Poisons of the Past: Molds, Epidemics, and History

by Mary Kilbourne Matossian

From the publisher: Did food poisoning cause the Black Plague, the Salem witch-hunts, and other significant events in human history? In this pathbreaking book, historian Mary Kilbourne Matossian argues that epidemics, sporadic outbursts of bizarre behavior, and low fertility and high death rates from the fourteenth to the eighteenth centuries may have been caused by food poisoning from microfungi in bread, the staple food in Europe and America during this period.

Yale University Press, 1991