Food Facts

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Sweet potatoes, which are root vegetables, and yams, which are tubers, are two types of herbaceous perennial vines that come from two different plant families native to different locations. Sweet potatoes and yams differ in size, taste, texture and nutritional content.

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  • What is a list of foods containing yeast?

    Q: What is a list of foods containing yeast?

    A: The main sources of yeast are bread products, alcohol, soup stocks or gravies, salad dressings and ripe or fermented fruits. Most bread products contain baker's yeast, including bagels, pastries, muffins, crumpets and croissants. Some bread products that don't contain yeast are soda bread, crackers, pita bread and rice cakes.
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  • Can you eat pumpkin seed shells?

    Q: Can you eat pumpkin seed shells?

    A: The shells of pumpkin seeds, also called seed coats or husks, are edible. Pumpkin seeds have a subtly sweet, nutty flavor and a malleable, chewy texture. They are yellow-white in color.
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  • Are soda crackers and saltine crackers the same?

    Q: Are soda crackers and saltine crackers the same?

    A: Soda crackers and saltine crackers are different names for the same food. In the United States, they are most commonly called saltines, while they are called soda crackers in the United Kingdom. Saltines are thin, crunchy crackers that are square-shaped with a perforated surface and salt sprinkled on top.
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  • Are raw olives poisonous?

    Q: Are raw olives poisonous?

    A: Raw olives are not poisonous. However, they have a bitter taste before they are processed. They are typically cured using one of several methods that remove the bitter substance oleuropein. Curing methods include the use of liquid brine and drying between salt layers.
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  • Is chewing gum made from whale fat?

    Q: Is chewing gum made from whale fat?

    A: Contrary to popular myths, chewing gum is not made from whale blubber, but is made from an artificial gum base that's a lot like rubber. The gum base is mixed with sweeteners and flavorings to make chewing gum.
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  • What is nondairy creamer made of?

    Q: What is nondairy creamer made of?

    A: Nondairy creamer is made of hydrogenated vegetable-based fats, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, salt, beta carotene and corn starch. The other ingredients are chemicals: dipotassium phosphate, sodium caseinate, monoglycerides, diglygerides, polysorbate 60, sodium stearoyl lactylate and carrageenan.
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  • Is olive oil good for your skin?

    Q: Is olive oil good for your skin?

    A: Olive oil is good for stretch marks and dry, oily or irritated skin. Massaging the oil into the skin with other ingredients or alone, depending on the problem, is a natural way to treat skin issues. This moisturizes the skin and also removes impurities.
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  • What are the properties of salt?

    Q: What are the properties of salt?

    A: Salt can be clear, transparent, opaque or metallic. It can be sweet, savory, bitter, salty or sour in taste. Pure salt is completely free of odor.
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  • What are some uses for linseed oil?

    Q: What are some uses for linseed oil?

    A: Linseed oil, also called flaxseed oil, serves a variety of purposes, including enhancing medicines to alleviate symptoms associated with various medical conditions, to soothe and soften skin, and to produce a range of manufactured products such as paints, linoleum, varnishes and soap. Linseed oil sees use in cooking as well, where it helps form margarine and several types of cooking oils. Linseed oil contains several essential fatty acids, including alpha-linolenic acid, that make it safe for human consumption and an important source of nutrients and minerals.
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  • What foods contain gluten?

    Q: What foods contain gluten?

    A: Gluten is a protein that is found in grains including wheat, rye and barley. A less-common grain called triticale, which is a cross between wheat and rye, also contains gluten. Any processed foods that contain ingredients such as white flour, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, semolina or graham flour also contain gluten.
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  • Is mayonnaise poisonous if heated?

    Q: Is mayonnaise poisonous if heated?

    A: Heating mayonnaise is not poisonous or dangerous as long as the mayonnaise has been stored safely before use. While it is a common belief that mayonnaise spoils easily and is a leading cause of food poisoning, the acid present in the condiment actually helps keep it free of dangerous microorganisms.
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  • Where did chocolate originate?

    Q: Where did chocolate originate?

    A: Chocolate originated from Mesoamerica, where it was used by the Mokaya people as long ago as 1900 B.C. However, most ancient users of chocolate enjoyed it as a bitter drink. The Spanish developed the idea of chocolate as a sweet.
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  • What is considered room temperature?

    Q: What is considered room temperature?

    A: Between 66 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 25 degrees Celsius) is considered room temperature, according to the West Midlands Public Health Observatory in the U.K. The average value of 23 degrees Celsius is commonly given as this temperature, although there is no formal agreement among scientists on a single temperature called "room temperature."
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  • Is a sunflower seed considered a nut?

    Q: Is a sunflower seed considered a nut?

    A: A sunflower seed is not considered a nut, but a seed. Sunflower seed products are occasionally processed in the same factory as nuts and therefore may contains traces of nuts.
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  • Do cooks remove the gills of a portobello mushroom?

    Q: Do cooks remove the gills of a portobello mushroom?

    A: Cooks do not have to remove the gills from portobello mushrooms. Those who choose to remove the gills can use a spoon to scrape them off.
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  • Where do chickpeas come from?

    Q: Where do chickpeas come from?

    A: India is the largest producer of chickpeas, contributing approximately 70 percent of worldwide production. India, Turkey and Mexico are the top three exporters, with over 75 percent of worldwide exports.
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  • What temperature keeps food warm in the oven?

    Q: What temperature keeps food warm in the oven?

    A: The ideal temperature for keeping food warm in the oven until it is time to serve is between 140 degrees and 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Since harmful bacteria can grow when the temperature in the oven falls under 140 degrees, keeping food in the oven at the appropriate temperature until serving can help stave off food-borne illnesses and bacteria that cause food poisoning.
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  • Is popcorn hard to digest?

    Q: Is popcorn hard to digest?

    A: According to the National Post's Jennifer Sygo, a dietitian at Cleveland Clinic Canada, fresh air popped popcorn is not hard to digest, although the extra ingredients that are put on it may be. By itself, popcorn is a healthy grain snack low in calories and high in fiber.
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  • Why does milk turn sour?

    Q: Why does milk turn sour?

    A: Milk sours when the lactobacillus bacteria it contains consumes the lactose sugar in it to produce lactic acid. This causes the protein casein to turn to curd.
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  • How did cheese change the world?

    Q: How did cheese change the world?

    A: The early invention of cheese led to adult human tolerance of lactose. Before the invention of cheese approximately 8,500 years ago, adult human digestive systems were uniformly intolerant of lactose.
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  • What are some examples of fermented foods?

    Q: What are some examples of fermented foods?

    A: Some examples of fermented foods are yogurt, kefir, cheese, soy sauce, whey, sauerkraut, Korean kimchi, pickled cucumbers and miso. One benefit of including fermented foods in the daily diet is improved digestion. Fermented foods increase the levels of beneficial bacteria in the bowels to alleviate poor digestive health.
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