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Food myths that are useless/annoying, but are "common knowledge"

Such as cooking something on high heat to "seal in the flavor/juices." This is just not the case. Anything else that makes you cringe when you hear it? How did this stuff become "common knowledge" and accepted as truth?

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  1. Jello, gummi bears and the like containing gelatin made from animal protein (e.g., horse's hooves, etc.). They used to, manymanymany years ago, but they are Kosher now and couldn't be if that were the case.

    5 Replies
    1. re: mamachef

      Sorry, but Jello does indeed contain gelatin which is extracted from animal collagen. Bones and hides are the primary sources (hooves are not a good source of collagen, they are predominantly keratin). The kosher designation is not universally accepted.

      1. re: kmcarr

        Kosher gelatin is typically made from fish bones, thus making it kosher and "parve" (neither milk nor meat). There are some other kosher brands of gelatin that use agar (from plants) as a thickener so they are vegetarian.

        1. re: AmyH

          Jello brand jello is made with an animal-derived gelatin. In the strict sense of vegetarianism, it is not vegetarian; there is an animal origin to the gelatin. The kosher status stems from the idea that once anon-kosher product is not longer food (that is, a dog wouldn't eat it), it loses any sort of non-kosher status even when it's reconstituted. Mainstream kosher does not accept this as it applies to gelatin because it becomes food again.

          1. re: craigcep

            Is gelatin halal? I've been getting contradictory reports about this.

            1. re: John Manzo

              I believe that there is Halal gelatin just like there is kosher gelatin.

              For the record, kosher gelatin can be (and sometimes is) bovine-derived. Craigcep has the right explanation; it's so removed from the original source that it's considered not to be dairy or meat. In (some forms of) kosher law, that is; usually it's a different story to vegetarians.

              Jelly beans and gummy bears often have pectin (which is plant-based) instead of gelatin, but that's not 100%.

    2. That hot water freezes faster than cold water? Let's not go there, it is an endless circle jerk.

      48 Replies
      1. re: Veggo

        In the same vein; adding oil to pasta boiling water makes the cooked pasta not stick.

        1. re: Quine

          or adding salt to the cooking water makes it boil faster. *theoretically* it would raise the boiling point a few degrees...if you added 30 ounces (3.5 cups!) of salt to a gallon of water.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            The salt is added not to make it boil faster, but as a means of seasoning the pasta itself.

            1. re: Jack Flash

              Jack,

              Goodhealthgourmet uses "salt raising boiling point" as an example of a myth, so you two actually agree.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                I avoided oil for a long time and was always a big pasta eater. In my experience, adding olive oil to the water really does keep it from sticking together, as well as to the sides of the pot.

                1. re: MichelleRenee

                  I think so. Not sure if it is really true, but I feel it is true.

                  1. re: MichelleRenee

                    it also keeps the sauce from sticking to the pasta

            2. re: Quine

              no, but the oil will prevent proteins from forming foam and boiling over.

              1. re: ScubaSteve

                oil in pasta water will also impede the sauce's adherence to the pasta.

                1. re: alkapal

                  Nah, when you pour the pasts and water through the colander, since the oil is on top of the water, most of it goes straight through and into the sink.

                  1. re: John E.

                    But enough is left for the pasta to not properly be coated by the sauce. Oil is utterly superfluous.

                    1. re: linguafood

                      You're probably right. My mother not only put the oil on the water, but she sprinkled a little olive oil on the spaghetti after she drained it and put it back into the kettle so it wouldn't still together. There really wasn't much problem with the sauce not sticking though because she served the meat sauce American style with about a cup of sauce per plate on top of the spaghetti.

                  2. re: alkapal

                    What if its an olive oil and garlic "sauce"? Would the oil facilitate the sauce's adherence?
                    {;-/)

                    1. re: porker

                      It also simply tastes good! To my taste buds, anyway. And I never have the problem with the sauce sticking to the pasta. I eat a ton of sauce on my pasta, it's more like soup. I don't use more than maybe a tablespoon at any rate.

                  3. re: ScubaSteve

                    If you just reduce the temperature (but not stop the actual boil) you will NOT have boil-over and you will NOT need oil on the water.

                  4. re: Quine

                    I thought that was supposed to keep it from boiling over as easy. I don't do that but I remember my Mum doing it. Pasta just doesn't stick so easy, if your paying even occasional attention.

                  5. re: Veggo

                    Also, cold water boils faster than hot water.

                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      And the opposite, hot water freezes faster than cold.

                      1. re: mpjmph

                        I think that's a myth. People have done a lot of experiments to prove this one way or the other.

                        1. re: Soop

                          I know it's a myth... There's no way hot water in a container (ice cube tray) can freeze faster than cold water in the same container when exposed to the same conditions.

                          I think the myth started because people will use hot water when making ice cubes to get a clearer finished cube.

                          1. re: mpjmph

                            it's clear when you think about it (the idea not the ice)

                            lets say we have water at 2 temperatures: 50F and 200F

                            we put them both in ice trays and into the freezer.

                            It will take X amount of time for the 50F tray to be fully frozen.

                            it will take the hot tray Y amount of time to get to 50F.

                            so to get to fully frozen the hot tray MUST take X + Y amount of time. assuming neither takes zero time to happen (or somehow reverses the flow of time) X + Y has to be greater than X

                            (this same logic applies to boiling cold and hot water as well)

                            1. re: thew

                              Yes. That is what I was saying. It is physically impossible for hot water to freeze faster that cold water under the same conditions.

                              1. re: mpjmph

                                I also didn't think it is possible, but I am more open minded on this topic now. It seems impossible from a thermal energy argument because there are more heat in hot water than in cool water, but that is not according the cooling process and the way ice is formed.

                                The argument has to with the fact that 75F water which was fast cooled down from 100F is not the same as the 75F water from room temperature.

                                I am not saying that I know this for a fact, but I can see the arguments for this effect:

                                http://scitation.aip.org/getabs/servl...

                                http://www.scientificamerican.com/art...

                                http://scitation.aip.org/getabs/servl...

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  I can't believe it, but I read that entire article on the Mpemba effect, Chemicalkinetics. The issue is far more complicated than it appears on the surface!

                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                    We did this in chemistry as an experiment. My brain never did really wrap around it, as it implies that heat has acceleration associated with it, but it ended up being true, for some values of "hotter" water.

                                  2. re: mpjmph

                                    Don't be so sure of yourself on that one. Truth is, there is a condition (common to many of our freezers) in which hot water filled ice trays will freeze faster than cold--especially if you use the old metal trays. If your freezer is heavily glazed over with ice buildup and you set the two trays on that same "skating rink", the hot water tray will melt the sheet of ice it sits on somewhat, and then "bond" to it as it cools. This results in higher conductivity whereas the hot water tray effectively "loses" its heat faster to its surroundings than the cold water tray--so much so (in the right conditions) that it actually freezes first. Tried it when I was a kid. Saw it happen.

                                    1. re: ds_mod

                                      Not why it happens. We conducted the experiments in controlled calorimeters

                                2. re: mpjmph

                                  My dad actually explained this to me last weekend, and why this myth goes back to when freezers first became commonplace. In the early freezers, the compartments were very small, and the thermostats were at the top. When people put in ice cube trays with hot water, the trays went near the thermostat, which sensed the heat and lowered the temperature of the freezer, which made the water freeze more quickly. So that's why hot water made faster ice cubes than cold water.

                                  1. re: Chris VR

                                    thats a different statement than hot water freezes faster than cold. put the 2 in the same freezer side by side. i assure you the cold will be frozen 1st

                                    1. re: thew

                                      Well, the myth I was debunking was that ice cubes made with hot water froze faster than ice cubes made with cold water. It was a pretty commonly held belief, sez my dad.

                                      1. re: Chris VR

                                        and like so many common beliefs false

                                        1. re: thew

                                          Yes, that was the "debunking" part.

                                        2. re: Chris VR

                                          Yea, I've never understood why that belief persists. That would be like saying that ice water will come to a boil in a kettle faster than hot water from the tap.

                                          1. re: John E.

                                            The opposite isn't true--in fact, the theory implies that if the cold water is at temp x and the hot at x + y, then the time it takes for the hot to get from x + y to 100C will be shorter than the time it takes for the cold to get from x + y to 100C.

                                            1. re: Henny Penny

                                              When I signed up for this site I was told there wouldn't be any math.

                                              1. re: John E.

                                                Apparently it was added with the format change. Not to worry, it doesn't apply if you were a member pre-change.

                                                1. re: porker

                                                  But in that case, you will need to pass the exit exam if you want to leave.

                                                  1. re: Karl S

                                                    no no no this isn't just Sartre version 2.0 - we're not just three in this.room,

                                                    there is no exit.

                                                2. re: John E.

                                                  John E
                                                  You just made me LOL! Seriously!

                                        3. re: Chris VR

                                          That is pretty interesting, thanks for sharing!

                                        4. re: mpjmph

                                          Oh sorry, I thought you were stating it as fact. Doh!

                                          1. re: mpjmph

                                            Not to mention how the heat oozing off it warms up the freezer...

                                          2. re: Soop

                                            From a thermodynamics perspective, it's plain physics and cooling curves - all else being the same, the greater the temperature difference (delta T), the greater the time needed to achieve the desired temperature.

