How much do you know about what you eat?

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 The New York's American Museum of Natural History has recently opened up an exhibit named "Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture" This exhibit explores different foods and the nutrition, entertainment, rituals that are tied behind it.

This exhibit also includes sample meals of famous people such as Michael Phelps and Jane Austen. After visiting the exhibit Clara Moskowitz, the LiveSchience senior writer expresses the 10 most interesting facts she learned.

1.     Moskowitz explains that the world provides enough food to feed the entire human body but the problem is not production but distribution.  One U.S family of four wastes 1,656 pounds of food every year, so think about that next time you want to throw away your food.

2.     The second point Moskowitz shared caught my attention because it demonstrates signs of animal cruelty. The exhibit explains that wild chickens normally lay about 15 eggs a year but now, farmers have enhanced the chickens to lay up to 200-300 eggs a year.

3.     Up until 500 years ago the people in the Americas where the only ones to have ever tasted chili peppers, chocolate, and tomatoes.  But now these items have become essential in cooking meals around the world.

4.     Did you ever think you could change the shape of a watermelon? Well Japan has done it.

Japan grows their watermelons in glass cubes, causing them to grow in a square form. It is said that this is done to make it easier to store the watermelons in refrigerators. The square watermelon also sells for a significantly larger amount then regularly shaped watermelons.

5.     If you wondered why birds could easily eat spicy peppers and their seeds with out it bothering them, here is the answer. Birds are unable to taste capsaicin, which is the chemical that produces the spice flavor in chili peppers.

6.     If you lived before the 1800s you where still using yours hands to eat your food because Americans did not start using forks until the mid 1800s.  Moskowitz also explains that in China the use of chopsticks over knives demonstrates the importance of scholars over warriors.

7.     40% of the world's ice-free land is used by humans to grow crops and livestock. This number shocked me because I was not aware of how much land is being used to produce food.

8.     Boiling food requires airtight containers; therefore the technique to simmering food didn't develop until 10,000 years ago.

9.     How do you explain a person being both overweight and malnourished? A person who eats too many fatty foods that are short of the vitamins and minerals the body needs.  I connected this conclusion to the ongoing problem in America of overweight people that only consume fast foods and foods extremely high in calories.

10.   Last, Moskowitz explained a point that fascinated me. I lived in Thailand for 4 months and the food there was extremely spicy, nothing like anything in America. I was always intrigued in how it was possible that the Thai people could eat such spicy food with out becoming hot and bothered.  Now Moskowitz had answered my question.  When a woman is pregnant and constantly eats spicy food, they can pass along toleration for spicy food through breast-feeding.  This is why the people in Thailand can eat much Spicer foods then most people around the world.


1 Comment

This was an interesting article.

I've been to Thailand as well and my eyes teared up every time I ate the food because it was way too spicy, I was even more shocked when they told me the food I was eating was considered only "a little spicy". I always wondered why they could tolerate so much spicy food and you had my answer!

I find that being healthy in America is difficult to achieve. The fastest foods we can obtain are usually extremely unhealthy, which is probably why the obesity rate continues to rise every year. I wrote a blog, you can read about it here , about why Japanese people can live for so long, and it's mainly because of their healthy diet. A study has shown that Americans toss out 40 percent of their food, which is almost every other bite, adding up to $160 billion a year. This is extremely shocking and saddening because the world population is going to grow to 9.1 billion in 2050, which means more mouths to feed and not enough resources for the world, while we're wasting it every day. Definitely some food for thought.
I knew about chickens being forced to lay more eggs than they regularly can, but did you know pigs are being abused as well? Female pigs are in constant cycles of forced pregnancy. All of these pigs are in confined misery, the sole purpose of their lives are to be slaughtered and sold to humans to feed on.
Supposedly through evolution, we've fought to our way to the top of the food chain and we "deserve" to eat whatever we please but is it honestly worth it?

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