Posts filed under ‘Food and Drink’

Party Cup Ridges are Measurement Markings

By Chad Upton | Editor

Now that college is back in session, it’s time to learn something really useful. Party cups aren’t just for playing beer pong and flippy cups; some people use them exclusively for serving drinks. They’re great for cash bars and beer pong for the same reason: the ridges can be used to measure servings.

Starting at the top, the lines are as follows:

  • First Line: 16 oz / Pint (beer)
  • Second Line: 14 ounces (mixed drink fill line)
  • Third Line: 5 ounces (wine / ice fill line for soda / beer pong fill line)
  • Fourth Line: 1 ounce (liquor)

Most of these measurements are pretty common serving sizes for various types of alcohol. For example, 1 oz of 100 proof liquor has about the same alcohol as 5 oz of wine and each are considered “1 drink”. For beer, 10 – 12 ounces is considered 1 drink, but a pint is a typical serving size no less. (more…)

September 8, 2012 at 10:06 am Leave a comment

There is a Beer Pipeline

By Chad Upton | Editor

Although aqueducts were used as far back as the 7th century BC, the first known “pipeline” was built in 1595 to carry salt water. At 40 km (25 miles) in length, it was made from 13,000 hollowed tree trunks.

Today, some of our most valuable resources are carried by pipeline: water, oil, natural gas, and even beer. Yes, there is a beer pipeline. Actually, there are at least two beer pipelines. (more…)

April 26, 2012 at 2:00 am 12 comments

Mason Jars Can Be Used as Mini Blender Jars

By Chad Upton | Editor

Perhaps this is why they call them “Blender Jars” — the thread on the bottom of the jar is the same as a mason jar. That means you can remove the blade assembly from your large blender jar and attach it to a mason jar for small recipes, quick smoothies, baby food, etc.

If you’ve already got a blender, that’s just a few dollars in mason jars. Otherwise, you could shell out $50 for a magic bullet:

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February 28, 2012 at 6:00 am 17 comments

Square Watermelons are Smarter Than Round Ones

By Chad Upton | Editor

How much is your fridge space worth?

Traditional watermelons take up a lot of space in your fridge. So, farmers in Japan came up with a way to grow square watermelons.

Square watermelons are a better use of space in your fridge and during shipping. When you pack them together there isn’t as much “empty” space in the corners. They’re also more convenient because they don’t roll over, they stand on their own.

From a practical standpoint, they’re definitely better. But, are they worth the money? In Japan, they go for the equivalent of about $82 USD. These watermelons are available in some US specialty grocery shops as well. These Panama imports are going for $75 and up.

If you want square watermelons without the obtuse price, you might consider growing your own. You can do it just like the Japanese farmers if you pickup a polycarbonate mold to grow them in. Basically, you fit the case around the watermelon as it starts growing and the watermelon grows to fill the shape of the case. The case runs for about $110 USD, but you can use it to grow many watermelons. Once you’ve grown two, you’ve more than paid for it.

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Photo: solution_63 (cc)

Sources: CNN, slashfood, snopes, square-watermelons.com

November 16, 2011 at 2:00 am 1 comment

Syrah and Shiraz are the Same Grape

By Chad Upton | Editor

There are thousands of grape varieties out there. You’ll find a couple of them in the grocery store and another fraction of them in wine making.

Casual wine drinkers might be able to name a couple dozen grape varieties used for wine, but two of the most common are actually the same grape: Syrah and Shiraz.

Why have two names for the same thing?

(more…)

November 4, 2011 at 2:00 am 4 comments

Carrots Do Not Improve Eyesight

By Chad Upton | Editor

Like many kids, I didn’t like vegetables — especially carrots and broccoli. Adults frequently told me that carrots would improve my eyesight, so that seemed like a good reason to try liking them.

There was one person who didn’t tell me this, he actually told me the opposite. My grand father overheard somebody tell me that carrots would improve my eyesight and he let me in on a little secret — it was all a big lie. Carrots do not improve your eyesight.

Sure, carrots and many other foods do contain beta-carotene, which metabolizes into Vitamin A and everyone agrees that is essential for maintaining eye health, but it does not improve it. If you are not consuming enough vitamin A, any number of sources could help restore your vitamin A supply. Carrots themselves are not unique or magical in this way. In fact, carrots have less beta-carotene per 200 calorie serving than red peppers, kale and lettuce.

If lettuce, kale and red pepper have more beta-carotene than carrots, why do carrots get all the eyesight credit?

(more…)

October 17, 2011 at 2:00 am 15 comments

Some Fruit Seeds Contain Cyanide

By Chad Upton | Editor

Seeds from peaches, black cherries, apricots and apples contain a compound called amygdalin. Your body metabolizes amygdalin as hydrogen cyanide, which can make you very sick and even kill you (in large doses).

Hydrogen cyanide is lethal because it impedes blood from carrying oxygen, which is of course a critical function of blood.

The pits and seeds from cherries and apples aren’t a huge concern since it would take an unreasonably significant quantity of those to cause you harm. However, you should be more aware of the dangers of peach and apricot seeds if you like to eat them.

If you’re just consuming the fruit, there is nothing to worry about; however, some people buy bags of apricot seeds, or other forms of amygdalin, as a treatment or preventative treatment for cancer. It is marketed under the name Laetrile and “Vitamin B17” although there are many studies that prove it is not effective at treating cancer, not to mention the increased chance of cyanide poisoning.

A fatal dose of cyanide can be as little as 1.5 mg/kg of body weight. Since an apricot kernel contains approximately 0.5 mg of cyanide, consuming 150 seeds in a short period of time could be lethal to a 50 kg (110 lb) person.

It’s not just fruit seeds, there are other foods that contain cyanide too. Cassava, also known as tapioca, contains two forms of cyanide and should not be eaten raw. It is rendered safe for consumption by the process of soaking, cooking or fermentation.

There are many people who consume these foods in small doses without issue; you can buy bags of apricot kernels from Amazon or health food stores. If you do buy some, heed the serving suggestion and warning on the package.

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Sources: wikipedia (amygdalin, cassava, cyanide poisoning, apricot kernel), Saint Louis University (PDF)

September 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm 6 comments

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