Posts tagged ‘seeds’

Vanilla is an Addictive Stimulant

By Chad Upton | Editor

Vanilla is often associated with plain, boring and ordinary; however, vanilla is anything but vanilla.

Now, it’s hardly the kind of thing you’d find shady characters dealing on a dark street corner. In fact, it’s not the kind of thing you’d likely find anywhere — I mean, good luck finding Grade A Tahitian Vanilla Beans in most cities. If you do find them, you’re looking at $5 or more for a single bean.

vanilla bean

Beans of such high quality are typically sought by epicureans, but there’s more to vanilla than its taste. (more…)

December 12, 2012 at 2:00 am 5 comments

Poppy Seeds Can Cause Drug Test Failures

By Chad Upton | Editor

Poppy seeds are tasty, especially on bagels or in muffins and lets not forget about cakes either. But, poppy seeds can cause serious situations that might make you think twice the next time you see poppy seed encrusted baking. There are many documented cases of people losing their jobs or even their children because of drug tests with false-positive results.

Poppy seeds are oilseeds that come from the opium poppy. Although the seeds are not used in creating opiate drugs such as morphine or codeine, they do contain a small amount of opiates. If a person consumes enough seeds in the 48 hours leading up to a drug test, they can test positive for opiates in their system.

US federal prisons test inmates for drugs and therefore, they do not serve food containing poppy seeds within the prison. Prisoners on furlough, who are allowed to leave the prison, are forbidden from eating poppy seeds, so they can’t use it as a defense if they do test positive for opiates.

Because there have been so many false positives, testing standards were updated in 1998 to allow a higher amount of opiates before it is considered a positive result. This was done reduce the number of false positives from poppy seeds. Some labs still use the old standards and some medical journals claim that the new standards can still report false-positives in certain cases.

So, if you are at the mercy of drug testing, you might want to avoid poppy seeds entirely.

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Sources: Snopes, Wikipedia (Poppy Seeds, Opiate),

Photo: Johnson (cc)


There are a lot of unpleasant opiate withdrawal symptoms that an opiate abuser will have to deal with to finally eliminate the drug from his system.

May 2, 2011 at 3:00 am 3 comments

McDonald’s Imports One Third of Mexican Sesame Seeds

By Chad Upton | Editor

Sesame seeds come from sesame plants where the seeds grow in pods.

The seeds range in color from very dark to nearly white and are used in foods from Europe, Asia, The Middle East, North America, South America and virtually everywhere else. They are found in everything from sushi to breadsticks and soup to hamburger buns.

A tasty Middle Eastern dip known as Tahini, is made from ground sesame seeds and salt (and sometimes other spices too). Sesame seeds are also very popular in a variety of baked goods including breads, bagels and crackers. In Togo, a small country in West Africa, uses sesame seeds as a main ingredient in soup. They’re also used in Greek cakes.

Sesame seeds are popular because they add a subtle savory nut-like flavor. They taste good because they’re high in polyunsaturated fats (the “good” fat). It should be mentioned that heat from cooking or baking damages the polyunsaturated fats.

The largest producers are India and China, and one of the largest consumers is McDonald’s, which buys one third of the Mexican sesame seeds imported by the US annually.

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Sources: Wikipedia (Sesame, Polyunsaturated Fats),

Photo: Oceandesetoiles (cc)

April 25, 2011 at 2:00 am Leave a comment

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