Analytical chemists won’t run out of work any time soon. The world is reassuringly full of unknowns. Perhaps less reassuring is the nature of some of these unknowns. Koni Grob at the Kantonales Laboratory in Zurich, which he calls ‘a nano FDA’, has been looking at the compounds that food packages shed into the food we eat. His most recent focus has been on the plastic gaskets found inside jar lids. He finds that when oil–like that in tomato sauce, for example-touches these gaskets, all sorts of known and unknown things leach out into the food.