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But do you know how these little fermented fruits are made?

If you think the olives you buy in the grocery store are unpalatable, count yourself lucky that you’ve never tasted the fresh fruit.

Picked right off the tree, olives are considered inedible due to the high amount of a bitter compound called oleuropein. And most of the processing of olives is done specifically to remove this molecule.

As far back as the Roman times, humans learned to process olives to reduce the amount of oleuropein. The Romans soaked the fresh fruit in water supplemented with wood ash. …

A food scientist explains the origins of these headlines

Image by DanaTentis from Pixabay

A handful of cheese companies have found themselves the subject of some pretty salacious headlines like The Parmesan Cheese You Sprinkle on Your Penne Could Be Wood and the FDA Finds Wood Pulp in Major Parmesan Cheese Brands.

As a food scientist, this type of flashy news always catches my eye. I’ve seen so many exaggerations, misunderstandings, and deceptive tactics that I always feel inclined to investigate.

And I found it hard to believe that chunks of wood were being tossed into cheese all willy nilly. There’s too many laws and regulations for that to fly.

But there is some…

How oat milk stacks up to cow’s milk

If you watched the Super Bowl, I doubt you’ve been able to forget the Oatly commercial.

In case you missed it, the Oatly CEO is sitting at a piano and belting out “oat milk, it’s like milk but made for humans” for about 30 seconds straight. It was uhh… unique to say the least.

To be honest, I’m not sure what the CEO really meant by “it’s like milk but made for humans,” but it did get me thinking about oat milk and how it would compare to cow’s milk. Was it healthier? Worse?

You better believe I ventured off…

Tips and tricks based on science

ne week I’m feeling the urge to eat healthier, so I stock up on all my fruits and veggies. Suddenly, a week has somehow flown by and I have the realization that I haven’t planned my meals very well. Everything is on the verge of spoiling.

Soon the guilt about the amount of food waste begins to set in and the following week I skimp on the fresh produce.

And the cycle begins again.

So I’ve come up with a solution of sorts that I’ll share here for anyone else trying to balance eating their fruits and veggies while limiting…

It all comes down to biology

Photo by Lukas from Pexels

Have you ever been in an argument where it’s clear you’re wrong, but you just can’t admit it? It feels like yielding to the other person after taking such a strong stance would be unbearable.

Welcome to the dark versus light meat argument in my house.

I grew up eating white meat while my boyfriend typically cooks with dark meat. As I’m sure you can guess, this has led to some debating.

At first, I didn’t really notice a difference — so I took a stand for white meat. It’s what I grew up with.

But, with each meal that…

So long farm-to-table, here comes lab-grown meat and yeast-made ice cream

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Maybe you can remember when farm-to-table first swept through the nation?

It was the late 2000s, I was a teenager living with my parents and distinctly remember when one restaurant first advertised its menu as ‘farm-to-table.’ This was big news where I come from; Not a lot happens in small-town Wisconsin.

As a white, middle-class family this advertisement practically sucked us through the front door of the restaurant. Farm-to-table you say? Oh, how classy.

While I will always be able to cherish the memory of feeling “fancy” at a farm-to-table cafe in rural Wisconsin, this old trend is quickly being…

But, I’m slowly being convinced otherwise

Image by by Geoff Parsons from Portsmouth, VA

Have you ever watched someone decant wine?

It’s always struck me as a stunt. Some weird ritual that fancy restaurants invented to make the rich feel special.

If you haven’t heard of decanting — it’s the process of pouring a bottle of wine into another piece of glassware and letting it sit for 10 minutes to 2 hours. The glassware can be all sorts of funky shapes and sizes, but it’s meant to expose the wine to oxygen.

It’s this process of “oxygenating” wine that has always struck me as absurd. …

Two words we take for granted

Image by Couleur from Pixabay

In 1938, one food was responsible for 25% of all the foodborne illness in the US.

Care to venture a guess to which?

If you’re not sure, let me give you another clue.

This food caused a bunch of nasty diseases like tuberculosis, brucellosis, salmonellosis, diphtheria, scarlet fever, septic sore throat, and dysentery.

What’s your best guess now?

I’m betting good ole’ milk didn’t come to mind, but it used to be deadly (and raw milk still is). …

How chocolate becomes a speckled mess

One of my least favorite responsibilities is gassing up my car. I hate making the extra stop. I’d rather push the limits while driving on empty.

So, like any reasonable adult, I’ve struck a deal with myself. Any time I stop to gas up my car, I can pick out a special treat. I know, very mature of me, right?

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is that recently I forgot my chocolate bar on the passenger seat of my car.

When I was finally ready to indulge, I opened the candy only to see it covered in a…

One man’s dream to make cranberries trendy

It’s always been a mystery to me why cranberry sauce appears on the Thanksgiving table year after year.

Does anyone even put that jellied mass onto their plate? And who keeps bringing it?

It doesn’t matter if it’s homemade or from the can, that gelled sauce isn’t taking up any of the limited space on my plate.

As you can tell, I’m not a big fan. But, I was curious how jellied cranberries came about. …


Food scientist by PhD. Sharer of food structure, processing, nutrition, trends, & history. Disprover of food myths, lies, & misinformation.

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