The bizarre breakfast of 1947 — man devours bowl of DDT-infused porridge

Originally published at: 1947 Film Unveils Man Eating DDT-Infused Porridge: A Bizarre Moment!

… his eggs will have excessively thin shells now :egg:


When I was young we loved to run through the fog of DDT as the truck drove through our neighborhood. I can still smell it…reminds me of summer. :joy:


Fresh out of our NY uni and the four of us are rooming together in Chatsworth, CA. A knock on the front door and there stood a salesman hawking some cleaning product. I watched from the top of the stairs as Al answered the door. Al wasn’t buying into the guy’s spiel. Sales guy was smiling the whole time, possibly itching to slam us with the clincher… which he did: “But it’s totally natural! It’s new! It’s biodegradable! Here! Watch this!” He then sticks the business end of the pump spray bottle into his mouth and gives it a couple of serious spritzes. “See?! Totally safe!” We were too surprised (or appalled) to laugh. Al thanked him for the enthusiastic demo and the sales guy was sent on his way.


Damn it, I was going to make a joke like that. Beat me to it. :wink:

I am too young for that. What did it smell like?


Smells like summer. :grin:


Depends on what exactly was in the mix, but the demo was probably safe enough. Insecticides worthy of the name are more dangerous to insects than they are to other organisms.

DDT, in particular, was balanced on the cusp of toxicity finely enough that it proved easy for insects to evolve resistance to it. Wikipedia points at Insect sodium channels and insecticide resistance - PMC , which notes: “One major mechanism of resistance is known as knockdown resistance (kdr). Insects exhibiting kdr have reduced target-site (sodium channel) sensitivity to pyrethroids and DDT resulting from one or more point mutations in the insect sodium channel protein.”

1 Like

I recall seeing a documentary in the '80s about Agent Orange, in which an US officer demonstrates it’s safety by drinking a glass of the stuff out of a chemical tank on a helicopter.

Even as a teenager I wasn’t convinced, and I was irked that those helicopter pilots were about to fly a pointless misson (presumably at some risk) with a load of placebo defoliant.


Yeah, good old Agent Orange.

My father was a mechanic in the army during the Vietnam War. There is absolutely no question as to if he was exposed to it repeatedly. His based was shelled, resulting in a Gama Goat falling on him and injuring his back, officially ending his tour of duty. He returned to the USA in 1969 and spent the next several decades developing an interesting array of cancers to go along with his alcoholism, artifacts he brought back with him. He also smoked heavily, even after he lost half a lung, so while his official cause of death was emphysema, it was really just a race to see which of the three different cancers he had at that point was going to get him first.

And of course it’s the gift that keeps on giving in the next generation. The many potential effects on the exposed person’s offspring include a somewhat odd type of diabetes. When I was diagnosed in 1995 it was still considered questionable as to the cause, but at this point it’s become “Your dad was exposed to AO? Ah. Got it …” I get my care through the VA anyway, so that doesn’t affect my coverage, but it does help with some of the treatments.

This is just one more reason I decided to never had children.


“… not to mention any birds that eat his carcass” :eagle:


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.