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Incredible Edibles

For those who thought that Fear Factor and the early incarnations of Survivor had come up with a novel idea when they decided to have people eat spiders and gulp bile milk shakes, think again.

I was flipping througha corporate biography of Coca-Cola when I came across Perry Wilbur Fattig, a biology professor from Emory university in the 1930's.

Coke was having to defend itself from lawsuits filed by people who had found various uninvited ingredients in their soft drinks–no, the deep-fried finger in the chicken strips issue isn't new either.

The star witness in the trials was Fattig, who, after Coke had argued that the various foreign objects had to have gotten into the cola after bottling, swooped in to argue that even if, by some "miracle," they had gotten into the bottle beforehand, the drink acted as a germicide. He would then, according to the account, "calmly munch lizards, scorpions, blowflies, cockraoches, spiders, caterpillars, fleas, roaches, grasshoppers, beetles, snails, frogs, bees, praying mantises (mantisi?), cemtipedes, worms, stink bugs," and even a black widow spider or two.

Who knew quite so many things go better with coke.

By John Eggerton