What about the water? J. Kenji López-Alt from SeriousEats (and previously Cook’s Illustrated) wrote about performing a test concerning the effects of water on pizza crust. They used multiple bottled waters, with different levels of dissolved solids as well as NYC tap water in the introduction of his new book. His panel of judges weren’t able to detect a significant difference between any of the crusts made with the different waters. At this point, I think it’s safe to say this is a myth or at least a very large degree of self-induced bias.
The brown spots that mar an otherwise beautiful piece of fruit is basically “fruit rust,” caused by oxygen in the air reacting with a plant enzyme called “polyphenol oxidase.” This article explains the science in more detail, but to prevent enzymatic browning, you either have to stop the oxygen or the enzyme (or both.) Most prevention methods involve a physical barrier (water) and a chemical inhibitor (such as ascorbic acid) but we wanted to see which solutions provided the best solution to this ugly problem.
Most of us have a vague idea of how digestion works: we eat food, break it down (that’s the scientific term, right?) and, somehow, profit. But without a better understanding of what goes on in there, we’re liable to believe a few bizarre myths that have become commonplace.
In reality, our digestive tract is a complex system with many parts that communicate with each other and the rest of our body. It’s also very adaptable to what we put in it, and doesn’t need specific food combinations or “cleanses” to keep working at its best. Here are some of the top myths about digestion, and the truths behind them.
Alcohol has been part of human existence for millennia. Alcoholic beverages are an integral part of human culture. Like the wines consumed in Jewish and Christian rituals, these drinks have ceremonial and religious uses. Until the nineteenth century, beer, brandy, rum or grog was the drink of choice for sailors in lieu of stagnant water during long voyages. Alcohol is a social lubricant, an anesthetic and an antiseptic. It is one of the most widely used drugs in the world and has been manufactured since the advent of agriculture nearly 9000 years ago. How is it that this drug — an intoxicating poison — has become such a part of human existence?