Ben CohenIn his most recent book, Pure Adulteration: Cheating on Nature in the Age of Manufactured Food, Benjamin Cohen, associate professor of engineering studies, explores the environmental and cultural history of the pure food crusades and how Americans struggled with perceptions of pure versus adulterated food.

PBS’ American Experience recently shared an excerpt of Cohen’s book that focuses on the story of “Professor” Henry C. Friend, who conned investors, the media, and the public with a sugar scam in the late 1880s. Friend claimed to have a secret electrical process that would change the sugar industry. In reality, it was a hoax.

American Experience features commentary from historians and authors “to present an absorbing look at the personalities, events, and resources that have had a profound impact on the shaping of America’s past and present.”


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