Good morning! The final Friday of 2017. Finally. The finale.
Granted, a calendar is a manmade contrivance to help us keep appointments in a non-rural non-agricultural society, but I must admit there's a certain relief in being able to throw a bad year into the trash, so to speak. (Actually, my calendars go into the recycling bin, which by my own metaphor explains my problems, right?)
Special shout-out to Twin! How'd it go?
So, why does Leo hate processed food?
Leo's mom was a nurse and nutritoin nut with a love of chemistry.
For example, let's take xanthan gum. Or not. Did you know that this common food-binding food-stabilizing agent is also used in petroleum industry to make "drilling mud"? Yep. You saw that right. It's sucha great thickening agent that it traps solids into sludge during petroleum drilling operations, particularly messy ones like shale oils and fracking and such. It's incredibly effective. It's been okayed for human use, but do be aware that it causes bloating and flatulence. It's a byproduct of fermenting simple sugars using a particular bacteria (hence the name, xanthan, derived from the parent microbe's genus). And a pinch goes a long way.
So if you have salad dressing you never need to shake? Xanthan gum. Ice cream that's creamy in gooey way even if it's melting a bit? Xanthan gum. Yes, ice cream. And, as I said, drilling mud. Learn these things at age 6, never recover, is what I'm saying.
I just also distrust all things in food that start with X.
Xylitol is a great substitute sweetener for some, but keep it away from dogs, cats, small children, and, y'oknow, forget it. While xylitol doesn't cause an insulin release from the human pancreas? It causes a huge insulin release from a dog's pancreas. Blood sugar levels then plummet, and hypoglycemic shock can result. Bad news.
INteresting to note, xylitol's probably best for your teeth. Used in dental products (mouthwashes, toothpastes) to improve flavor but not add actual sugar. Even though xylitol is a sugar. Yes, it is. SOrry. Produced by plants, but refined out. Like, y'know, table sugar. Birch trees are one source, I know that, but I think there's little bits of it anywhere you find natural sugars occurring (fruits, veg, etc.).
That said, xylitol in gum? Good! Why? Your mouth bacteria that make plaque on your teeth need yummy sugary goodness. Xylitol is not a sugar they like. Strep particularly (yes, strep lives in your mouth, don't freak out, why do you think human bites are amon gthe most nasty in terms of infection?). And as strep mutans is known to contribute to plaque build-up and such? You're better off with xylitol. Strep can't use it. Glucose, yes. Fructose, hell yeah! But Xylitol (which has calories, btw, it's a bit less than half the calories of normal table sugar)? Nope. Strep don't like. That said, don't treat strep infections with it. Thi sis dental stuff. Quite honestly, I get good results at the dentist, using stevia. (I do use the expensive, very well-refined stevia extract, btw. That's key. The cheaper ones are horrid.)
That said, some things start with X b/c the language of origin. X'nipec is a type of spicy pepper, for example. There's a drink called Xalapa punch (probably has nothing to do with the Mexican city of same name, but hey, sounds cool to bartenders). And xampinyons (or xampinions, or xampinon with a tilde on that first N) are just mushrooms. It's a Catalan Spanish word, but has mad eit around the SPanish-speaking world b/c of cooking. It's very fancy to say "xampinyons en salsa", but it's just "mushrooms in a sauce". *eyeroll*
OK, there's your brain-numbing who-cares trivia for the day. Stay warm, stay well!
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