                                            The key is - all else being equal. One way that hot water forms ice cubes faster than cold water is that hot water evaporates faster. With a faster evaporation, the water quantity decreases - and a smaller amount of water will freeze faster than a larger amount of water.

                                            So if forming icecubes that are relatively shallow, but have a large surface area, it's possible to get them to freeze faster than by using cold water. But then of course, you'll have smaller ice cubes!

                                            The devil is in the details, and how the ground rules are established.

                                            1. re: foreverhungry

                                              Evaporation is but one of a few important mechanisms to consider! Others being: thermal conductivity of the vessel, type of refrigeration, and the possible role of super cooling.

                                              1. re: haggisdragon

                                                and of course filtered water boils faster as there's less of it

                                            2. re: Soop

                                              Here is what some scientific type explained to me. (I certainly do not vouch for its validity, have never carried out the experiment myself, and agree that it seems counterintuitive.):

                                              Hot water freezes faster than cooler water because the freezer is at a relatively low temperature, so ice crystals form quickly. Hot water has more energy than cooler water and, therefore, as each crystal is forming, the molecules of water can move around more easily in the hot water (i.e., zipping around in nano space), aligning into the proper positions to form a crystal much faster than cooler molecules can, since the cooler molecules move much less quickly.

                                              According to the guy who told me this, it is the intensity of the cold that is the key. That is, if your freezer is really cranked down to be intensely cold, this freezing proposition will work better. It won't work as well in a freezer just below freezing because slow freezing gives the less hot (warm) water molecules more time to rearrange themselves into crystals. Therefore, the stark contrast between the freezing of the less hot water and the hot water is not as great.

                                              I find holding forth on a subject about which I know nothing, other than what I was told, uncomfortable (which didn't stop me from doing it), so I end with Sir Thomas Moore's remark from "A Man for All Seasons": "I trust I make myself obscure."

                                              1. re: gfr1111

                                                If you live in a cold climate here is a fun thing to do (kids love it). When it's cold outside ( -5 or colder) take a saucepan if boiling water outside and fling it into the air. The boiling water vaporizes instantly so the water never reaches the ground/snow because it turns to steam. It has to be a calm day for this to work as you don't want the steam blown back on you. As long as you're outside at minus 5 or colder, blow some soap bubbles. They freeze instantly and you can catch them with your hands or they land on the ground and resemble a deflated balloon..

                                        5. re: Veggo

                                          "let's not go there. It's an endless circle jerk" . . . This made me laugh so hard I spewed coffee out of my mouth . . .

                                        6. That pasta is done when it sticks to the wall. Which was fun, for five minutes in my youth, but not very helpful.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: onceadaylily

                                            Hey, I always thought it was the ceiling!

                                            1. re: porker

                                              No, I think that was mashed potatoes . . .

                                              1. re: porker

                                                When it sticks to the wall it's done. When it sticks to the ceiling, it's over done.

                                                Learned that one cooking for roommates in college.

                                            2. throwing a cork in the pot w/ the octopus to make it tender

                                              12 Replies
                                              1. re: bornagainitalian

                                                OMG never heard that one! Any particular cork? or just the one from the 5th bottle ya drink?

                                                1. re: bornagainitalian

                                                  Batali and others claim that's true. In writing.

                                                  1. re: bornagainitalian

                                                    i've tested the cork thing and it works.

                                                    1. re: ScubaSteve

                                                      My question is how long do you have to boil just an octopus before it's tender and how long do you have to boil an octopus and a cork before the octopus is tender? When I used to live on an ocean and cook octopus frequently, I found the ONLY reliable way to make octopus tender was to hold it by its head and beat the hell out of its tentacles against a very hard surface. And then hold it by its tentacles and beat the head if you want it tenderized too. Fried, boiled or eaten raw, it was tender.

                                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                                        The trusted Greek method. Brings back memories of octopi being slammed against the boardwalk on many a Greek island. And the smell of them drying (? resting?) in the sun spread out like eagles.

                                                        Only to be grilled over charcoal fire & served with quartered lemons. Tasty stuff.

                                                    2. re: bornagainitalian

                                                      Since this author is often touted as a God, his insights on octopus cooking are very interesting.

                                                      http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/05/din...

                                                      1. re: FoodFuser

                                                        Could be, this is not a matter of physics or chemistry, but an offering to Cthulhu, the Old Ones and other tentacled overlords who might look askance at cephalopod consumption (by anyone or thing other than themselves, of course). Superstition, because if you really wanted to appease them, you'd hand over the full bottle of wine.

                                                        The tradition no doubt started when folks, back in the day, getting impatient for an octopus dinner after a long unexpected wait, stormed the kitchen only to find a pot of boiling water, a cork, no sign of the cook. The terrifying sight of unexplained giant sucker marks on the walls and ceiling probably prompted them to offer a cork sacrifice whenever octopods were thrown into the pot.

                                                        On the other hand, the cork might provide a distraction for an octopus to puzzle with before he realizes he's being boiled.

                                                        1. re: Pipenta

                                                          i believe that the tentacled overlords here have not been appeased. i feel the squeeze! http://www.ectomo.com/wp-content/uplo...

                                                          1. re: Pipenta

                                                            OMG! The "G" standing for Great Cthulu, of course.

                                                          2. re: FoodFuser

                                                            Hmmm, yet another piece of the puzzle of Puerto Rican Style Pulpo . . . . I am going to try that recipe one of these days . . .

                                                            1. re: bornagainitalian

                                                              Hey, at least it give the octopus something to play with, before the end comes about.

                                                              Hunt

                                                              1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                :) We don't know it does not. We only cannot prove it does.

                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                  We also don't know that breathing oxygen doesn't cause Alzheimers, by those lights.

                                                                  LOL!

                                                                  1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                    :) Yes. We don't know it. Maybe enameled cast iron cookware do not either.

                                                                    1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                      Everyone I've ever known or heard of who has gotten Alzheimers has breathed oxygen. Therefore, breathing oxygen causes Alzheimers.

                                                                      Simple logic! ;-)

                                                                      1. re: taos

                                                                        Actually, there is a strong correlation between oxygen *deprivation* and Alzheimers. People with arrhythmia, COPD, sleep apnea and other medical conditions that lower the amount of oxygen that gets to the brain have a higher incidence of it. Atril Fibrillation and Alzheimers are particularly closely linked, and both can be caused by poor mineral absorption. Minerals like potassium help relax muscles so the heart pumps better.

                                                                        Sadly, the medical industry tends to medicate arrhythmia without addressing mineral absorption, so we see far more Alzheimers than we would if they addressed root causes.

                                                                        1. re: acorniv

                                                                          Interesting info I know I need to look into. My mom died of early-onset Alzheimer's six months ago at the age of 52. No Alzheimer's in her family history as far as anyone knows. My family has been researching what might have caused it for a while now, with no answers yet. I've never heard of the potassium concept, or the other correlations. Thanks for posting that!

                                                                          1. re: MichelleRenee

                                                                            It might be worthwhile to look into Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, or its variant, vCJD. Both are the result of ingesting malformed proteins: the former often in the case of consuming wild animal brain - especially squirrel (a la Brunswick Stew); the latter we know as Mad Cow Disease. They affect the brain in a very similar manner to Alzheimer's. Call me a cynic, but it's not possible that we've avoided vCJD in this country. I would imagine that our agricultural corporations would do anything to avoid the diagnosis.

                                                                            1. re: almansa

                                                                              Thanks almansa! The symptoms were shockingly similar to what my mom experienced, but hers was about a 6 year decline from the first noticeable symptoms, which, from what I read, is different from vCJD where it takes 1-2 years at the longest to become fatal. We also donated some brain tissue to research. No autopsy, from what I know of, but if they found it wasn't Alzheimer's, I'd hope they would have informed us of that.

                                                                              1. re: almansa

                                                                                I've done micronutrient testing through Genova diagnostics, and it showed my children and I digest proteins and fats very poorly. they suggested finding a center that tests for congenital metabolism defects. My doctor has a meeting with the doctors at the lab tomorrow. It is interesting that you mention proteins. Mineral deficiencies like magnesium and zinc are closely tied to protein malabsorption.

                                                                                My cousins, and other relatives descended from my paternal grandfather all have diseasses that are caused by magnesium deficiencies. Most migraines are (though fat chance you will ever find a doctor who knows that). Atrial fibbrillation can be. Most people do not get enough magnesium to begin with, but I take litetally hadfuls of it and still test severely deficient in it. I know heart patients who get magnesium by IV every week until they stabilize. Ironically, when my son was born I had preeclampsia, which was treated with magnesium sulphate. They kept giving me more and more (this was 20 years before we knew I don't absorb it) until it was well over a lethal dose for a nurmal person. It did little to help my blood pressure, even after my son was born, but it did make me so light sensitive I could not see well enough to change his diaper for 6 months. Why they never looked into this further is beyond me. My doctor kept saying I handled pregnancy very strangely, but never gave the first though a to why, and this was supposedly THE high risk OBGYN in San Francisco at the time.

                                                                    2. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                      You know, while dining on food cooked in aluminum cookware, I read an article on this - however, i cannot remember what it said.

