods Rich in Oxalate24
Flowers25
Vegemite26
Spices: Ancient Herbal Antibiotics27
Flavor Enhancers28
Natural Toxins in Food (Even Vegetables Can Be Dangerous)29
Organic Foods31
Is America Ready for High-Tech Dining?33
Choosing between natural and genetically modified foods and medicine34
Smoked Meats and Fish35
Beware of Jerky (Trichinosis from Wild Game)36
Alcoholic Beverages37
Chapter 2The Pharmacy45
Prescription Drugs45
Contraindicated Drug Combinations49
Antibiotics, Good News and Bad50
Over-the-Counter Medications53
Medicines and Drugs Derived from Plants53
Marijuana (cannabis)54
Opium55
Morphine56
Heroin56
Codeine56
Cocaine56
Synthetic narcotics57
Quinine58
Taxol59
Chapter 3Is "Health Food Store" an Oxymoron?61
Herbal Medicines61
Vitamins66
Hormone Supplements76
Melatonin77
Steroid hormones79
Peptide hormones81
Performance-Enhancing Drugs83
Chapter 4Infectious Agents: Are All Microorganisms Bad?87
Viruses87
Bacteria93
Fungi98
Algae98
Lesser-Known Microorganisms100
Mad-Cow and Related Prion Diseases102
Chapter 5Cancer and the Environment107
Cancer and Risk Assessment107
The Delaney clause112
The Immune System: Jekyll and Hyde113
Examples of the Role of Microorganisms and the Immune System in History117
Chapter 6Nature Is Elemental121
Metals121
Lithium121
Sodium and potassium122
Beryllium, magnesium, and calcium124
Chromium125
Iron126
Cobalt126
Copper127
Zinc128
Aluminum128
Lead128
Mercury130
Thallium133
Nonmetallic Elements133
Boron133
Carbon133
Nitrogen135
Phosphorus140
Arsenic140
Oxygen142
Sulfur145
Selenium145
Fluorine146
Chlorine148
Iodine151
Radon153
Chapter 7Natural and Unnatural Molecules in the Environment155
Perilous Natural Toxins155
Aphrodisiacs157
Pheromones158
Man-Made Chemicals in the Environment162
Insecticides162
Gasoline additives164
Chapter 8Is the Sky Falling??169
Acid Rain169
Global Warming and the Greenhouse Effect173
The greenhouse gases176
Water vapor178
Carbon dioxide178
Methane181
Freons182
Nitrous oxide, laughing gas183
Other natural causes of global warming183
The Ozone Hole190
Chapter 9Dust, Magnets, and Scuba Diving195
Small Particles (Dust Can Be Dangerous)195
Electromagnetic Fields (Are Electric Blankets Dangerous?)198
Sunlight199
Chemical photosensitivity201
Inherited photosensitivity203
Underwater Dangers (Scuba Diving)203
Chapter 10We Are All Radioactive!209
Radiation in Nature215
Irradiation of Food223
Epilogue: There Is No Free Lunch!225
Further Reading227
Glossary239
Index259

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