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Monday, March 28, 2011

Nicotine Poisoning, Food-Dye Poisoning, and Bacon Fatigue

Posted By on Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 8:02 AM

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Today's notes on national stories, local trends, random tastes, and other bycatch dredged up from the food media.

1. More about tobacco-infused cocktails. Remember how I wrote about my fear and loathing of tobacco-infused food a few days ago? On Friday, our Lou Bustamante forwarded on a piece Darcy O'Neil posted on his blog, Art of Drink. O'Neil says that nicotine is equal to hydrogen cyanide in potency; as little as 60 mg will kill you. By smoking a cigarette, the body takes in 2 to 3 mg of nicotine. O'Neil calculates that the average shot of tobacco-infused vodka contains 9 mg of nicotine ― three or four cigarettes at once. Multiple shots: A dangerous idea. Now, the item that set me off ― Wilson and Wilson's new tobacco bitters ― probably doesn't contribute much in the way of nicotine. But I'm still not convinced that the stunt has culinary value.

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2. The return of the food dye issue. Le plus ça change... The Washington Post ran an article late last week

on a series of controversial studies (well, aren't they all?) that seem

to show that children who eat certain food dyes and preservatives are

more likely to have problems with hyperactivity. And since usage of food

dyes is up 50 percent in the past 20 years, you could see how this

would present a problem. (Apparently, tomato juice quickly fades to

brown in the bottle, and dog food is dyed so that humans find it more

appetizing.) It seems so strange that the great demon of my childhood --

I grew up in a natural-foods co-op where signs were posted all over

warning of the evils of preservatives and dyes -- has returned. Rather,

it was slumbering in the back yard for three decades until someone

tripped over it and remembered it still had teeth.

3. Today, I'd like to thank...
...Taco Bell, for advertising, a bit redundantly, that all its meat is USDA inspected. (Still trying to live down this lawsuit, I see.)
...Denny's, for proving once again that it is the graveyard of all food trends.
...Sandra Lee, for trying to one-up SFoodie by holding the world's biggest bake sale (we'll see, Ms. Lee, we'll see).

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.
Follow me at @JonKauffman.

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Jonathan Kauffman

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