                                                                      Hunt

                                                                    3. Adding milk to the beaten eggs makes omelets 'watery'.

                                                                      14 Replies
                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                        it also actually toughens up the eggs, something to do with the lactose interfering with the protein chains. Point it, it doesn't make them fluffier- on my top 10 also.

                                                                        1. re: jameshig

                                                                          The idea that milk toughens eggs is also a myth. In fact cream is supposed to make them even fluffier. I have some cream in the fridge, I may try this tomorrow.

                                                                          Cooking them over high heat, now - that'll make them tough.

                                                                          1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                            I use cream, but don't think it makes them fluffier than when I use whole milk. It just makes them taste all the more delicious. But I've never used the cream with that comparison in mind.

                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                              I don't think omelettes are supposed to be fluffy.

                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                I do. I like them light and fluffy!

                                                                                You must like them the "other" way - slimy and undercooked, LOL!

                                                                                Milk improves them cooked That Way too. Honest. Hey, CI said it so it MUST be true, right? Or was that another thread . . . . >:D

                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                  Sorry, I did misread that, and just responded to a more generic 'fluffier egg' as the responses to that post trickled down to me. Frankly, I don't like omelets.

                                                                                  I add the cream to the eggs that are either scrambled or used in frittatas, and was just noting that the eggs are never watery with the addition.

                                                                              2. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                Yes but cooking over high heat will seal in the juices!

                                                                                1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                  Hard for me to say whether adding milk or cream makes them fluffier, but I know that adding cream makes scrambled eggs incredibly delicious.

                                                                                  1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                    I have deep fried eggs in bacon grease. They had all these lacy crispy edges and were AMAZINGLY good.

                                                                                    Can't do that every day.

                                                                                    1. re: weewah

                                                                                      yep, crispy edges are the best, with a nice gooey yolk, and whites cooked through, but not tough. perfect over some buttery stone ground grits. and yeah, you can't eat that too often.....

                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                        My favorite fried eggs are fried in coconut oil. OMG sooooo good!

                                                                                        Never used milk or cream in my scrambled eggs, but it seems to me that a dab of water helps make them fluffier. I think it might only have something to do with thinning the eggs to allow more air to get in them when whipping them up. I dunno.

                                                                                  2. re: jameshig

                                                                                    Actually, eggs can coagulate more than their fair share of runny matter. So adding milk gives them more to work on, and does not toughen. I make the creamiest scrambled eggs in town, and I've been adding milk for years.

                                                                                    1. re: jmckee

                                                                                      whether or not milk/cream makes eggs creamier, you can't tell the difference. But they definitely increase the mass.

                                                                                2. The avocado pit in the guacamole yada yada....

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                                                    The only part of the guacamole that the pits keeps from turning brown is the guacamole directly under the pit (air doesn't reach it and oxidize it).

                                                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                                                      My mother-in-law just told me this one! I did it with the last batch i made...thanks for clearing this up, but i'll probably just let her keep believing it.

                                                                                      1. re: iluvtennis

                                                                                        I wasn't saying the guacamole pit thing was a myth. It's true, the only part of the guacamole that won't turn brown because a pit is included is the guacamole that is directly underneath the pit, thus not allowing air to reach it.

                                                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                                                          Then it is basically a myth because she thinks it keeps the entire batch fresh...unless the pit is gigantic, then leaving it in is not doing much good.

                                                                                    2. The shark fin soup and the ground rhino horn that makes a man more virile in Asia...

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                                                        Don't forget the seal penis, cobra heart, bird fetus, swallow vomit, etc.

                                                                                        1. re: Veggo

                                                                                          Hey! Those have always worked for me. Bite your tongue. Now, pass the ground rhino horn mead.

                                                                                          Hunt

                                                                                        2. Putting the avocado pit in the guacamole to keep it from discoloring.
                                                                                          The 5 second rule.
                                                                                          Dropped bread always lands on buttered side (oftentimes accompanied by the 5 second rule above).
                                                                                          Cooking pork beyond well-done to prevent trichinosis.
                                                                                          The 'restorative' properties of...lets see, oysters, celery leaves, asparagus, figs, etc etc (let alone the likes of rhino horn, bear paw, and the likes - look, eat a viagara and save a rhino).
                                                                                          Carrots are good for your eyes.
                                                                                          Milk is good for you (I wouldn't mind this one so much, just that when someone offers me a glass, I turn it down (I simply dislike milk). Then sometimes they insist, then I say no, I don't like milk. "but its good for you" they'll say and THAT makes me cringe.)

                                                                                          122 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: porker

                                                                                            seems we think alike - you can be my wing man any day, or vice versa..

                                                                                            1. re: porker

                                                                                              Milk is a good source of calcium, which many people, particularly women are short on, but a lot of other foods are also a good source of calcium.

                                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                                  Good call, John. And with calcium supplements coming under increasing scrutiny, women who previously avoided milk and other dairy need to take this one seriously.

                                                                                                  1. re: Cachetes

                                                                                                    not to get too off-topic here, but it's the combination of Vitamin D + calcium that prevents bone loss, not just calcium on its own. and yes, people need to look beyond dairy for sources of both - calorie for calorie, kale & chard are better sources of calcium than milk, and salmon & sardines are good sources of both calcium and Vitamin D.

                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                      Eeeeew! Those are not alternatives for me. Yuck to all 4.

                                                                                                      I'll stick with the milk, which, btw, is "fortified" with Vitamin D.

                                                                                                      1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                                        ...fortified with an eensy amount of D. Not nearly anything close to what we might need. I use a D3 sublingual supp besides drinking keifer.

                                                                                                        1. re: toodie jane

                                                                                                          kefir is a double bonus - you get the D and probiotics. love the stuff.

                                                                                                          you could also move to a sunny climate and spend plenty of time outdoors - then you wouldn't even need the supplement! :)

                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                            While carrots won't necessarily improve poor eyesight, they do contain nutrients that are good for your overall eye health. So I'm not sure that's a myth, per se. Just that maybe people take it for the miracle food that it isn't.

                                                                                                            And so true about the vitamin D and calcium! But I also read before something about iron and vitamin C regarding calcium. I can't for the life of me remember what it is now. Something like iron affects calcium absorption. Or maybe it was the other way around. And I think Vit C helps iron absorption, so it's recommended that you eat your vit D and calcium combo in a separate meal than your vit. C and iron combo. Don't quote me on this because I might be completely off-track here. If I'm wrong, please do point me back in the right direction.

                                                                                                            1. re: MichelleRenee

                                                                                                              re: the carrots, yes, my point was that people erroneously jump to the conclusion that because they contain nutrients that are important for eye *health* eating them will result in good vision.

                                                                                                              and to clarify, calcium inhibits iron absorption and Vitamin C enhances it...so yes, Calcium/D should be taken about 2 hours apart from iron/C. and just to make it more complicated, high doses of zinc can interfere with Calcium absorption, so if you're supplementing zinc, take it with the iron & Vit C.

                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                Vit C increases calcium absorbtion too. Take vit c all the time. Calcium at bedtime.

                                                                                                                1. re: phantomdoc

                                                                                                                  Ah! I knew it was something like that. Thanks for the clarity!

                                                                                                2. re: porker

                                                                                                  How do you define the "5 second rule"?

                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                    if food is dropped, it is still safe to eat if picked up within 5 srconds.

                                                                                                    1. re: porker

                                                                                                      That's a little humor not a rule. I read here that someone would throw out anything after it fell on the floor. When I asked if that includes the $100 piece of meat, I got no reply :)

                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                        I'd just slice off the part that hit the floor. (If I cleaned the floor every night AND the meat hit a low-traffic spot, I would consider the 5 second rule, but I don't clean the floor every night -though I do sweep- and my DH works in the garden, then tracks in the dirt, and of course there's the 11-yr-old).....nah, just cut off the bad part.

                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                            Ha, I'm with you, c oliver. I'm terribly incautious in restaurants & at home. I get sick a couple of times of year, I never know what from, and I never much care. It's like the joke in The Devil Wears Prada about being one stomach flu away from my goal weight. :)

                                                                                                            Is anybody else as cavalier as me about food poisoning? I hope I'm not alone...

                                                                                                              1. re: Karl S

                                                                                                                Ha. What won't kill me will make me stronger. Time will tell...etc. etc.

                                                                                                              2. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                I wouldn't call it "cavalier", but I never worry or obsess about it.
                                                                                                                I remember going to Mexico for the first time and trying to eat "safe" all the time. Just no fun and I got sick anyway...now I'll eat just about anything anywhere. Yeah, I get sick (maybe a day or two out of commission) then its clear sailing.
                                                                                                                Of course someone's going to say how dangerous it was in this or that instance, how they almost died, etc etc. I guess this is where a touch of cavalier comes in for me - until that happens to me, I'll keep up my heathen ways.

                                                                                                                1. re: porker

                                                                                                                  Here's to us! (Toasting with roadside pulque)

                                                                                                                  1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                    Well, to those of us who've ever eaten fast food or at a restaurant, chances are good that we've all eaten some questionable foods at some point in our lives! (Especially if you're not very nice to your server. The things I've seen people do... you probably don't want to know. Makes me as nice as can be to anyone who's serving me food!)

