How chemicals from the natural world combine to make everyday consumer products, from freeze-dried potatoes and lipstick to baby wipes and Windex. George Zaidan reveals what's really toxic and what isn't-explained with high octane hilarity.
Author George Zaidan welcomes readers with a story set thousands of feet above sea level, on a plateau in the central Andean region, where Mother Nature grows killer potatoes. These tubers contain a smorgasbord of chemicals that can irritate your mouth, land you with a fever, or make you lose your lunch. If you eat enough of them, the chemicals within can kill. But there's a way to eat your fill and live to tell the tale: dip the potatoes in a clay sauce. Eating crushed rocky dirt as a side dish might be one of the first things humans did to process a raw, wild ingredient from nature and make it into something we can use-but it certainly wasn't the last.
Zaidan, an MIT-trained chemist who has co-hosted CNBC's hit Make Me a Millionaire Inventor and has written and voiced several TED-Ed viral videos, will explore the chemistry of almost everything that makes life comfortable-what you should worry about and what you shouldn't.
Sugar, preservatives, sunscreen, formaldehyde, cyanide (not to mention the substance that is 50 million times more deadly than cyanide), Oreos, the ingredients of life and death and nature itself, as well as the genius of aphids are all discussed in exquisite detail at breakneck speed, interspersed with footnotes and informative diagrams that will make you smile.
You'll never think of chemistry the same way again! ABRAMS Spring 2020 Adult Catalog
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
Publisher: Dutton, April 2020
Product Dimensions: 9.4 L × 6.3 W × 1.2 H
* Subject to availability