This is What You Just Put in Your Mouth?


That’s the technical term for what you’re experiencing now: great big rumbles from ‘neath your navel. Snarls from your stomach, a reminder that it’s snack time. Aside from sugary-salty goodness, though, and a feeling of satisfaction, what will you consume? To find out, read This is What You Just Put in Your Mouth? by Patrick Di Justo, and hang on to your gut…

But first – the vending machine.

“This is What You Just Put in Your Mouth?” by Patrick Di Justo c.2015, Three Rivers Press                  $15.00 / $18.00 Canada                       255 pages

“This is What You Just Put in Your Mouth?” by Patrick Di Justo
c.2015, Three Rivers Press $15.00 / $18.00 Canada 255 pages

The vending machine is close, so let’s start out with a cuppa joe, which includes an ingredient that “helps give real butter its flavor” and one that actually keeps bacteria off your teeth.

So far, so good. Real good, in fact, so you might follow it up with something sweet to get you through your day, complete with “artificial human salivary enzymes,” perhaps topped with a product that contains “a high percentage of air.”

Uhhh, or maybe not. How ‘bout something cheesy – some “cheese, processed cheese, cheese food, [or] cheese spread” – each of which are different, says Di Justo. Or salty, which might contain three ingredients that cause addiction in lab rats. If you’re watching your weight, though, beware: federal regulations state that serving size is generally based on what a four-year-old can consume. And expiration dates? Nope. There’s “no federal regulation to date food at all…”

Well, now, your appetite is gone; in fact, you might want to lie down somewhere… like, in front of a fire, where you might burn birdseed and “a giant sideways candle in your fireplace.” Or maybe you just need to be with friends, so put in your contacts (the solution for which may contain a product used with anticancer drugs) and mascara (which you definitely do not want to wear near a magnet!) and head down for your favorite libation (which could cause irregular heartbeat). Or maybe you’ll just skip it all to spend time with the dog (and feed him something that’s “deliberately stinky”) or the kids (and give them what “attempts to artificially re-create something that already exists…”). Bon appétit!

“If you’re looking for shocking stories of the gigantic corporate conspiracy to poison America… you’re reading the wrong book,” says author Patrick Di Justo of “This is What You Just Put in Your Mouth?” Without intending to scare, he says he looked at various products with curiosity and the notion that knowing what’s there is better than not knowing. It can’t be an accident that he also entertains readers, then, can it?

I don’t think it is: in this collection of Wired magazine articles, Di Justo is hilarious, as he explains how he learned what’s inside everyday products, not just food. What he finds may surprise and delight you.

For sure, you’ll read ingredient labels a whole lot closer.

Depending on how you look at it, this is a consumer’s dream, or it’s a nightmare. Either way, it’s a twistedly-fun and very eye-opening book to have. “This is What You Just Put in Your Mouth?” will give you food for thought – and it may make you growl.