                                                                                                                    I'm with you, whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger. A little challenge to our bodies once in a while keeps our immune systems in working order.

                                                                                                                2. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                  You are not alone.
                                                                                                                  I eat raw: egg yolks, lamb, beef, pork, elk, and deer and of course all sorts of seafoods. But not poultry. Even I don't dare.

                                                                                                                  I won't refrigerate fried chicken if it's just overnite. It ruins the skin and seems to dry it out. I don't refrigerate pastries. The fridge is DEATH to the quality of pie crust and pastry.

                                                                                                                  And of course - soft butter must be available at all times! Kept in a butter-dish it is good unrefrigerated for a long time. I have read up to 30 days, but I wouldn't know as it's never gone rancid on me.

                                                                                                                  1. re: weewah

                                                                                                                    I'm in that some things raw or unrefrigerated camp. mom tried to microwave her leftover fried chicken the other day after a few days in the fridge. yeesh. talk about a death sentence.

                                                                                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                      microwaved any-kind-of-chicken just plain stinks (literally).

                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                        when i need a simply poached chicken for something thighs done in 8 minutes in the MW are fantastic

                                                                                                                        1. re: thew

                                                                                                                          thew, I'd probably use a different method, but yeah for something simple like that I can understand it, but already breaded and fried? uh uh.

                                                                                                                          1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                            i used to use different methods. i like this one.

                                                                                                                        2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                          i *meant* re-heated chicken in a microwave stinks, not cooked from raw. your poaching sounds fine.

                                                                                                                    2. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                      tatamagouche--
                                                                                                                      I am just like you , except I never get sick, case of the trots every once in a while but that's it, and it's like homeless people eating out of dumpsters you can build up an immuity to it , I'm certainly sick of the eewwhh and yuck crowd

                                                                                                                      1. re: Dave5440

                                                                                                                        Yeah, it's been months since I wrote that, and I'm still here!

                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                              What if you drop it on a pile of cow manure?

                                                                                                              1. re: jchamberlain

                                                                                                                what, are you cooking with cow patties in your kitchen?

                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                  plenty of kitchens around the world do just that.

                                                                                                                  1. re: thew

                                                                                                                    You've obviously eaten my mother-in-law's cooking.

                                                                                                                    1. re: thew

                                                                                                                      That, or camel-dung fires.

                                                                                                                      Hunt

                                                                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                        i remember on one of my long journeys across india , spending a few weeks in the kulu valley, when a good friend turned to me on bright himalayan morning over breakfast "If you haven't had toast cooked on a cow shit cook fire, you've never had toast"

                                                                                                                        1. re: thew

                                                                                                                          Your friend is right. And "Buffalo chips" are even better. Where cow patties are more of a "splat" 6 to 8 inches around, buffalo doo-doo is more fusiform, and literally has "chips" that when dried can be separated from the log. Each disc is a little larger than an Oreo.

                                                                                                                          Here in Oklahoma, I'm fortunate to live close to a large wildlife preserve that is a refuge for native prairie vegetation and has a herd of about 1000 buffalo. When I'm there, it's easy to collect a trashbag full of chips. The smaller size gives more control over the fire. They are a great conversation piece at backyard BBQ's, and especially instructive for school kids as a history lesson about times when the chips fueled a lot of prairie pioneer's fires.

                                                                                                                          Cow patties are better for throwing, though, A lightweight discus. Several local festivals celebrate their tossing, and spawn some pretty funny phrases on the commemorative T-shirts.

                                                                                                                          PBS' "Globetrekker" had a neat segment about a village in one of the "-stan" countries, where farmers had a great closed system of cow to patty, which they stored in huge enclosed stacks and used it to cook and also heat their homes through the deep cold winters.

                                                                                                                          1. re: FoodFuser

                                                                                                                            Also think about it. The University of Colorado football team is called the Buffaloes, and their mascot is "Chip."

                                                                                                                            Hunt

                                                                                                                      2. re: thew

                                                                                                                        Perhaps the difference is native food/grasses versus purina cow chow?
                                                                                                                        Just a thought...

                                                                                                                        1. re: Phood

                                                                                                                          ok I have a supply/source and need to ask some questions. new thread under General.

                                                                                                                      3. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                        cow patties, cow ( or buffaloo) chips, meadow muffins, prairie pastries, road apples, desert donuts; always loved all the culinary names for livestock poop.

                                                                                                                        They were a big part of camp cooking in my childhood. My dad was an archeologist so we'd camp for 6-8 weeks at a time, and that is where I learned to cook (I'm still out of place in an indoor kitchen) . When you're in places where kindling is scarce, a meadow muffin is a welcome sight. Never noticed they flavored meat though
                                                                                                                        ( ewwww!). I think that only happens if they're gathered fresh. Nice thing about droppings is there are always plenty of sun cured ones around, so why use fresh ones?.

                                                                                                                        1. re: acorniv

                                                                                                                          i like the term "meadow muffin."

                                                                                                                          sun-cured meadow muffin....the "new" mesquite? LOL!

                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                            I'll try just about any kind of food, but I think feces might definitely be my limit!

                                                                                                                  2. re: porker

                                                                                                                    "Carrots are good for your eyes."
                                                                                                                    ~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                    carrots may not give you x-ray vision, but dietary carotenoids do help protect against macular degeneration and reduce the likelihood of developing cataracts, and Vitamin A is essential for light detection by the retina...and that final point is probably the source of the myth that eating carrots will *improve* your vision.

                                                                                                                    also, trichinella spiralis dies at temperatures above 140 degrees F, so you actually can prevent trichinosis infection by cooking...or were you saying that people take it *too* far?

                                                                                                                    anyway, i'm with you on the avocado pit and the 5-second rule!

                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                      Cringing again...
                                                                                                                      I know, I know
                                                                                                                      But why carrots, why not spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cantaloupe, and winter squash? I just find it annoying is all when I hear "Carrots are good for your eyes"...

                                                                                                                      As for the trichinellosis....yes, cooking above 140 will kill the parasite (cooking to 130F for 30 minutes or 132F for 15 minutes will also do the job as well as properly freezing). I guess what annoys me is the notion that all pork is infected and thus all pork should be cooked to a an extremely high degree, like a shoe leather pork chop.
                                                                                                                      I think hog farming has come a long way and commercially available pork is safer than it once was. In the late '40s, the US had 500 cases reported per year. Between 1997 and 2001 (latest dates available) it averaged less than 20 per year.

                                                                                                                      1. re: porker

                                                                                                                        I worked in parasitology at CDC in the mid60s. Even then they were saying there was no danger of trichinosis in commercially available pork.

                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                          "no danger" - they were wrong. I know someone who was infected then because a butcher did not clean the meat grinder between grinding pork for sausage and hamburger. He actually didn't eat undercooked pork, but undercooked hamburger which had been infected by the raw pork left in the meat grinder.

                                                                                                                          1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                                                            Sorry, I should have said "little" danger. I will never eat overcooked pork.

                                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                              Again, Personal tastes vary. I will never eat anything UNDERcooked, and if there's any pink anywhere -

                                                                                                                              it's undercooked! LOL!

                                                                                                                              1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                                                                To me, overcooked pork is just so dry. You're probably not into seared fish either, are you? :)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                    I thought I hated pork, when my mom cooked it. Then I started cooking on my own, and realized that she was dreadfully overcooking it to kill off anything bad. Really, I would have just stopped serving it, it was borderline inedible.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                                                                    I think you and I are the only ones left on earth who feel that way! I don't want shoe leather, but pink makes me shudder, and red? Forget it! In restaurants I always say I want it "the second the last bit of pink disappears." To me that's medium.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Parrotgal

                                                                                                                                      Yeah, this idea the cooked all the way through = shoe leather just shows that people don't REALLY know how to cook a steak. It takes more time and a gentle touch, that's all.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Parrotgal

                                                                                                                                        If there's no pink, it's well done by most every standard.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                                                                        if there's no pink anywhere, it's overcooked.

                                                                                                                                1. re: porker

                                                                                                                                  that's what i suspected you were saying about the pork, which is why i asked if you just meant people overdo it. re: the carrots, i agree, in fact, i always try to encourage clients to venture *away* from the carrots and try *other* vegetables that are high in lutein and Vitamin A...but the fact still remains that carrots are beneficial for eye health. so it's not a myth, it's just annoying that people think it's the ONLY good eye food, or that it's the only reason to eat them!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                    Indeed. I hate cooked carrots - are carrots shredded into salads just as good in terms of lutein and Vitamin A, or are those enhanced by cooking?

                                                                                                                                    How about sweet potatoes? Seems to me those were high in those nutrients?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                      Vitamin A is fairly stable in heated conditions, so raw carrots are good too. But lutein is not so stable, unfortunately.

                                                                                                                                      Sweet potatoes are also very high in vitamin A.
                                                                                                                                      So are a lot of fruits and vegetables though.. I remember in first year nutrition, we had to analyze our diet with special software.. I think one day I ate a hand full of carrots and 1/2 a sweet potato and I was at like 300% of my daily needs for Vit A.
                                                                                                                                      If you eat a lot of produce, you're probably getting enough.
                                                                                                                                      Just remember its fat soluble, so you will need SOME fat to absorb it properly.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: porker

                                                                                                                                    why carrots is an interesting story

                                                                                                                                    in WW2 the british were trying to cover up their invention of radar, and needed a cover story as to why they were suddenly shooting down more german planes at night. so they said they were feeding the pilots carrots to improve their night vision. the story stuck.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                      Very interesting thew. I'd read that the Brits fed their pilots bilberry extract to sharpen night vision. Is this a myth based on the same situation? Could you provide a citation? Not because I doubt you, rather because I am going to look into it.

