Not your grandmother's cookbook.
From John Lanchester's New Yorker review of Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking” (The Cooking Lab; $625) by Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young and Maxime Bilet:
The discussion of food safety comes in the first volume, not long after our introduction to the wonders of the new cooking, and there is something amusing and disconcerting about flicking a few pages on from the double-page spread of famous modernist dishes—carrot air with mandarin and bitter coconut milk, cèpes in amber—to huge pictures of E. coli and salmonella, and a voluptuous but revolting full-page photograph of a trichinosis worm inside a pork cyst. It turns out that E. coli has dreadlocks, and trichinosis is a remarkable-looking beast. It’s one of the few pathogens that we don’t ingest by accidentally eating excrement. The discussion of poo-eating in “Modernist Cuisine” is exhaustive, convincing, and gag-inducing. According to the microbiologist Philip Tierno, “We’re basically bathed in feces as a society.” “Bathed in feces”—not words you often read in a cookbook, but apparently poo-eating accounts for about eighty per cent of all food-related illness. Also, cat litter in the kitchen? Bad news. Toxoplasma gondii, a species of protozoa present in cat litter, kills three hundred and seventy-five Americans a year, and perpetuates itself through cat feces in a freaky way: when rodents eat toxoplasmii, their brain chemistry is changed so that they develop an attraction to the smell of cats. There’s no happy ending.