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The Hundred-Year Lie: How to Protect Yourself from the Chemicals That Are Destroying Your Health
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The Hundred-Year Lie: How to Protect Yourself from the Chemicals That Are Destroying Your Health

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  541 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
In a devastating exposé in the tradition of Silent Spring and Fast Food Nation, investigative journalist Randall Fitzgerald warns how thousands of man-made chemicals in our food, water, medicine, and environment are making humans the most polluted species on the planet. A century ago in 1906, when Congress enacted the Pure Food and Drug Act, Americans were promised ?better
Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 26th 2007 by Plume (first published June 22nd 2006)
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Feb 25, 2007 Lynsie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who care about their health and the environment
So far this is horribly depressing, but it is helping me in my quest to eliminate more toxins from my immediate environment. It shows more evidence that the reason I have so many allergy has been my toxic overload from the food I eat and the things I've been around. I need to get to the "what to do about it" section instead of all this "why the world sucks and you're going to die" first part. I do recommend this to everyone, though--its lovely to know just how little the government regulates the ...more
Feb 18, 2008 aleshia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
Wow! If you're concerned about your health and question what our government tells us is "safe," you need to read this book. Warning: this book may make you slightly paranoid, but it will inform you on everything from organics & plastics to vitamins/prescriptions to crib death.
Mar 17, 2010 Lori rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Better living through chemistry is not true. This book brings to light the downfalls of progress in the food industry. Advancements in food technology is driven by greed more than humanity. Different twist than the ideology I learned as a Food Science major in college.
Omar Halabieh
Sep 26, 2013 Omar Halabieh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:

"An effect of this contamination is that we are now one of the most polluted species on the face of this planet," contends Paula Baillie-Hamilton, an Oxford-educated physician in Britain who is one of the leading authorities on toxins in food. "Indeed, we are all so contaminated that if we were cannibals our meat would be banned from human consumption." How did we become so toxic? What thrust us as a culture and as individ
Krista Bolan
Nov 03, 2008 Krista Bolan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in environmental and health issues
Very informative, lots of research presented. I found it a frustrating book to read in many ways, because the main premise about how we are exposed to all these toxins rings true for their solutions, too, and because everyone has a different level in their bodies, different genes, and we don't really know what/when we're exposed to something new, it's pretty impossible to make an informed decision on how to protect yourself. The opening paragraph of Chapter 9 expresses exactly my exasperation. I ...more
Richard Stephenson
Jul 02, 2010 Richard Stephenson rated it liked it
Rating: 3 / 5 Stars --> "I liked it"

Pros: Great detail, references, presentation, and organization. The section on the “100 Year History of Absolute non-Awesomesauce-iosity” was fabulous as it put forth a high-level (but useful) outlook of major milestones in the decline of our commercially available support systems… really worth taking a look if nothing else. I also enjoyed, though find limited use for, the detoxification chapters – they will serve someone well, so long as they don’t go over
Oct 03, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're not shaken by the end of the book, then something has gone awry. This book has opened my eyes about food policy in the United States more than any other book I have read. From this experience, I will be far more mindful of what goes in my body and my house. Though sometimes disturbing and scary, I would, without hesitating, recommend this to every human being on this planet, but especially Americans.
Grace Dadoyan
Jun 20, 2012 Grace Dadoyan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a incredible, must-read book for anyone interested in maintaining their health and/or looking for answers to illness or ailments. That would be everyone wouldn't it?! The author intends to "inspire action and accountability not a gloom and doom attempt to immobilize with fear. We can never totally eliminate risk factors but we can learn how to limit our risks and manage exposure."
The more books I read, the more I want to simplify our lives in the sense of what modern conveniences we use. This author did a really nice job making the information accessible and had ways to move forward and address some of the issues.
Jen Juenke
Jan 14, 2014 Jen Juenke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book and have learned so much from this book. There are so many chemicals and toxins in our bodies that 1 might not affect us but 1000 is toxic! You can get even toxins from your mom when you are in the womb. From reading this book I will be working towards living a more "clean" life!
Sep 04, 2010 Stephanie rated it liked it
This was a good compendium of, basically, what we're doing to our environment and our health in the modern age. More exposition than argument for specific alternatives, but a solid case and interesting case nonetheless.
Chris Demer
Jun 26, 2013 Chris Demer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, expose, nutrition
Generally, I like my science books to be written by scientists. This one was written by a writer, editor and reporter. That being said, it is a thorough debunking of many of the myths we love to believe about our food and medicines. Some of the myths: We are protected by the FDA because the government knows what is safe and prevents the marketing of unsafe products. Not so much. Most chemicals in foods have never been tested for safety individually, let alone the possible synergies that they can ...more
This book takes a look at how all the synthetic chemicals in our world are affecting human health. The author looks at food and modern medicine, as well as some other chemicals in the environment, such as plastics and other chemicals in our houses (carpets, furniture, etc.). He also talks about organic foods and alternative/natural medicines and what you can do to mitigate the chemicals in your body.

