Oh yes, another one of my back burner projects that has received a bit more attention as of late. See the amateurish poster I made for my The Crusading Chemistscreenplay The Crusading Chemist several years ago? Perhaps only one face in that collage is familiar to most, but you can learn all about the protagonist at www.TheCrusadingChemist.com, a website which has sat idle ever since college beckoned me. There you will find recent posts about life in Harvey Wiley’s time and news about the latest place my writing about him has been featured. My most devoted readers might enjoy the following excerpt of an essay I wrote for the Indiana Historical Society’s bicentennial book:

 . . . Wiley opposed food adulteration on grounds of honesty, because adulterated products cheat the consumer into spending more than the degraded product is worth and compromise health since corrupting the natural makeup of a food substance can cause gradual damage to consumers’ internal organs.

When speaking to a group of businessmen who were skeptical of making food purity a matter of law, Wiley garnered applause by putting it in capitalist terms: “Is there a man in this audience who would put his hand in his neighbor’s pocket, take a dollar from it and put it in his own pocket?…Is there a man in this audience who would so adulterate, so degrade and so misbrand a package of his goods as to cheat the consumer out of a dollar of his money when he bought that package?…”

No hands went up, and the point was taken. Purity of food would promote prosperity rather than hinder it. . .

You will have to wait until 2016 for Indiana’s bicentennial to read the rest of it. But – although I intended no announcement here – perhaps I might have a book of my own about Harvey Wiley’s crusade published before then.

People always wonder what I’m supposed to do with a degree in history anyway.

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