Our current guestblogger Russ Kick wrote a great piece for Loompanics about the US food drop to Afghanistan.
You know those little packets in vitamin bottles and clothes that are supposed to keep them fresh? Well, many of the little meal packs dropped on Afghanistan contained one of those packets (called a desiccant) to keep the food fresh. Unfortunately, the Afghans aren't familiar with desiccants so they tore them open and ate the powder. Some thought it was medicine, so they noshed it straight. Others figured it was a funky American spice, so they sprinkled it on their beans, rice, or pasta. Lots of Afghans got sick, though we don't know if any deaths occurred. In fact, it's hard to say whether people got sick from chowing down on desiccant or because the food in the packets was usually spoiled.Link (Via Reality Carnival)
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.