Jamie Luther presented a poster at the October 12 MUACC meeting at the University of Illinios Urbana-Champaign and received a poster prize from the assembled analytical chemists. The poster described the "milkPAD" she is developing to detect adulteration of dairy milk, a bit of unsavory product manipulation that was quite familiar to Henry Thoreau.
Under the subject of circumstantial evidence in books of legal quotations, the quotation that often appears is this one from the early American writer Henry David Thoreau: "Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk." The first reaction to this statement by people in our time would probably be, "What was Thoreau talking about?" But this is not a nonsensical proposition. If we had lived in Thoreau’s time when there were no health department regulations and consumer protection agencies to oversee the contents of milk and when it was a common practice by milk suppliers to increase the volume of the milk by adding water, we would have well understood that a trout in our milk would strongly suggest that our milk supplier had added water from a nearby stream.