                                                                                                                                      Bilberries are pimped by the healthfood industry as vision support suppliments. With this in mind, I used dried bilberries as a flavoring component for a vodka infusion I made last year. Do you this mean it does me no good at all? Then I will have to keep drinking it simply because it is delicious. As a matter of fact, if consumed in excess, it has been known to blur vision. ;)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Pipenta

                                                                                                                                        i could look for a citation, but i was told this long ago, so it wouldn't be any citation you couldn't find yourself

                                                                                                                                          1. re: porker

                                                                                                                                            I read a long time ago that the carrot/eyes myth was actually wartime propaganda to hide the fact that radar was still a new invention used by few...the way aim was perfect in nighttime for some airmen baffled enemies.
                                                                                                                                            http://www.snopes.com/food/ingredient...

                                                                                                                                            1. re: AnchovyBourdain

                                                                                                                                              i said the same to porker a month ago

                                                                                                                                              1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                Ah, i hadn't read the whole thread before replying, my bad.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                  Hey, don't drag me into this thing...

                                                                                                                                            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                              Now, both my opthamologist and a opthamological researcher, at wife's hospital, have indicated that kale IS good for eye health. That might not be "eyesight," per se, but eye health can be important too.

                                                                                                                                              Hunt

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                the docs are right - the lutein & zeaxanthin in kale (and avocado, egg yolks, spinach, squash, corn, collards, broccoli, brussels sprouts, tomatoes and peas) help protect against oxidative damage, which can ultimately lead to macular degeneration.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                There are lots of recommendations to cook pork to 160F.

                                                                                                                                                I'd always stir-fried pork or done little porkchops. The first time I did a loin (very recently!) I followed this advice. NEVER AGAIN!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                  goodhealthgourmet --
                                                                                                                                                  The carrots also help to prevent nightblindness in smokers, smoking can affect a smokers eyesight very rapidly something about the chemicals eliminate vitamin A , at least that's what I remember

                                                                                                                                                2. re: porker

                                                                                                                                                  Dropped bread always lands on buttered side

                                                                                                                                                  the butter adds weight to one side and causes this. Add to the a cat always lands on its feet. Ergo if you tie a piece of buttered bread on the back of a cat and throw it out a window it spins continuously? :-))

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                    EDIT My god, WHY am I reading AND responding to a six month old thread? I'm outta here!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                      I recently was chastized for pointing out to somebody the exact same thing just a few days ago.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                        don't sweat it - people have gotten cranky with me for pointing it out too, even when i just do it to let them know that the person who asked for that restaurant recommendation or recipe or whatever may not reply because the request was made 6 years ago and their CH history shows that they haven't posted anything for the past three...

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                        Hey, it's only six months old. I've seen seven, eight, even nine YEAR old posts get resurrected out here!

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: porker

                                                                                                                                                      but... but... but dropped bread lands on the buttered side like 9 times out of 10. it makes sense to me, b/c that side would be the heavier one. no? (just outing myself as a non-natural scientist)

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                        Dropped bread lands buttered side down most times b/c it gets pushed off the counter or slides of the plate such that one edge starts falling while the other is still supported, causing rotation. Try it with a book - lay it front cover up on a table and push it over the edge. It will rotate in the air and most likely land front cover down. On the other hand, if you hold your piece of toast butter side up and drop it straight down, it will probably land butter side up :)

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mpjmph

                                                                                                                                                          I'd do the book thing to prove it, but not the sandwich. I just got done cleaning up after a dinner party '-)

                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for the explanation, tho!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mpjmph

                                                                                                                                                            To make this truly empirical, you'd have to butter one side of the book, first.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ricepad

                                                                                                                                                              "You know it’s a good recipe if it starts with a stick of butter."

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: mpjmph

                                                                                                                                                              its a combination of weight differential from buttered to non-buttered side and common counter heights. try it from twice the height some time and it will land butter side up most times.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nkeane

                                                                                                                                                                You're correct about counter height, but it is the rotation caused by sliding off the surface that makes the toast flip, not the weight differential. If you drop a slice of buttered toast straight down without rotation, it will not flip. Likewise, if a piece of un-buttered toast falls with rotation, it will flip. From the Institute of Physics: http://www.physics.org/facts/toast-to...

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mpjmph

                                                                                                                                                                  I was not arguing the cause of the rotation, just why it lands the way it does once rotation has started. Another point, although minor, is that having a denser material(butter) on one side of the toast will offset the weight and the rotation will be eliptical in nature....albeit a tiny amount.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: mpjmph

                                                                                                                                                                I think that to be certain, one would need to do the experiment with the buttered bread from about 10,000 feet. Then we'd know for sure, that the landing was not due to the cyclic revolution, and the normal height, from which most buttered bread is dropped. While those "in kitchen" tests might show what would happen in everyday life, we really want to get to the bottom of this.

                                                                                                                                                                Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                  what I want to know is: what side does it land on if it's NOT buttered?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                    We need comparative testing to find the difference between butter and jam as well.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                      You know, I did an experiment with my wife's new European toaster (cost me over US$200), and I fired four slices into the air. Obviously, I did not dare put any butter into that toaster, but did mark one side with a "B," so that had to work. I placed this in the stairwell, which is 22', and let 'em rip. Unfortunately, two had the "B" on top, and two had it on the bottom. Now, there were probably two, that hit the ceiling, but I cannot tell you which was which, as I was ducking for cover, and then my wife came home, so I could not do a second experiment. Inconclusive is my ruling...

                                                                                                                                                                      Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                      Sounds like a job for Mythbusters!

                                                                                                                                                                      Actually, no, wait, it doesn't. We need to figure out a way for the toast to impressively explode on impact.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah, if Corey could somehow rig some nitro into the toast, and then fire a 50 cal. round into the toast... but wait, we need some sort of robot, and then Jamie needs to be hit in the head, or similar.

                                                                                                                                                                        Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                          umm does the ink of the 'B' have a causal effect? just asking.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                            At first I was wondering if ink was used or not - perhaps it was a simple impression of B on the bread, but that too might have a causal effect, which led me to think that marking of any kind (butter or otherwise) might alter the outcome.
                                                                                                                                                                            So I'm thinking virtual bread and butter...
                                                                                                                                                                            However, the Observer Effect may still muddle the outcome.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                              You know, just compressing the bread to form the "B" might have had an effect -aerodynamics, or perhaps weight distribution... Never thought of that.

                                                                                                                                                                              Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                what is the sound of one slice flopping and if not observed did it happen and if it didn't, then what sound did it not make?

                                                                                                                                                                                (jeez, you'd think I still smoked pot with a post like that.)

                                                                                                                                                                                duuude.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                  Now that is too transcendental, even for me...

                                                                                                                                                                                  Maybe I need another glass of wine, and then can ponder it better, or maybe not. [Grin]

                                                                                                                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                                                                                                                                                            "Sounds like a job for Mythbusters!"
                                                                                                                                                                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                            They already did it:

                                                                                                                                                                            Status: BUSTED.

                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_W3ZY...

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                                                                                                                                                              Mythbusters actually did this, over complicated buttered toast-tossing rig and all. Their findings were similar to Hunt's.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: porker

                                                                                                                                                                        Well the carrots story is not just a myth: Any food rich in Vitamin A (as are carrots) helps prevent night blindness (a Vit A deficiency disease) ....

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: porker

                                                                                                                                                                          The bread thing is 100% true. It always falls buttered side down, unless you buttered the wrong side.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: therealdoctorlew

                                                                                                                                                                            Ahhhh
                                                                                                                                                                            Think I'll start buttering both sides, just to be sure.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: porker

                                                                                                                                                                              Wrong solution. Drop first, then butter.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: porker

                                                                                                                                                                                That will take to 100% for sure, unless the bread falls on the cat.

                                                                                                                                                                                Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                  the question everyone is missing is, who are all these butterfingered idiots dropping the toast? (pun intended)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nkeane

                                                                                                                                                                                    No, no, no, no, we need more research! For instance, if tying the buttered white bread toast to the back of a cat causes a black hole, would tying a piece of buttered pumpernickle toast cause a white hole?

                                                                                                                                                                                    And how is the result affected by the color of the cat? Would a black cat make a white hole more, or less, likely? Would a long-haired cat spin more slowly, so that we only get a quasar?

                                                                                                                                                                                    So many research possibilities, so few cats . . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                                                                                                                      What if you dropped a buttered cat, upside-down into a black hole from the height of a standard countertop?
                                                                                                                                                                                      OK OK, "height" might not be the correct word...swap out with "corrected distance"

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: nkeane

                                                                                                                                                                                      Great line and well within the spirit of most of my answers.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I bow to greatness,

                                                                                                                                                                                      Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                        nah this is something for the Royal Bureau of Standards and Measures in Greenwich, England. and isn't it the "measured distance" not corrected? corrected implies the interference of the human hand.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                          There's more than 1 way to skin a cat...

