Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tasteless Tomatoes

Today's interesting fact has to do with tasteless tomatoes.

Many people complain that the tomatoes we get and eat have no taste.  There are two good reasons why we have tasteless tomatoes.  One has to do with tomato suppliers, wholesalers and retailers. The other has to do with us, the consumers.

First we need to consider the fact that tomatoes in their raw form, have no flavour, no taste.

Many would dispute this but... until the juice and the flesh of the tomato is mixed, either in cutting, mashing or mixing, there is no flavour.  This has been shown by taste testing of the flesh and liquid that have been carefully separated without mixing the two components.  They have found that within the liquid part of the tomato, there is an enzyme that, when mixed with the flesh of the tomato, generates a chemical reaction that creates the flavour that we taste when we bite into it.

And this enzyme is why sometimes tomatoes have no taste, because is gets destroyed when it is left at temperatures below 4 degrees centigrade.  The longer it the tomato is kept below this temperature, the more of the enzyme is destroyed.  When you consider that the optimum temperature range for perishable food storage is 3 to 5 °C (37 to 41 °F), and that most refrigerators tend to be set to between 3 and 5 °C, you where the problem is.

Some suppliers, wholesalers and retailers keep their tomatoes in large fridges to keep them from going ripe too soon, and thereby destroy the enzyme before we get it.  And some of us, immediately on getting home from the retailer put our tomatoes into the fridge.

So if you want tasty tomatoes, don't refrigerate them.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Today's interesting fact has to do with Medicine

The Nuremberg codes are ethical codes that were set up to prevent a repeat of the human experimentation that occurred during WW2 on German Prisoners.

There are ten points in all, and as defined by the United States National Institutes of Health the first one is

1) The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. This means that the person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, over-reaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to enable him/her to make an understanding and enlightened decision. This latter element requires that before the acceptance of an affirmative decision by the experimental subject there should be made known to him the nature, duration, and purpose of the experiment; the method and means by which it is to be conducted; all inconveniences and hazards reasonable to be expected; and the effects upon his health or person which may possibly come from his participation in the experiment. The duty and responsibility for ascertaining the quality of the consent rests upon each individual who initiates, directs or engages in the experiment. It is a personal duty and responsibility which may not be delegated to another with impunity.

I thought I'd bring this up, because in some countries, this consent has recently been neglected, perhaps because it currently only applies in those countries that have added it to their legal codes.  In the US, apparently, it only applies to Federally funded research, unless you live in California or any other state that have passed the code into law.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Stopping Potatoes sprouting

Today's interesting fact has to do with potatoes and how to stop them from sprouting.

Potatoes sprout when they are in the right conditions... unfortunately, being kept in the dark, and in a warm kitchen, encourages them to put out new shoots from their eyes to reach the light.  You need to keep them in the dark, to keep them from going green, when they start producing poisons that can cause illness and if consumed in large amounts even death.

To prevent this potatoes from sprouting, add a couple apples to the potato bag.  The ethylene gas produced by apples as they ripen, will stop the potatoes producing the offending sprouts.  You could use bananas as well, but they ripen much faster than apples do.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Today's interesting fact has to do with the Northern Lights.

The Northern lights or Aurora Borealis is a natural light display that often appears in the Artic and Antarctic

The lights are caused when high speed particles, usually from the sun, hit the magnetic field of the earth.

I mention it today, as there has been a coronal mass ejection (CME) that has hit the Earth, and the effects will be noticed for the next couple days.

This also means that the Northern Lights are likely to be seen as far south as was seen in 2005, the last CME that was similar in size to this present one.

Then, the Aurora Borealis was seen as far south as the Caribbean.

Monday, January 23, 2012

I haven't done this for a while, between being busy with life, death, disease and depression, but I've started again on request.  Hopefully I will get one every day.

Today's interesting fact has to do with Rye Bread.

Rye bread is a traditional bread, that used to be made in most western countries, but has been supplanted almost completely by easier made wheat breads, which is a shame.

While Rye flour has some gluten in it, it doesn't seem to be enough to to trigger coeliac disease or IBS, which gluten has been linked to.

Rye bread is also good for those with insulin issues (such as diabetics) as it doesn't trigger glucose spikes.

Ask at your local supermarket for Rye bread and get this traditional foodstuff back on the shelves.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Mozart effect.

Today's interesting fact has to do with the Mozart effect.

In double blind tests, children were played various types of music and then tested with various mental challenges. The music included Mozart, Pop Music, Drums and random discordant noises.

Children did best in the tests after random discordant noises and Pop Music, but in all cases the effects were temporary and soon lost.

However in double blind tests it was found that learning to play a musical instrument especially if done over a long period of time, can the increase the IQ and has been shown to make beneficial changes to the brain tests have shown that the effects were maintained.

Monday, October 31, 2011


Today's interesting fact has to do with yawning.

Yawning is contagious in humans and other primates.

If any primate sees another yawn, the odds are it will also yawn.

But with humans, the contagiousness of yawning greater.

Not only can we humans yawn when we see other humans, dogs, cats, or primates yawn, we also can start yawning if we read about it, write about it or even just think about yawning.

As no other animals has successfully learnt to read, humans are unique.