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Food
Dehydrated water is an old joke, but I've never actually seen a can of the stuff. Here one is, posted on Flickr by David Reeves. His caption reads, "Spotted on the chemical storage shelf in an adjacent laboratory." The strange thing is that Bernard Food Industries, the company listed as the maker of this product, is a real company. Why were they manufacturing this stuff? I assume it was a joke.



Update: Looks like these cans must have been a gag product that Bernard Foods produced at some time, because someone is selling one on eBay. Perhaps I'll bid on it.
Categories: Food
Posted by Alex on Wed Oct 24, 2007
Comments (47)
No, it's not pork. It's "pork stone." Sohu.com has posted these pictures (which they, in turn, got from the China News Network) of stone that looks like pork. Apparently this stone has been on display at the Suzhou International Expo, and has been attracting a lot of attention.

Reportedly, the stone hasn't been altered in any way. It's naturally formed in the earth to look like slabs of pork. It's selling for 120 yuan (about $16) per kg. (via spluch)



Categories: Food
Posted by Alex on Fri Oct 12, 2007
Comments (9)
Can you make Mountain Dew glow simply by adding some baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to it? That's what this video claims. I was so excited after watching it that I was all prepared to go out, buy a bottle of Mountain Dew, and try the experiment myself. Thankfully I didn't, because the video is a fake. If you watch it closely, you can see that a break occurs after the person pours the Mountain Dew into the glass. During this break is when the contents of a glow stick were added to the Mountain Dew bottle. According to Wikipedia, hydrogen peroxide serves as an activating agent for the glow-stick dye. "It reacts with the ester to form an unstable CO2 dimer which excites the dye to an excited state; the dye emits a photon (light) when it spontaneously relaxes back to the ground state." I don't know what the purpose of the baking soda is.

Categories: Food, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Mon Oct 08, 2007
Comments (32)
Here's something else to add to my page of gross things found in food:
LEHI, Utah (AP) -- An Arkansas company is offering $100 to a Utah woman who found a severed mouse head in a can of green beans if she pledges not to take legal action, but she's not biting. The letter from Allens Inc. of Siloam Springs, Ark., describes it as a "gesture of goodwill." Marianne Watson isn't interested.
Apparently she doesn't want money. Or so she says. Instead she wants the company to recall all cans of its green beans. I don't think that's going to happen.
Categories: Food
Posted by Alex on Fri Oct 05, 2007
Comments (7)
Today was the 100th anniversary of Neiman Marcus. The retailer celebrated by giving away free chocolate chip cookies in most of its stores, as a tongue-in-cheek nod to the $250 Cookie Recipe legend that has caused it so much trouble over the years.

And if you missed the cookie giveaway, you can still download the recipe for its cookies free from its website. One of these days I'm going to have to try them out to see how they are. (via David Emery)
Categories: Food, Urban Legends
Posted by Alex on Tue Sep 11, 2007
Comments (1)
Brenda has been so good as to send me these pictures of a peanut she found that she believes looks like a penis. She writes:
I found this "penis" peanut in a bag of Planters peanuts shaped like a penis complete with the shaft and family jewels. A friend at work told me that there is a casino that buys odd things but I can not seem to locate them. I've also tryed to list it on EBay but can't find a catogory that it fits under. There was a peanut on EBay that looked like a duck, but there wasn't any bids on it.( It was under the everything else catogory.) Could you please give any suggestions if you have any.
I've already told her the name of the casino: goldenpalace.com. As for how to sell this thing, I'm not sure. But I know that, somewhere out there, there's got to be a home for the Penis Peanut.
image image image
Categories: Food, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Mon Aug 20, 2007
Comments (10)
Well, after my holiday, my laptop went down, and it's only this week that I'm back online. I do extend my apologies for the lack of 'Best of the Forum' posts for the last few weeks.

Receive the Holy Oil! (Transfrmr)
Forum member Transfrmr found a rather... interesting advertisement in a local free newspaper.
The advertisement (see above link) shows the text:
"I heard voices calling my name but saw nobody. Sometimes the voices told me to throw
myself under a car. To top it off I also suffered with terrible nightmares...I had no peace
at all!
I did a chain of Prayer, used the Holy Oil and fight for changes in my life. Gradually,
the grudges and pain were replaced with peace, forgiveness and joy."