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: porker

                                                                                                                                                                                  The carrots make you see better in the dark thing was British propeganda during the war apparantly. Part of the whole "dig for victory" campaign.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Soop

                                                                                                                                                                                    No, that's not a myth. Carrots are very rich in beta-carotene, which is converted to retinal, which is used in the production of rhodopsin. Rhodopsin is the visual pigment used in low-light vision. It's well known that night-blindness can be caused by Vitamin A (or retinal) deficiency.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Now, that's not to say that if you ate a kilo of carrots per day you'd be able to see in the dark like a cat, but the link between carrots, Vitamin A, retinal, and night vision is clear. No myth there.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: foreverhungry

                                                                                                                                                                                      The myth part is that the pilots eating carrots made their night vision good enough to find and shoot down German bombers at night. Without the advent of radar, their success rate would have been a tiny fraction of what it was.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Ah, yes. That would be quite some bunk. Sorry, didn't realize that was the particular myth at hand.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: porker

                                                                                                                                                                                    Well, milk is good for. It's not magic food but it has some nutrient value (protein, calcium, vitamin c ...)

                                                                                                                                                                                    And carrots have beta carotene which does help vision. It helps prevent night vision and prevents cataracts.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: porker

                                                                                                                                                                                      I hear you on the milk thing. It pisses me off when people make health comments to others based on personal choices. I used to smoke and people would tell me "it's so bad for you!"

                                                                                                                                                                                      Think I didn't know that?

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. The only way to flavor pasta is to add salt to the cooking water...I never add salt to my pasta water.

                                                                                                                                                                                      35 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                                                        It's not the only way to add flavor but it is a very good way. This one's not a myth (okay...maybe the "only way" part)

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                                                          People will dislike you for saying that.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                            The odds are that not everyone in the world likes me so I can live with it....

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh, you should try it, it truly works. It's much like salting a piece of meat before cooking versus after. Just throw a tablespoon or two in once the water's boiling. You'll never look back.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: haggisdragon

                                                                                                                                                                                                Well I don't because there's a crap load of salt in everything already. No need to add to it. Plus if I salt to MY taste, no one else can eat it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                                                                                                                                  AFAIK, there's no added salt in pasta. Unless I'm overlooking some strange brand here.... pasta water should be as salty as the sea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Here is a myth that absolutely needs to be dispelled..."pasta water should be as salty as the sea."

                                                                                                                                                                                                    While there is some variation among oceans, the average salinity of the Earth's oceans is 3.5%. This means that every kilogram of ocean water (approximately 1 liter) will contain 35 grams of salt. This includes all the dissolved salts but the vast majority of that is sodium chloride. Suppose you were boiling up some pasta for tonight's dinner and you are using 6 liters of water, if you want to make that water "as salty as the sea" you would need to add 210 grams (6x35) of salt. To put that in standard American measurements that's about 1.5 gallons of water and nearly half a pound of salt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, pasta water should be liberally salted, but if it were truly "as salty as the sea" the resultant pasta would be completely inedible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kmcarr

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh, alright already. NOT AS salty as sea water. But pretty damn salty. 1 tablespoon won't do it, 2 probably won't do it either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kmcarr

                                                                                                                                                                                                        kmcarr,

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I completely agree with you. I don't think most people think throughly before they make statements. Things such as adding salt increases boiling point. Technically, yes, but practically too little to make a difference. Add salt to water to the same saline level as sea water, that is very false as you explained.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        There is also another point. Sea water is not drinkable, as sea water actually dehydrate the person. Do you really need your pasta to be that salty? Just think about it for a second.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kmcarr

                                                                                                                                                                                                          So what you're saying here, is, pasta water should only be as salty as an estuary?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Pipenta

                                                                                                                                                                                                            there ya go, "estuarine" in the year of a wet spring.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So what you are saying is that the water should be fine for a redfish to live in, but a speckled trout would probably head the other way?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                              oh, you eat you pasta au natural? No tomato sauce? No pasta sauce? No pesto?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                No, I generally don't. But pasta cooked in unsalted water is, by definition, less flavorful than pasta cooked in salted water. Duh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We'll have to agree to disagree, then, won't we?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Duh! LOL!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You, I, and millions of other people.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Disagree about what? Pasta + salt by definition has more flavor than pasta without salt, because it tastes of both pasta and salt. Whether you like the flavor is a different thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Adding salt to pasta water does season the pasta, since as the pasta cooks it absorbs water (surely you've noticed that) and if there's salt dissolved in the water, that's absorbed as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There are some soba and udon noodles that are made with a good amount of salt. My husband is somewhat salt-sensitive. If I have to stray from my usual no-salt Hakubaku brand noodle for some reason I always have to check to make sure the alternate noodle is salt-free.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  no, theres a crap load of salt in everything that has a crapload of salt. if you don;t eat that crap, then you are not overdoing the salt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, we won't have to worry much longer. Both NY and CA are attempting to ban all salt, so ND can't be too far behind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Soon, no salt anywhere - until they pry my "gourmet salts" from my cold dead hands...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        bill, sorry, NY is not attempting to ban salt. one malinformed lawmaker in NY tried to win election points by proposing a bill that had zero chance of being taken seriously, except by a bored 24 hour news cycle, and less chance of that of actually becoming law.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I used to be like you. Then I discovered that most food is undersalted during cooking, causing me to want to oversalt it after. I use far less salt now that I cook with it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Henny Penny

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        same here, but I tend to pour a little into my hand rather than use a shaker, I'm still cautious, and it's so easy to add a bit of salt later, but I have learned the value of some salt added in from the start.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It is considered good practice to season judiciously throughout the cooking process. Adding salt to the pasta water is just part of that process.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: haggisdragon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      or not . . . as for any seasoning, when or if to add salt is entirely a matter of personal taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There is a correct and incorrect way. Adding salt to pasta after cooking and you'll just have pasta and salt. Adding it to the cooking water, which is absorbed by the pasta, which thus properly seasons the pasta throughout, is a much more beneficial way. Your cooking water should taste like properly seasoned water to have the right effect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: AndrewK512

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Can you be more specific which method is 'correct' and which is 'incorrect' ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: porker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think his point was that those of us who don't put salt in the boiling water are doing it "wrong". Those of us who do it that way do so because that's how we prefer to do it. There is no "wrong" as far as I'm concerned, it's just a matter of taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yeah, I don't bother. It's not like I eat plain pasta anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: porker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If you're using regular "kitchen salt," then in the water it goes. If you are using "French Grey," or "Hawai`ian Red," then sprinkle atop, once cooking is complete.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I try not to eat too much salt and never added salt to my pasta water. I'm fortunate to not know what I'm missing. And anyway, I use my tomato sauce liberally. And often eat the leftover sauce with a spoon (when it's homemade.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Don't wash or rinse your mushrooms. Or even have them within arm's length of the sink, fer God's sake! ;) I think that one was invented by the guy selling those dopey mushroom brushes...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      31 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TongoRad

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree. I remember what mushrooms are grown in, and I take them & head for the sink.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: TongoRad

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I took a cooking course at the neighborhood natural foods store and the woman teaching the course tried to teach us that we should brush the dirt off the mushrooms and then peel them. I actually tried it the next time I made stuffed mushrooms, but quickly abandoned the effort and ran for the colander.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: TongoRad

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think that particular bit of whimsy comes from mushrooms tendency to absorb water. If you soak them in water. Which is not how I wash mushrooms (and I always wash them).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              yah, but alton brown did a test once where he washed the shrooms in water, after having weighed them, and then weighed them afterwards. i think the absorption was below 1%.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So they don't absorb water even if you soak them? Unless Brown just swished them around a little. I'd like to know how the mushrooms fare if they're left submerged for 10+ minutes. Just for my own information.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't remember all of the details, but I'm pretty sure he did a soak. I usually just rinse, myself, but I don't think it'd matter either way. My method of cooking mushrooms, more than 90% of the time, is to do it on high heat. There is a lot of water in them to begin with, and if your pan is hot enough and not overcrowded the released liquid will just steam away as it's cooking, leaving concentrated mushroomy goodness behind. And no dirt ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: TongoRad

