Food Facts

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Plucking a chicken is one of the trickier aspects of dressing the carcass at home. Mother Earth News advises a tried-and-tested method of first scalding the carcass and then rapidly chilling it to loosen up feather follicles before plucking.

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  • Where was the first pizza made?

    Q: Where was the first pizza made?

    A: The first pizza is believed to have been made in Naples by Raffaele Esposito in 1889. Other variations of flat breads with and without toppings were created previously by Egyptians and Greeks.
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  • Why do potatoes grow sprouts?

    Q: Why do potatoes grow sprouts?

    A: Potatoes grow sprouts to produce new potato plants. The sprouts develop when environmental conditions are conducive to potato growth. Warm temperatures, light and a moist environment are required for sprout development.
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  • What is egg yolk made of?

    Q: What is egg yolk made of?

    A: Egg yolk is made up of fat, proteins, cholesterols and carbohydrates, weighing approximately 4.5 g, 2.7 g, 210 mg, and 0.61 g respectively. Compared to the white, the yolk accounts for 33 percent of the total liquid content of an egg or egg cell, in the case of non-egg-laying animals. Since it is the source of food for the developing embryo, egg yolk is rich in minerals and vitamins.
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  • What is hydrogenated vegetable oil?

    Q: What is hydrogenated vegetable oil?

    A: Hydrogenated vegetable oil is oil from a plant source which has been processed to have more hydrogen than is naturally present. This changes the properties of the fat and makes the oil solid at room temperature. It also lends the oil a longer shelf life.
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  • How long does food coloring last?

    Q: How long does food coloring last?

    A: Food coloring does not expire, nor does it lose its coloring power. Food coloring should be kept well-sealed to prevent contamination from dust or other particles.
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  • What does baking soda do?

    Q: What does baking soda do?

    A: Baking soda neutralizes the acid in recipes and aids in the leavening process. Once baking soda is mixed with other ingredients and placed into the oven, a chemical reaction creates bubbles of carbon dioxide that expand.
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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 margarine a dairy product?

    Q: Is margarine a dairy product?

    A: Margarine is made from soybean oil or a blend of vegetable oils instead of cow's milk, but most margarine brands still contain small amounts of dairy products, such as lactose, casein and whey. A few margarine varieties that are completely dairy-free include Blue Bonnet Light, Smart Balance Light and Earth Balance.
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  • What does "artisan" mean?

    Q: What does "artisan" mean?

    A: An artisan is a skilled craftsperson. The word has Italian and French origins, although its French origin is often disputed. The etymology is derived from the Latin word "artitus," meaning to "instruct in the arts."
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  • What is a good substitute for cornmeal?

    Q: What is a good substitute for cornmeal?

    A: Good substitutes for cornmeal are polenta, corn grits or maize meal. For example, if a recipe requires a cup of stone ground cornmeal, then a cup of one of the suitable substitutes can be used.
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  • What is the difference between a burrito and a chimichanga?

    Q: What is the difference between a burrito and a chimichanga?

    A: A chimichanga is simply a burrito that has been deep fried. Burritos are made by filling large tortillas and folding over all sides, leaving no open ends. Chimichangas are made by following this same pattern, but adding a step by deep frying the burrito before serving.
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  • How many tablespoons are there in one stick of butter?

    Q: How many tablespoons are there in one stick of butter?

    A: In the United States, one stick of butter equals 8 U.S. tablespoons. If you are using the British Imperial measurement system, one stick of butter equals 6.66 U.S. tablespoons. In the metric system, this is equivalent to 118.29 milliliters.
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  • What is vinegar made up of?

    Q: What is vinegar made up of?

    A: Vinegar can be made from any fruit, but the most common ingredient is grapes. The fruit is fermented with the addition of a microorganism like yeast, which turns the sugars in the fruit into alcohol. To make vinegar, a second group of bacteria known as Acetobacter turn the alcohol into acetic acid, which is another name for vinegar.
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  • Where does asparagus come from?

    Q: Where does asparagus come from?

    A: Asparagus is a perennial plant that originated in the eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor. The word "asparagus" comes from Greek and means "sprout" or "shoot."
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  • What part of bok choy do you use?

    Q: What part of bok choy do you use?

    A: both the leaves and the stalks of bok choy are edible and used for cooking. Since the thick stalks of full-size bok choy may require longer cooking times to achieve the desired tenderness, separating the leaves from the stalks keeps the leaves from overcooking.
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  • What foods increase oxytocin levels?

    Q: What foods increase oxytocin levels?

    A: According to Psychology Today, eating any type of food stimulates release of the hormone oxytocin, which affects the brain's responses to intimacy. It is also affected by other senses, including smell, touch and sight. Increasing intimacy with a partner and being aware of various sensory experiences in the world increases levels of the hormone.
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  • What are some foods that kill belly fat?

    Q: What are some foods that kill belly fat?

    A: Some foods that kill belly fat are vegetables, vegetable oils, dark chocolate, green tea, cinnamon, Greek yogurt, salmon and some meat. These foods are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other valuable nutrients that help the body break down fat naturally.
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  • What are carbohydrates made of?

    Q: What are carbohydrates made of?

    A: Carbohydrates consist of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Carbohydrates supply the body with a source of energy and are the building blocks of cellulose and glycogen. They also combine with other molecules to form DNA, RNA, glycolipids, glycoproteins and ATP.
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  • What type of food is consumed in Congo?

    Q: What type of food is consumed in Congo?

    A: Congolese food includes the cuisines of a number of different ethnic and tribal groups that all reside in the area, so it varies widely. Staple crops of the region include rice, taro, sweet potatoes, nuts and tomatoes. These are supplemented by wild foods, such as honey, fruits and mushrooms, and by meat that is acquired by hunting and from herd animals.
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  • What are the benefits of avocado oil?

    Q: What are the benefits of avocado oil?

    A: Avocado oil is high in vitamin E, which is essential for skin and hair health. The fruit also has more potassium than a banana, and helps the body maintain its fluid and electrolyte balance. Avocados also have the ability to boost immune system function. The oil of avocados may also have antiseptic properties, according to a June 2010 issue of the "Revue de Stomatologie et de Chirurgie Maxillo-Faciale" Journal.
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  • Are tomato leaves poisonous to humans?

    Q: Are tomato leaves poisonous to humans?

    A: While tomato leaves are considered to be poisonous, a large quantity of leaves would have to be consumed to have any serious effects on a human. If a large quantity of leaves is eaten, possible effects include headache, abdominal cramping, vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory and circulatory depression and dilated pupils.
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