CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

W. Harding Le Riche.

New York, Facts on File, c1982.
Distributed by Methuen.
cloth, $16.95.
ISBN 0-458-95420-9.

Grades 12 and up.
Reviewed by Cheryl Bonowicz.

Volume 11 Number 4.
1983 July.

A Chemical Feast is written by Dr. W. Harding le Riche, a highly credentialed professor of epidemiology in the division of community health at the University of Toronto's faculty of medicine. The book takes a cool, commonsense approach to the entire controversial topic of the use of chemicals and their effect on our health.

The major point made by the author is that, although the use of chemicals in foods, pesticides, water, and so on, should not necessarily be unquestioningly accepted, we should beware of over-sensationalizing and generalizing their effects. He emphasizes that "everything is made up of chemicals" and "relatively few of them have proven to be hazardous to human health." There are far greater risks to health and life than chemicals: bacterial and viral poisoning, cigarette smoking, and motorcycling (statistically, the greatest risk of all!).

The information is organized to permit easy access to a number of topics such as dietary problems in North America, food additives, natural poisons in foods, pesticides, parasites, water, drugs in pregnancy, food and cancer, heart disease, and food allergies. Throughout, the reader should already have a strong knowledge of nutrition.

The book contains a table of contents, an index, and a lengthy list of references for each chapter. There are a great number of charts (thirty-two in all) to support the author's arguments. The type is easy to read, and the headings are easily recognizable.

In my opinion, this is a refreshingly calm approach to the often emotional debate about the effect of chemicals on our health.

Cheryl Bonowicz, Stanley Humphries S. S., Castlegar, BC.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works