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am also pretty sure he soaked some.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I don't remember the details either, as this was a long time ago and my memory _just_ isn't what it used to be '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've never had to soak shrooms that long, but I've used my salad spinner for dirtier ones such as chanterelles, after swooshing them around for a while, using several cycles of water. Never was a problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "I don't remember the details either, as this was a long time ago and my memory _just_ isn't what it used to be '-)"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You must be cooking with aluminum cookware...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Well, I've certainly ingested organic materials that allegedly have memory-lapsing properties.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wait, what?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      One night, I put my Portobellos into a nice marinade. Came back in a few moments (a few too long), only to find that they had absorbed the entire contents of the Pyrex. I could not cook that moisture out of them on the grill. Learned a lesson on some mushrooms' absorption capabilities.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's possible that your mushrooms were on the dry side, making them extra-spongy. I marinate portobellos before I grill them and I've never had that problem - there's always plenty of marinade left over for brushing the mushrooms while they grill. Did you use a basic oil/vinegar/herb mix, or something else? Because if it's "something else," I'd like to know so I can avoid it in the future.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In my case, it was a Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter marinade. I do have to admit that I did take a nip, or two, so the "control" might have been corrupted a bit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      lets say they do absorb some water - guess what - they are already full of water - and when you start sauteing them you cook the water out - so bottom line is, worst case scenario, you saute 30 seconds longer.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I roast about 50 lbs of mushrooms every day and I always soak them first. 5 minutes, 10 minutes, it doesn't matter. And the best part about it is the residual liquid after roasting. Right now I'm making sorbet with some.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: almansa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We must ask: To what glory does the daily fungi output go?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: almansa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            yeah really almansa, you can't just post a statement like that and not follow up even if it is sort of OT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sorry, I got lost in the thread. I serve the mushrooms very simply - sometimes with basil, sometimes with a compound butter, and always with a reduction of the mushroom juices. Other juice uses: I just braised 7 oxtails in said juices. This was the sorbet base, along with an herbed port syrup and some egg whites. I've clarified the juices for a consomme; set them in a savory panna cotta; used them for a mushroom aioli w/ poached eggs and grapeseed oil; jellied them for Knox blox; certainly used them as the base for a sauce; I can't even remember all the stuff. They're just liquid gold as far as I'm concerned.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: almansa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                sounds great, but that's only half the answer - 50 lbs of mushrooms a day? 50?? is that a typo or is there a commercial bulk demand out there for roasted mushrooms?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I should try it, closest I've ever done are stuffed and baked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4. re: TongoRad

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I just wipe down cultivated mushrooms, they barely have any dirt. But when I have wild mushrooms I always wash them. Brushing the dirt out of the gills of a chanterelle or morel is insanity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      From experience, I prefer not to wash mushrooms. It doesn't ruin them, it just means you won't spend a lot of time evaporating excess water later.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: AndrewK512

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I spend a lot of time in woods and forests for my work. I have to tell you, I'm a lot more comfortable with the dirt from the woods than any "dirt" generated by big agriculture. Methinks you're putting your scrubbing efforts to work on the wrong 'shrooms.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Pipenta

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          um, why exactly does "big agriculture" have an incentive to use "bad dirt" for cultivating mushrooms? that makes no sense. it is sanitized, which your forest floor ain't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If you'd ever smelled a commercial mushroom farm you'd know. There was a big Campbell's mushroom facility (for sale now if anyone is thinking of getting into the business) on a route I travel frequently and you could smell it for a quarter of a mile away.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Does it smell earthy and musty or does it have more of a manure odor?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              At a favorite inn of ours, they have a mushroom field in their garden. They use fallen trees, and the Tennessee dirt. Not sure if they "sanitize" that dirt, but kind of think not.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.blackberryfarm.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "big agriculture" have an incentive to use "bad dirt"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                i'd feel safer eating the forest floor than anything 'sanitized' by monsanto and their genetically modified ilk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Pipenta

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It does not make sense to compare the dirt in a rain forest to that of modern commerical farming. The comparison should be between modern commerical farming and ancient small scale farming. People used to (some still use) animal feces for fertilizer in ancient farming.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Pipenta

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not so concerned about the quality and composition of 'dirt' as much as how wild mushrooms taste gritty and dirty when uncleaned and many farmed mushrooms don't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: AndrewK512

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I always run mine through the dishwasher, using the sani-wash function. Takes the work out of it. Now, my dishes (in the same wash cycle) do come out with grit on them, but hey, a soft cloth takes that off nicely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: TongoRad

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That one was clearly invented by chefs who wanted to torture their staff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4. Baking soda in the refrigerator to absorb odors. Googling this food myth, I was instructed by one website that it is "better to wrap your food and clean the fridge once in a while". Gee, thanks internet, I've been meaning to call my mom.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As to the baking soda, I think I saw this on mythbusters that because only the top surface area is exposed, what can be absorbed is minute.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jameshig

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I dumped half a box in the cat pan, and it did not help at all. I do admit there is a significant difference between last night's broccoli and the contents of said box.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        OMGosh, I sure hope so!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Much as I dislike broccoli, its still better than kitty litter, LOL!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          With the cat box, you must feed the baking soda to the cat. That will help.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            True, but I suspect safeguarding a cat's tongue during seizure makes the cost of fresh cat litter seem paltry. She's a rescue kitty from a bad home. She bites when she's feeling *affectionate*.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It would likely be easier to feed her the leftover broccoli, and let her sulk quietly for a few hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "She bites when she's feeling *affectionate*."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You know, I understand exactly what you are saying. Our little Kermit was originally a rescue kitten, and then his foster "parents" could not keep him, so we did, as Tom Cat had just died. Poor Kermit was an odd little guy, and was never friendly with our Bulldogs, though they would have loved to play with him. Now, he did live to be just shy of 24, so I guess that all was not bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The image on his headstone has him ready to bite someone. No baking soda for Kermit either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                She sleeps on my lap a few times out of the year, and I am almost afraid to breath when she does. The care of a being made difficult by cruel hands requires an infinite amount of love, patience, and humor, and is always worth it. I would love to have a French bulldog, but I think our Olive would certainly get the better of a dog known for both its curiosity and lack of aggression.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                She likes sushi, and shows an alarming interest in dirty martinis (or, ahem, rather the drink made from vodka and olive brine, served prettily in a glass that often serves a 'martini'), which requires vigilance on my part . . . but who leaves a martini unattended for long?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I would have loved to meet a cat named Kermit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  sometimes I wish CH had a 'like' tab the way Facebook does.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And I would *like* your profile. Whenever I've had to apologize for snapping at my boyfriend, I begin by saying, "I've uncranked my pants."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hey, it almost is starting to sound like "Chemistry.com" [Even bigger grin here]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's the olive. Some cats go crazy for olives, olive wood, etc. It has an effect similar to catnip. We have an olive wood cheese board, and one of our cats goes crazy on it - licking it, rubbing himself on it, and drooling all over it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I thought my cat was the only one who likes alcohol. We can't walk away from a gin and tonic in my home or my kitten will dip his little paw in and lick it off numerous times. He also likes cigar smoke. Go figure!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Is sushi okay for cats? Mine eats almost anything and goes nuts trying to get my sushi, but he's never tried it yet because a.) I'm selfish with my sushi and b.) I wasn't sure if it was healthy or not. I'd give him a piece if I knew it wouldn't hurt him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MichelleRenee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There shouldn't be a problem, as long as it's occasional, and it's not tuna. Don't know why, but non catfood tuna can cause fatty liver disease in cats.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Snozzberry

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tuna can cause a vitamin E deficiency in cats (if part of a regular diet), which can cause *many* problems. The commonly dispensed knowledge is that a little bit of such every now and then shouldn't hurt her/him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Michelle, I have acquiesced to feed my begging, yowling, flirting, pleading cat a piece of sushi on more than one occasion. Each time, she sniffs it, and then promptly whips her head up to give me a 'what the hell?' look before she haughtily struts away. And I am then left with a deconstructed bite. She gives the same treatment to sardines, oysters, and edamame. And, sometimes, chickpeas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But, I would say that if you are only getting sushi once in a while, a bite will likely do that cat no more harm that an occasional cheeseburger does for you and I. Or pie. I would not want to be deprived of pie simply because people love me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            a friend's cat had a twisted urinary tract (or something, it's been awhile) and her vet brother told her 'wet' food for cats isn't always the best way, at least not all the time. she thought she was being a good indulgent person. turns out they need a 'high ash' diet (whatever that means) and it's best delivered through dry. I forget the brand he recommended, but it's also one of the cheaper ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            but a little here and there won't hurt. and certainly fresh won't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think baking soda dos absorb odors, just not very good at it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The best thing that aborbs odors is activated charcoal. at least when I was looking this up anwyays a year ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Celery has negative calories

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Excess salt increases blood pressure (for those w/o blood pressure issues)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Margarine is healthier than butter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Potato soaks up excess salt (or sugar) in soups or stews

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Salting meats (and beans) before cooking makes them tougher

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Gum remains in the stomach for 7 years

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Searing meat "seals in" juices

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              56 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ipse, you hit almost all the points i wanted to jump back on to add. there's just one missing...Coca-Cola burns a hole in your stomach lining.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Now...you're *sure* it doesn't? I drink 6-10 diet sodas a day and I'm pretty sure I'm half dead already.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    well, that much artificial sweetener may shorten your life in other ways, but it won't eat a hole in your stomach lining ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pepsi and Pop-Rocks (candy) mixed in your stomach will cause it to explode.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    oh oh oh, I've got one!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Eating green apples will make you have periods if you're a girl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Eating a watermelon seed will make a watermelon grow in your stomach

