Nerd Attack! Just Spit Ballin’

These posts are usually meant for Fridays. Between class, work and a little mishap with my chemistry homework I was a busy bee! I’m getting excited for this semester, though…learning lots of cool science-y stuff 🙂

I was talking with some girls in my chemistry class and our professor about how moms always pick at their kids…hair on their shirt, food on their face, etc…even if we are 23 years old! It got me thinking: how many people actually know why you use spit to clean off your kids face? Or the ketchup you just spilled on your favorite t-shirt? It’s actually related to the detergent you use to do your laundry!

Or should we say laundry is based off how our saliva works. There are these enzymes in our saliva that break down gunk (starch). Alpha-amylase (am-UH-lase) is the main go getter. Your spit also breaks down some of the stuff you eat. How cool? So because of your spit, you now have laundry detergent. Thank you, science.

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So the next time your kiddo has food on their face and they’re going “moooooooooooom!” as you dig your saliva soaked thumb into their cheek, just remind them your spit’s hard at work, making them clean.

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Nerd Attack! Molecular Foods

You’ve made it! It’s the end of the work week. The start of your weekend. And FREE PIZZA….wait. That’s just on the radio. No free ‘za here, sorry. But if you’re a foodie like me, I think you’ll like be intrigued by what I’ve got for you today.

We’re talking about a new way to cook. You know that weird, gross, time-consuming chore that has practically been the same since the dawn of time. Start a fire, throw some stuff in a pan thingy and eat. But people are always looking for new ways to do anything and everything. Evolution of cooking is no exception! Science is becoming more prominent in everyday life now that we understand how things work on a chemical/molecular level. Cooking food is a just bunch of molecular and chemical reactions, manipulate it a bit and you get Molecular Gastronomy (what a gross sounding name).

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I actually saw an entire display decided to this at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. If you’ve never been I highly recommend it. Getting “lost” and never returning with the group crossed my mind. It’s absolutely incredible! With new displays constantly. Make sure you’ve got a lot of energy stored up before you go…it’s quite taxing.

The real definition of molecular food is a seed that has been genetically altered so it is less susceptible to other conditions (wisegeek.com). However, this website dictates that most chefs actually use it to refer to how the food is prepared. Learning the physics behind food and finding new ways to prepare it. How cool?

This video shows a chef who uses these new techniques to prepare his dishes.

Smoking a cake? Who comes up with this stuff? A sensory way to enjoy food, instead of enjoying it the normal way. That guy does.^ Going along with a sensory way to enjoy your food, you can do it with drinks as well! Check out this hilarious scene from Parks and Rec where Ron Swanson questions the legitimacy of the club:

A little more on the ridiculous side…But that appears to be what cuisine is moving toward. Fresh takes on how to get your nutrition.

 

A French chemist predicted by 2000 we would be eating nutritive tablets instead of actual food and that obviously didn’t happen (NCBI). Do you guys think this is the way cuisine is moving? Or is it just a fad that will eventually fade because this has been a traditional thing for centuries?

 

If you want to read more I suggest this blog post…some serious research. And killer science info!

 

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