Waiter, there’s a TBHQ in my soup.

“Know thyself.” – Temple of Apollo at Delphi

“You are what you eat.” – Victor Lindlahr, Bridgeport Telegraph, 1923.

The wisdom contained in these quotes have been with us for quite some time, If we accept them as true, then it follows that we should know what we eat. And yet, more than ever in history, we have lost touch with what, exactly, it is that we are eating.

It seems that every few years, a scare story pops up about people finding disgusting things in their fast food – inedible substances like plastic bags, vermin remains, you know the type. Most of the time, thankfully, these stories aren’t true – or, at worst, manufactured by a disgruntled employee trying to take revenge on their workplace. Tales like these tap into our fears about the strange things someone else has the ability to put in our food. They are effective because we know that chicken heads do not belong on our plate – but does a “boneless skinless chicken breast with rib meat”? What about “sodium acid pyrophosphate”?

What, exactly, is in my club sandwich?

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