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I guess that's 2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And another one - swallowing Pop Rocks whole will make your stomach explode!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      the way we learned it when i was a kid, it was eating/swallowing Pop Rocks with *soda* that made your stomach explode :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hey it was a long time ago. I have trouble remembering what I had for . . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        what were we talking about?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It could certainly give you a stomach ache.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That's up there with eating raw dough gives you worms. What kind they are and where they actually come from was always a mystery. However, I will admit I told my daughter this today. Not because I was afraid she'd get worms. I just didn't want her to eat the raw dough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Whosyerkitty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            why not tell her the truth, then?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think excess salt intake increases blood pressure for anyone including healthy people. This does not mean reducing salt intake for a patient will reduce blood pressure. I think once the salt intake exceed your kidney capacity, then the blood pressure will go up. I will check on that later.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "I think excess salt intake increases blood pressure for anyone including healthy people."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            __________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Source? Or citation?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Even the connection between excess salt intake and people with high blood pressure issues is tenuous. There is correlation perhaps, but no causation necessarily.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            For example:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "High dietary sodium has been adduced as a cause of hypertension and its target organ damage for millennia; yet careful observations using sophisticated techniques have revealed only a weak relationship between sodium intake/excretion and blood pressure in the general population."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            From: http://www.jacn.org/cgi/content/abstr...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Interesting. However, I must point out that there are many literatures which indicates a solid relationship between salt intake and hypertension (high blood pressure). Here is a 2009 article by Feng He et. al. from the Journal Hypertension. Needless to say, Hypertension is a journal focuses on high blood pressure researches. In its discussion section:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "First, our study is the largest double-blind trial of modest salt reduction which also involves a large number of black and Asian participants. The study demonstrates that a modest reduction in salt intake, as currently recommended,10,11 causes significant and important falls in BP in all 3 ethnic groups of individuals with mildly raised BP. The results in Asian participants (94% were of South Asian origin) are of particular interest, ....."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://hyper.ahajournals.org/cgi/cont...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Also from the Journal Hypertension, Nikolaos Tzemos et. al. in 2008 suggested QT dispersion lengthen with high salt intake. In its discussion section: "The major findings of this study, which is the biggest of its kind, were that oral salt loading in young normotensive individuals was associated with reduced vascular NO bioactivity, impaired left ventricular myocardial relaxation, and increased electrocardiographic QT dispersion.... "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://hyper.ahajournals.org/cgi/cont...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              QT interval:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7zQULPNQ7FQ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you, Ipsedixit!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm going to show that article to my salt-paranoid, fat-paranoid girlfriend. It's gotten to the point where she doesn't want me adding ANY salt to her food, which makes life difficult for this amateur cook. (Incidentally, my doctor is also skeptical about the relationship between salt and hypertension.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: gfr1111

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  gfr1111--
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My doc told me it's not the salt per say that increases my blood pressure , but the increased blood volume that the salt causes ,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Jeffrey Steingarten has done a great deal of research on this issue; the piece is in one of his collections. The salt / BP connection is fallacious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jmckee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I lost all faith (not that I had much) in anything Jeffrey Steingarten has to say when I saw him on a local television program and he didn't know how to pronounce Oscar Meyer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'll concede you a partial touché. But spelling isn't the same as pronunciation of a name, "Oscar Mayer," that was drummed into American heads for decades via song on both TV and radio, at least here in the northeast where Jeffrey has spent most of his life.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Well played nonetheless.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: ecustard

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So does that make him an Oscar Meyer weiner?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          oscar MAYER weiner
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNddW2...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          poor old jeffrey must never have watched tv if he mispronounces oscar mayer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            or he is too busy eating good food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              for his entire life? ;-).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              everyone knows about oscar mayer. well....almost everyone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                i wouldn't have noticed the misspell, but i'm a furrner. and i've never had a single oscar mayer product. not in the 10 years i've lived in the US.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I can't hear that name without that jingle running through my head. I suppose it's a US childhood thing, those commercials accompanied by Sesame Street, and the Electric Company. During commercial breaks I would either daydream about my crush on Spiderman, or sing along with the jingles, depending on my mood.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sometimes a hot dog is just a hot dog . . . sometimes it's an association that makes one google Freudian latency (and furrner) . . . BRB.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    the last oscar mayer product i bought was their all beef bologna, and it was horrible! i know they weren't always bad.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    and i had the pleasure of viewing the weinermobile LIVE and in person a few years back, on pennsylvania avenue, in d.c.'s freedom plaza. "LOOK, it's the Weinermobile!!" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wienermo...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    >>>>
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    """Vanity license plates

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YUMMY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    OUR DOG
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    IWSHIWR
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    OH I WISH
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    WEENR
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    WNRMOBL
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    BOLOGNA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    RELSHME
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LIL LINK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    BIG BUN
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    WNR MBLE"""<<<
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i also had a weinermobile "whistle" when i was a kid. whatever happened to that thing? maybe it's in this guy's collection: http://www.357.com/chris/wiener/whist...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We were on a bit of a roadtrip/foodtrip a few years ago (a BBQ festival in Buffalo NY and a Pizza Pilgrimage to NYC) and driving Interstate 90. Somewhere between Syracuse and Rochester I spotted it;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Hey, HEY look, look, look on the highway, going the other way. Look, look, LOOK, its the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile! LOOK LOOK LOOK"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I may not remember who had the best ribs in Williamsville, nor what toppings I had at Bleeker Street Pizza, but seeing that weinermobile (it was a sunny day with scattered clouds, temps in the low 70s, grass in the median) made the trip.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The wife, not so much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: porker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've never eaten a single Oscar Mayer product, but had the same pavlovian burst of happiness in response to a random weinermobile siting (I-10 in Florida). I got so excited that I ran into the grassy median.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: porker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Several years ago I was walking in downtown Minneapolis with a young intern (no jokes) and we saw the Weinermobile parked in front of a hotel. I burst into song, a bit louder than she would have liked, and sang the jingle. My intent was not to embarass her, that was just a benefit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: porker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I worked with a guy who later drove the Weinermobile and one day I got to go inside it. One of the high points of a relatively long and eventful life.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Though at the risk of going OT, did you ever read Dave Barry's Weinermobile article? Worth it, if you have not already seen it. Link: http://www.pair-of-dice.com/luke/maze...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ha! once back in my youthful indiscretion phase I was driving through KS somewhat stoned and as I drove under an overpass on I-70 a Wienermobile was passing overhead. middle of less than nowhere somewhere west of Topeka.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: ecustard

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "he didn't know how to pronounce Oscar Meyer"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    absurd

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: epabella

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yeah, it was absurd that he tripped up on an American icon of hot doggitry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Curiously enough I was a regular on a TV show on the same network, The Metro Channel in NYC, when he had the "New York Eats" show with Ed Levine. It was on this show during an episode devoted to hot dog taste testing that he stumbled on Mayer while live on the air.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ecustard

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There was a poor man traveling by foot down a dusty road, when suddenly a genie appeared and promised to grant him three wishes. The first wish was for all the riches he'll ever want. The second was for a horse-drawn cart to carry him and his riches to his destination. He didn't know, yet, what to use his 3rd wish for. So he loaded his cart and drove on down the road. As he was driving, he was so happy at his great luck that he began to sing the first song that came to his head, "Oh I wish I was an oscar mayer weiner..." *POOF*

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MichelleRenee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          MichelleR: now that IS a food myth I'm fairly sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sodium-sensitive hypertension is a minority of primary hypertension cases, on the order of 25-30%, but doctors often lazily treat every case of hypertension as sodium-sensitive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Karl S

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But the physiology underlying salt and hypertension is pretty clear: increase salt consumption, and that causes an increase in blood serum osmolarity. To bring the osmolarity back down within "normal" levels, one method (in addition to ion excretion) is to pump more liquids into the system. Great for bringing serum osmolarity back to normal, but now you have increased volume in the circulatory system. Increase the volume and you tend to increase blood pressure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's not quite as cut and dry as that - chronic hypertension arises not from a few high sodium meals here and there. But chronically high salt intake does cause hypertension in some segments of the population, and the basic underlying mechanism is simple chemistry and physics. The details get much more complicated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: foreverhungry

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Agree. As I mentioned earlier, Fei He et. al. in 2009 demonstrated a link between sodium diet to hypertension across different ethnicity groups.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://hyper.ahajournals.org/cgi/cont...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The conclusion here: "...The study demonstrates that a modest reduction in salt intake, as currently recommended, causes significant and important falls in BP in all 3 ethnic groups of individuals with mildly raised BP..."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A large segment of hypertension patients are sodium sensitive. Williams and Hollenberg stated "One large segment of the hypertensive population--approximately 60%--has in common an increased blood pressure sensitivity to salt intake. "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.jacn.org/cgi/content/abstr...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hypertension is just one of the many issues with high salt diet, but that is a discussion for another day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The potato thing is a myth? I've been leading a misled life!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Sra. Swanky

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  yes, it is a myth. i *know* there are still some CHers who claim it works for them, but i've yet to see evidence that it does...and scientifically it doesn't really hold water.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  the only thing that REALLY corrects over-salting or too much sugar (or too much of *any* ingredient, really), is to add more of everything else to adjust the proportion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    which is exactly what adding the potatoes does. the potatoes absorb a relatively high percentage of water, and along with it some of the salt. The question is how much are you expecting the poor potato to do? If the salt box fell into the stew, too bad so sad. If it was just a little over the edge, and you add a fair amount of potato, you have a chance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This is almost a litany. I want to shout AMEN.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Actually , Adele Davis wrote that salting beans or other starches before cooking lengthens the time it takes water to penetrate the surface or skin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    From "Let's Cook It Right": "Soaking legum