Why fresh-squeezed orange juice turns bitter.

Several times recently I have squeezed a large number of oranges, enjoyed some of the delicious fresh-squeezed juice, and then been disappointed by the rest the next day. It tastes bitter, and becomes worse rapidly. This turns out to be the result of naturally occurring limonoate A-ring lactone (aka "LARL," a tasteless substance) breaking down […]

That “fresh squeezed” orange juice is anything but.

I’m more interested in orange juice than is probably healthy for somebody who doesn’t work in the industry and, as such, I’m excited to see Bloomberg Businessweek shining a spotlight on the horseshit that is "fresh squeezed," "not from concentrate," and "all-natural." These are all lies. It was squeezed months ago. It was concentrated to […]

Sweet land of liberty.

I just discovered NPR’s “Americandy: Sweet Land of Liberty,” a series of stories about regional candies from around the U.S. Some obvious ones make the cut—GooGoo Clusters, Valomilk, Idaho Spud, Cherry Mash, Nut Goodie, Rocky Road—but I’m excited to learn about a bunch of others that I’d never heard of. Chukar Cherries, Chewie Pecan Praline, […]

The USDA has mapped out food deserts.

Using public records of grocery store locations and vehicle ownership, the USDA has mapped the locations of “food deserts,” regions where people lack access to decent food. Such areas have been popular to talk about and speculate about, but this is the first effort that I’m aware of to actually locate and measure them. →

Links for December 5th

Planet Money: Why Burn Doctors Hate Instant SoupStyrofoam "Cup Noodle" style containers turn out to be wildly dangerous. They spill easily, and hospitals throughout the country get a never-ending series of little kids who have been burned as a result of these things falling over. Companies that make short, squat containers don't have any problem—it's […]

On the impracticality of a cheeseburger.

If you came here having been told that this is an article about how the cheese­burger was “impossible” until recently, please note that it is not. It is about how the cheese­burger as we know it today was an impractical food until relatively recently. (Ref: the title.) A time-traveler with unlimited resources could probably pull […]

Links for November 30th

Christian Science Monitor: Way cleared for horse slaughter to resume in US after 5-year banCongress has passed a bill, and the president has signed it into law, that re-legalizes the slaughter of horses for human consumption. Banning that practice was a huge mistake, for reasons that were obvious at the time, but it took a […]

Links for November 10th

Nieman Reports: A Local Newspaper Endures a Stormy BacklashThis is the story of how the tiny Idaho Falls Post Register bravely uncovered a series of cases of pedophiles acting as leaders in area Boy Scout troops, as told by the managing editor of the paper. In the face of an angry public very much in […]

Links for October 5th

Chattanooga Times-Free Press: 96-year-old Chattanooga resident denied voting IDDorothy Cooper even managed to vote under Jim Crow, but the Tennessee Republican Party has proved to be one obstacle she can't overcome. She's never driven, so she has no driver's license. She tried to get a photo ID, but she has to present her marriage certificate, […]