Tasting Before Birth In the area around Philadelphia there lives a company called Monell Chemical Senses. It is one of the leading sensory evaluation firms in the world and they actually employ, so I heard on the grapevine, professional smellers. They do lots of research on different things, and this one series of experiments focused on babies tasting what their moms-to-be ate via the medium of amniotic fluid or breast milk.
Bittman also makes a good case for making real food available. Go to any drug store or convenience store and most of what is sold in the food category is junk. Other than a little milk and very little real fruit juice, what do you the consumer see on the shelves? Junk food, everything heavily processed, load with sodium, sugar of all sorts, fats and so many chemicals that one would think that one is about to purchase an industrial solvent or other destructive chemical.
There was a great article in the NY Times today by Mark Bittman which addressed how government tax policies can affect the health of Americans. He talks about how through politics determining agricultural policies that subsidize certain crops- corn and soybeans and sugar- the manufacturing of highly processed food is incredibly inexpensive. So what, you say? Well, these artificially low prices find their way into sugar waters (soft drinks and so called fruit juice and energy drinks) and all manner of processed snacks, junk food and other items that are having a disastrous effect on the health of Americans.
An article published in the Tifton Gazette, which is in south Georgia, leads with the title "South Georgia Tuffles? Scientists identify valuable new crop." Written by Tracy Ingram it presents food for thought, pun intended.
It seems that those things that have been discarded over the years by pecan farmers tending their pecan trees are actually a type of truffle, cleverly now called "pecan truffles." As with their more well known counterparts from France and Italy, pecan truffles also grow on the root systems of the trees and by some process seem to make the trees healthier in the process. They do occur naturally and were historically thrown aside by the farmers so as not to interfere with the nut harvest.