This was very interesting. A lot of it I have read/heard before, but this just reinforces those
Eric Rasmussen
Jun 02, 2011 Eric Rasmussen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I needed to choose a book about modern chemistry pollution and toxicity for a class I am teaching, and of my options, I read this first because, as it was written by a journalist, I assumed it would be the most fair and reasonable. Wow, was I wrong. This book is terrifically biased, down to the exceptionally one-sided and inflammatory use of language. It covers all of the popular topics of the genre - plastics, pharmaceuticals, food - and even hits on a few third-rail issues that immediately los ...more
Jun 23, 2015 Liz rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
I liked the premise behind this book because I do feel like our diets and lives are too full of chemicals and synthetic material that could be contributing to our increased health problems. But the author was just a little to fanatical and stated his very certain assumptions as facts. I read the first 50 pages and skimmed the rest, I just couldn't finish because I couldn't stand how dramatic and over the top the writing was about everything. I wish it had been more factual and less opinionated. ...more
Shin Furuya
Aug 08, 2011 Shin Furuya rated it really liked it
We all need to read this book. It's an easy to understand and one of the most informative books on reality of chemicals around us and also teach us to question conventional wisdom. It really transforms your minds and your lifestyle. It made me realize how scary it is to live a daily life without knowing our daily life is filled with highly toxic materials. The great thing about this book is to have comprehensive resources at the final section of the book to inform such health risks and measures ...more
Jun 01, 2008 Joseph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: eeryone who would like to know more about what they consume
Shelves: freshmen-4
THis was a book i had chosen to help me do a project. at first, i thought that this book was going to be really boring and crappy, but as i read deeply into the book , i found out things that i never even knew about. because of that book, i really change my ways now becasue of the facts and truth thats in the book. if anyone is smart at all, they would read about tis book becasue it would tell them about so many things they never knew about their foods. like this is what millions of people put i ...more
Susan Peterson
Jul 02, 2012 Susan Peterson rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, paper
First of all, I think the author is probably right: processed food and Western medicine are probably destroying our health. The book, however, is poorly written. The argument is sloppy and poorly documented. The book takes a shotgun approach to evidence and has a scattered feeling to it. We also get a fair bit of the author's opinion on the matter, which doesn't carry much weight given that he is a journalist and journalists' credibility derive not from their own opinions but the credentials of ...more
I'd call it the most important book of the year, but it was published in 2006. Seven years later and WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE? Nothing has changed. Not really.
The only way to change the world is pressure on the companies destroying it. MAJOR pressure. Financial pressure. Nothing will change in Washington but we have the power to refuse to purchase their products and to do our own lobbying to change the water treatment plants and the emissions standards and the burden of proof on the corporations an
Don Stanton
This rag is not even worthy of one star. It was recommended by an acquaintance. After 3-4 pages I could smell a rat. “Dr.” Fitzgerald’s work balances on the edge of insanity and schizophrenia. This Spiritualist, cum naturalist, cum judge of mankind book is so poor it doesn’t even reach the level of a hoax.
I suggest that if anyone ever tries to hand you a copy—“RUN!”
Much of what I read I had heard about before in the various news snippets that much of the book is compiled from. I probably would have enjoyed it more if this book wasn't preaching to my choir. Very well researched though.
Jun 27, 2008 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good look into what food was like not to long ago and where it should be today.
woody fanon
eh. personal opinions masked by the author's journalism background is not a good mix on this very big subject.
Bradley Wilde
Jun 01, 2010 Bradley Wilde rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent perspective on the impact of the numerous chemicals used in our modern world.
Jim O.
Dec 07, 2007 Jim O. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
I'm skeptical, because the author has also written about UFOs....but it was almost free, so I thought I'd give it a shot.
Mar 08, 2017 Jenine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food, nonfiction
This book seemed a bit extremist to me and was difficult to get into. It completely lost me when it said meth was worse for humans than weed because it's more processed.
Dec 28, 2010 Troy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food
While I agree with many of the arguments in Fitzgerald's book, the author seems to go a bit overboard on a few points. The overall message of this book is that eating a healthy diet will result in positive changes in your health - a no-brainer, but something many people ignore, choosing instead to rely on medication to "fix" their problems. I did like that the author provides specific examples of foods that will help your health, as well as accounts of specific people that benefited from said c ...more
Jan 27, 2010 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was getting tired of reading the word "synergy" by the time I was done with the book. I didn't think that was an actual word, but even if it wasn't before, I guess it is now, right?
Overall the book had some very interesting information, and was worth reading. It was enough to make you paranoid, really, and it's been kind of frustrating doing my own research on some of the foods and chemicals, and trying to get a straight answer. I do see the author's point though, that all of these man-made c
Aug 30, 2009 Kris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A good introductory book on the prevalence of chemicals in our modern society and the consequences we may face even though these man-made substances are deemed "safe" by our regulatory agencies. However, I was disappointed in the casual tone of the book - careful documentation of studies, reports, etc. (even if just in the notes) would have strengthened the author's case and created a more authoritative source on this topic.

The book provided a basic understanding of the risks we face, and I mus
Nov 19, 2009 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-09
This book was interesting. I did not like the fear mongering which he claims he isn't doing throughout the entire first part. It would have been more tolerable if there had been ways to address the concerns he raised. Also, why say how bad breastmilk is to turn around and say how bad formula is. Same with margarine and butter. But I realized in the last 30 pages... he is touting a vegan diet. I think the diet he had at the detox center is fine for detoxing, but what about everyday living? My awa ...more
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