The holy oil comes absolutely free, apparently. If I lived nearby, I'd have been tempted to go along and pick some up.

Man says hold the cheese, claims McDonalds didn't, sues for $10 million (AussieBruce)
Jeromy Jackson, who is allergic to cheese, claims that a local McDonalds made a mistake in his order, causing him to have to be rushed to hospital. He's now suing the chain.
A friend says that Jackson at least five times checked they had his order correct, but when he ate the burger, the reaction was instantaneous. He allegedly ate the burger in a darkened room, causing him to not notice the cheese.
As many people in the forum have noted, surely someone with such severe food allergies would make sure to check his food for himself before consuming it. Whilst this story may be what it seems, it does tingle my spidey-sense somewhat.

CIA behind Wikipedia entries (Smerk)
A new identification program on the popular site Wikipedia has shown that, amongst others, frequent users include CIA, the British Labour Party, and the Vatican, all of whom edit and update not only their own entries, but others besides.

We Have Broken Speed of Light (Tah)
Two German physicists have broken the speed of light, they've told New Scientist magazine.
Doctors Nimtz and Stahlhofen claim to have completed an experiment wherein microwave photons have travelled up to three feet instantaneously.
Categories: Advertising, Business/Finance, Food, Health/Medicine, Law/Police/Crime, Technology
Posted by Flora on Fri Aug 17, 2007
Comments (10)
Here's a couple that were making a career out of the inappropriate things found in food scam.

Ronald Evano and his wife Mary would go to a restaurant, purposefully eat glass, get themselves hospitalized, and then threaten to sue the restaurant. They did this at least a dozen times and collected over $200,000 in compensation. The AP reports:
Evano said in court that he and his wife ate the glass because they needed money. "We would go to a restaurant, and I'd say I had glass in my food," Evano said. "Then I would go to the hospital and say I was in pain." Over the years, one or both claimed to have eaten glass at establishments in Braintree and Quincy, Mass.; Bethesda and Gaithersburg, Md.; Washington D.C.; Providence, R.I.; and Midlothian, Va. The couple used false names, Social Security numbers and identity cards. Evano is in custody and is to be sentenced next month. He could receive up to 100 years in prison.
The things some people will do for money.
Categories: Con Artists, Food
Posted by Alex on Thu Aug 16, 2007
Comments (4)
The New Zealand Press reports on a new sexual phenomenon: Vegansexuality. Here are some extracts from the article:
Vegansexuals are people who do not eat any meat or animal products, and who choose not to be sexually intimate with non-vegan partners whose bodies, they say, are made up of dead animals...

Many female respondents described being attracted to people who ate meat, but said they did not want to have sex with meat-eaters because their bodies were made up of animal carcasses...

Christchurch vegan Nichola Kriek has been married to her vegan husband, Hans, for nine years. She would not describe herself as vegansexual, but said it would definitely be a preference... "When you are vegan or vegetarian, you are very aware that when people eat a meaty diet, they are kind of a graveyard for animals," she said.
Wow. I never thought of myself as a graveyard for animals, but when you put it that way, I guess it is technically true.

I think what's going on here is what anthropologists call the law of sympathetic magic: Once in contact, always in contact. That is, if an offensive object touches a neutral object, the neutral object becomes permanently tainted (in the eyes of the observer) by the contact. It's a totally irrational impulse, but powerful nonetheless.

I write about an experiment in Elephants on Acid in which an experimenter briefly dipped a dried, sterilized cockroach into a glass of apple juice and then asked people if they would be willing to drink the juice. Most people didn't want to, even though the juice was in no way contaminated. It's the same principle as vegansexuality. If something really grosses us out, that sense of disgust will spread to anything touched by the offensive object.
Categories: Food, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Tue Aug 14, 2007
Comments (18)
Cornell University researcher Brian Wanskin arranged to give diners at a prix-fixe restaurant a complimentary glass of wine. The diners were shown the bottle before the wine was poured into their glass. Some of the diners were shown a wine bottle apparently from a fancy California winery called "Noah's Winery." Others were shown a bottle from a North Dakota winery. But in all cases the wine they were served was actually the same. It was a cheap Charles Shaw Cabernet (familiar to Trader Joes shoppers as "two-buck chuck").

