The 1896 Sears and Roebuck catalog offered Jamaica Ginger both as a flavoring as well as a "tonic" in 4 oz. bottles, that promised to deliver both pep and digestive health in addition to ginger flavor. However, most of the pep came from the product's 70% alcohol content. No wonder Jamaican Ginger extract was a favorite beverage flavoring during the prohibition era. The Ginger Jake sold up until 1930 was fine, but in January of 1930, one of the manufacturers of the product added an adulterant called TOCP to the tonic. The Jake buzz came at a great cost when fifty thousand Ginger Jake users suffered varying degress of often irreversible paralysis due to the neurotoxic effects of the TOCP. Victims developed a characteristic high-stepping, foot flopping gait commonly known as the "Jake Walk", which became the inspiration for a number of popular songs at the time.
- p. 64, Ginger Cookies , The 1st American Cookie Lady: Recipes from a 1917 Cookie Dairy by Barbara Swell
I'm interested in the way cultural bias engulfs science, because scientists love to think of themselves as being free from bias. They like to think they're describing objective reality, yet they wear cultural lenses like the rest of us. In the areas of greatest emotional charge--food, sex, drugs--it's easy to see how pervasive cultural biases affect their thinking.
The ramifications that Indian supply responses to rising fur prices and to European gift-giving practices had for the overall conduct of the fur trade have yet to be fully explored. Clearly the costs that the Europeans would have had to absorb would have risen substantially during the periods when competition was strong, but to date no one has attempted to obtain even a rough idea of the magnitude by which these costs rose during the time of English-French or Hudson' Bay Company-North West Company rivalry. Nor has serious consideration been give to the manner in which such economic pressures may have favoured the use and abuse of certain trade articles such as alcohol and tobacco.
Beyond the availability of mail-order services, almost every neighbourhood had two other perfectly legal outlets: the doctor's office and the drugstore. Long before the war, local prohibition measures had loopholes that allowed some alcohol to be sold for “medicinal, mechanical, scientific, and sacramental purposes.”