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Experiments to Test Food and Cooking Myths?

I often receive a standard response when I write about cooking myths or food myths here on Culinary Lore. So and so performed an experiment on this which proves you're wrong (or correct, as the case may be). I don't often include a comment field in my articles, but some readers are passionate enough about the subject to take the time to email me their thoughts. Responding, however, presents a problem.

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What Is An Enzyme?

Definition of an Enzyme

An enzyme is an organic macromolecule produced by living cells that acts as a catalyst for a biochemical reaction. Most enzymes are composed of protein. Enzymes change the rate of chemical reactions without needing an external energy source and without being changed themselves. One enzyme may be capable of catalyzing a reaction numerous times. Different enzymes act on certain substances and produce specific reactions. Examples of enzymes are digestive, glycolytic, activating, and inhibitory.

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Do You Need Living Enzymes from Your Diet to Digest Food?

A claim of raw food diets is that your body has a limited amount of enzymes to digest food and you must get additional enzymes from your diet.

One of the claims associated with the raw food movement is that you need the "living" enzymes in raw foods to help you digest food. And furthermore, you only have a finite amount of enzymes in your body, so these enzymes from raw plant foods become more and more important to your health as you age.

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Coconut Water Can Be Used As Human Blood Plasma?

Various Websites Claim that Coconut Water is Identical to Human Blood Plasma and Can be Used as a Substitute in Emergencies

Would you be surprised to find out the coconut water was identical to human blood plasma? Of course, you would. What if I told you it could be used as a replacement for blood plasma during absolute emergencies? You would probably be more than a bit dubious. If you are a skeptic, as am I, you would immediately go into research mode.

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Is Arsenic Really Used In Chicken Feed?

Today, arsenic is known to be a dangerous toxin. However, arsenic compounds have been used in medicine for over 200 years. H.W. Thomas, for example, working in the early 1900's, found that Atoxyl (sodium hydrogen 4-aminophenylarsonate) could cure experimental trypanosomiasis. During the 1950's, it was discovered that certain arsenic compounds could affect the growth of broiler chickens, control cecal coccidiosis in poultry, swine, and other domestic animals, as well as promote better feathering in chickens while increasing egg production and pigmentation. Bibliography item abe not found.

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The Dirtiest and Most Germy Item at Restaurants

Sometimes the logic of the restaurant industry, and of professional chefs, escapes me. Or, rather, the lack of logic.

Should you never eat on on Valentine's day, like Gordon Ramsay says, because it is the busiest restaurant day of the year? Sure, let's all make sure to never eat out on a busy day. Restaurants should embrace the reduction in profits.

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What is the Difference Between Convection and Induction Cooking?

Convection and induction cooking have nothing to do with one another, but they sound similar enough to cause confusion. The word convection refers to convection ovens, and induction refers to induction cooktops.

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Craving Nonfood Items: Pica

Pica is the craving and eating of nonfood items. It can develop in any person but seems to be most often experienced by African American women (data is limited) in the pregnancy and postpartum period. In the southern United States, 16 to 57 percent of pregnant African-American women admit to pica. It is also generally more common in persons with severe impairments and mental retardation, although there is no connection whatsoever between the latter and the former.

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Is It True That Grapefruit Interacts With Many Drugs?

Many people do not realize how many potential reactions there are between common foods and pharmaceutical drugs. Some of these interactions may just cause the drug to be less effective, but others can be dangerous. If you've ever been prescribed a drug and been warned to avoid grapefruit or grapefruit juice, it is because grapefruit juice is known to have a dangerous effect on the metabolism of many commonly prescribed drugs. In fact, it interacts with over 95 medicines.

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Is Sugar Really Addictive?

The next time someone tells something is addictive, ask one of the most important questions you can. Kids know this question well: WHY? One of the many manifestations of the current state of food-fear and alarmism, and certainly a claim of many alternative fat loss gurus is that sugar is addictive. Why?

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Should Babies Only Eat Bland Food with No Spices or Seasonings?

If you are a parent that served your baby store-bought baby food from jars, then you are a parent who knows what it tastes like. Because of course you tasted it. First, you were curious. Second, we love our children too much to give them food we haven't even tasted yet! So, you know baby food is bland mushy bleck! At least for the most part. Some of it is not bad, like the bananas. Regardless, it's not exactly a flavor explosion.

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Turning Landfill Trash Into Food?

You can't turn trash into food suitable for humans. Of course not. But, landfills produce methane gas. And, according to a report by Bloomberg, researchers at Calysta Inc. in California, and at String Bio in India are finding ways to turn this methane gas into protein suitable for human consumption.

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Cheese Contains More Than 70% Fat?

Everybody loves cheese! Right? Any food that we love will have its very vocal detractors. One that note, a Facebook meme about cheese caught my eye a while ago and I thought it would provide a good lesson in fake reasonableness.

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What Are Legumes?

You may have seen the term legumes in information on information about food, nutrition, and health. Although the term is sometimes used in culinary circles, it is actually a botanical term. What a botanist would call a legume we would call a bean, pea, or lentil.

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Is the 'How Coca-Cola Reacts to Stomach Acid' Video Real?

A video on YouTube entitled 'Experiment Pouring Coca Cola in Stomach Acid!! - Epic Reaction!,' or 'How Coke Reacts to Stomach Acid,' between YouTube and Facebook, has been viewed millions of times. Posted by a channel called Molten Science, it purports to show what happens when Coca-Cola comes into contact with stomach acid, or hydrochloric acid. The video starts by showing a square glass containing a small amount of clear liquid with a can of Coke sitting next to it. We cannot tell what the liquid in the glass container might be, but it is supposed to be "stomach acid."

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