Predictably, the diners seemed to appreciate the wine and their meal more when told that they were drinking a high-class California wine, as measured by how long they lingered at the table and how much food they ate.

I guess no one associates North Dakota with fine wine. Obviously they've never tried North Dakota Pumpkin Wine!

Wanskin concludes that, "Within limits, a food expected to taste good will taste good, and a food expected to taste bad will taste bad."

My theory with wine has always been that while there may be a noticeable difference between a $2 and a $15 bottle of wine, once you get over $15, there's really no appreciable improvement. People just expect very expensive wine to taste better, so they convince themselves that it does taste better. (via New Scientist blog)
Categories: Food, Science
Posted by Alex on Wed Aug 08, 2007
Comments (12)
85-year-old Gladys Wagner purchased a loaf of bread from her local convenience store on November 10, 2006. When she got back home, she cut off two pieces from it to make a sandwich. Then she rewrapped it in its bag and put it in her cupboard. The next day she went to live with her daughter for the winter, forgetting about the bread. But amazingly, when she returned home in the spring, THE BREAD WAS STILL FRESH! There wasn't even any mold on it.

Ever since then, the bread has sat on a shelf in her daughter's home, refusing to go stale. Finally, Gladys contacted the media about it. The academic community is at a loss to explain this miracle bread. The Canadian National Post reports:
Koushik Seetharaman, a University of Guelph professor, said Ms. Wagner appears to have accidently achieved a goal that has eluded many researchers.
"We've been working to create breads for NASA's shuttle program that last that long and haven't succeeded," he said yesterday.
The company that baked the bread speculates that the bread might have frozen during the winter, but they have no explanation for why it would still be fresh. They insist there's nothing unusual in the bread.

Sounds to me like Gladys should try selling her loaf of bread on eBay. Though it would fetch a higher price if it bore an image of Jesus or the Virgin Mary, in addition to being forever fresh.
Categories: Food
Posted by Alex on Mon Aug 06, 2007
Comments (8)
An article in the Japanese Mainichi Daily News (which claims to be merely repeating a story that appeared in a magazine called Fushigi Knuckles) tells the story of the attempt to introduce Wormburgers in Japan. An Aomori Prefecture company, so the story goes, tried to market worms as food for human consumption because of the high nutritional value of worms:
Instead of a beef patty, the Worm Burger used ground worms, cut the onions a little, added wheat flour, a runny egg and blended in milk to make it go down easier. The magazine notes that despite the best intentions, the Worm Burger ended up as a major flop. Marketers had been targeting women and young people, but appear to have struggled to overcome worms' image as a bizarre food.
Maybe this really happened, but probably not. It's more likely that this is a recycling of the old Wormburger urban legend from the late 1970s. This urban legend got launched when papers reported that food scientists were experimenting with earthworms as a source of protein. Take, for instance, this UPI article that appeared in a number of American newspapers in mid-December, 1975:
EARTHWORMS MAY BE NEW FOOD SOURCE
Sacramento, Calif. (UPI)
You may one day be eating earthworm casserole. And redworm cookies.
The lowly earthworm, ignored by almost everybody but the fisherman, is burrowing its way into the world of big business, and may be put to work soon to help man grow crops, dispose of garbage and even satisfy his dietary need for protein.
So says Frank Carmody, market development director for North American Bait Farms of Ontario, Calif., one of the nation's largest growing and marketing businesses ...
If produced in sufficient quantity at a cost competitive with other protein materials, he said, worms could be used as feed for pets, poultry, fish and other animals as well as food for people. Seventy-two per cent of a worm's dry weight is protein.
Sponsor of a worm recipe contest, North American Bait has received ideas for adding dried, crispy worms to salads, casseroles and cookies. Carmody says redworm cookies are "delicious."
After a few articles like this appeared, it was simply a matter of time before tales began to spread of McDonalds and other fast-food chains secretly using worms in their burgers. However, worms are in no way cost competitive with other sources of protein such as beef. So there's little reason to fear that fast-food chains will start padding their burgers with worms any time soon.
Categories: Food, Urban Legends
Posted by Alex on Thu Aug 02, 2007
Comments (10)
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