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Mar 20, 2012 08:44 PM

What is something surprising you learned about food that changed the way you shop, prep, cook, or eat?

Here’re a couple of mine.

I discovered that there’s a preservative added to nuts that makes them hard to digest. So, I now soak or blanch, then toast before eating. More time-consuming but a lot less indigestion.

Been wondering about “food-grade” wax on fruit, i.e. apples, oranges, lemons. Don’t use as much zest since I saw that on a label.

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  1. "preservative added to nuts" ??? link/reference please ?

    As for wax, that's why people wash their fruits before using/eating them.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Maximilien

      I think the poster is reacting to TBHQ hysteria. It's an additive that prevents oils from going rancid and has been added to some roasted nuts. Possibly problematic in massive doses much higher than possible with reasonable consumption. HOWEVER, it will appear on a label if present and, as an avid nut-snacker myself, don't see it on any of the packages in my desk.

      1. Have you seen this monster thread on the Home Cooking Board?

        1 Reply
        1. There are a number of fruit/vegetable wash products out there that purport to remove any waxes.

          1. there's no preservative that's commonly "added to" nuts (unless they've been adulterated and it's listed clearly on the package); i believe you must have misunderstood something you read. nuts, legumes & grains contain naturally-occurring substances - such as phytic acid, oxalic acid and enzyme inhibitors - that can make digestion difficult or interfere with nutrient absorption. they do act somewhat like preservatives within the plant because they prevent rotting or premature sprouting, but they're inherent factors of the plant's immunity, not substances that have been added to them by humans. soaking the nuts (or seeds, or grains, or legumes) helps neutralize these substances, making the foods more digestible.

            2 Replies
            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              That explains it. You're a wealth of knowledge.