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LJWorld.com weblogs Eat Your Vegetables

Fun (and scary) food facts for your Friday

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http://www2.ljworld.com/photos/2008/aug/28/154130/

The other day, I downloaded "25 Amazing Facts about Food" by Mike Adams and David Guiterrez of NaturalNews.com. It's a fun and free guide and the reporting looks pretty sound to me.

Most of the 25 facts I already knew, like No. 8: peach pits are the basis for an anti-cancer medicine known as "laetrile." (This was in a story I wrote awhile ago.) But some of the facts were new, and totally interesting:

No. 1: The most expensive cup of coffee in the world will cost you $80 a mug and is made from "beans partially digested and defecated by the Asian palm civet." The coffee? Kopi luwak.

No. 4: L-cysteine, an ingredient often found in commercial breads, is "derived from human hair." Why is it in there? It is an amino acid that works as a dough conditioner. I could make a joke about "pillowy bread" right now, but I won't.

No. 9: That confectioner's glaze ingredient you see in candies is actually the same thing as "shellac" ... which is sold at hardware stores for use as a wood varnish and seal. No matter what it's called and how it's used, it comes from "a chemical secreted by female lac bugs."

No. 20: Oregano, so good dried and put on pizza, apparently has a higher antioxidant content than the antioxidant superstar to the masses, the blueberry. It has four times the antioxidants of the little berries. Plus, it's got "12 times that of oranges and 42 times that of apples."

No. 23: The reason you're probably more likely to eat rice than quinoa? The Spanish banned quinoa and amaranth in the New World because the conquistadores were "scornful of their use in native religious ceremonies." Maybe if they'd known about the foods' high amounts of amino acids, they would've reconsidered. And, I'm pretty sure paella made with quinoa would be super tasty!

So, there's a bit of education for your Friday. If you want more, check out the full excellent report here. Have a fabulous weekend!

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