Playing Catch-Up With Ketchup

Ketchup has gone through a lot to get where it is today. Beyond tomatoes, it’s “a thick mixture of politics, personality, a 20th-century acceptance that food safety matters”—starting with Henry Heinz in the 20th century, writes Deborah Blum.

Early ketchup products were ripe for bacteria and mold; later versions were laden with chemical preservatives of questionable safety. Suspicious food was risky business, so Heinz promoted a preservative-free product and heavily lobbied President Roosevelt for tighter food standards.

The condiment king's commitment to food standards shocked his industrialist peers. But Heinz saw transparency as a promotional tool, literally—starting with his iconic see-through bottles.

National Geographic

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