Posts filed under ‘Law’

Pure Vanilla Extract is 35% Alcohol

I made vanilla crème brulée a few weeks ago and I used a lot of pure vanilla extract, almost twice the amount the recipe suggested. I did a Grand Marnier flambé on top and although it tasted great, the best part was the excuse to buy a blowtorch.

Now, when you buy something labeled “pure”, you expect it to match the definition of pure, “unmodified by an admixture; simple or homogeneous.” But, that’s not what you get with pure vanilla extract.

In the United States, the FDA requires Pure Vanilla Extract to contain alcohol if it’s going to be called “pure.” Specifically, it must contain at least 35% alcohol and 13.35 ounces of vanilla bean per gallon.

It turns out this is not a rip off, alcohol actually helps extract the flavor from the vanilla beans. Not only that, vanilla extract gets better with age, maturing in about 2 years.

Alcohol free versions are available, but will not be labeled as “pure.”

Broken Secrets | Written By: Chad Upton

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Sources: dictionary.com, wikipedia, FDA, Arizona Vanilla

Photo: Jocelyn | McAuliflower (cc)

April 23, 2010 at 12:01 am Leave a comment

State Health Care in Hawaii Since 1975

While the federal health care reform bill passed in the House of Representatives last night, Hawaii and Massachusetts have had state regulated health care since 1975 and 2006 respectively.

Whether you support government regulated health care or not, there is a good chance it will soon be an option for most Americans (the bill still has a number of steps before it is official). In the meantime, let’s have a look at the impact of health care reform on two other states.

Depending on where you get the numbers from, 85-89% of Americans have health insurance.

Before 1975, 70% of Hawaiians had health insurance, which made it the highest insured state at the time. On January 1, 1975 the Hawaii Prepaid Health Care Art was passed, bringing the state to 92% coverage.

In Massachusetts, the introduction of State health care raised the insurance rate to approx 94% of residents in 2006. The following year, it went up to 97%. In the next two years it dropped a point and Massachusetts now has the lowest number of uninsured residents at 4.1%.

The Hawaiian and Massachusetts systems are quite different from each other. One of the key differences is who pays for it.  In the Hawaiian system, employers are required to provided health insurance to employees who work more than 20 hours per week. (more…)

March 22, 2010 at 12:30 am Leave a comment

The Roadkill Waiting List

If you’re a serious deer hunter, this may not be a secret to you: in many states, you can have your name added to a roadkill call list. When a deer or moose is struck near you, they’ll call down the list until they find someone available to get it while it’s fresh. Seriously.

I think the idea of roadkill sounds strange to most people, but a recent poll at DeerAndDeerHunting.comCell Phone with Reindeer Wallpaper shows that 19 of the 40 participants have eaten roadkill and another 9 wouldn’t hesitate when the buck drops. I’m sure that number would be much lower on any other website, but that’s not the point. I just heard about this last week, and there is a logical reason for this: there may be $500 worth of meat on a dead deer, and that doesn’t change whether you took it down with a Beretta rifle or a Beretta GT.

State laws differ on this issue. For example: in Texas, it is illegal to posses roadkill, but not in many other states. Generally, you need a permit for this and need to follow the procedure for your area. If you’re interested, check with the game warden (or State Police) near you before attempting to take any roadkill and see if they have a list you can be added to. You also want to do some research on this since you may not want to consume this meat in all cases; although, it might still be OK for your dog.

BrokenSecrets.com

Sources: NewEngland.com Officer.com GunBroker.com FreeRepublic.com DeerAndDeerHunting.com Dogster.com

Photo Credit: Jelene (Creative Commons)

November 30, 2009 at 12:01 am 2 comments

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