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Please Explain: Food Myths

Friday, November 12, 2010

Harold McGee discusses and debunks myths about food and cooking for today's Please Explain. He’s the author of Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes.

Guests:

Harold McGee

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Comments [25]

Frankie from New Zealand

Late harvesting is a marketing winemaking term.Olive trees drop their fruit in hot countries if they are left too late.They are then sold as mild and delicate. A good extra virgin kicks you in the throat. Harvesting too early and green in a too hot climate in the hope you will increase antiinflammatory action is crazy. You will will simply get an unbalanced unripe unpalatable oil. A high polyphenol oil grows where the days are hot and the nights very cool and the fruit is fully tree ripened.

Nov. 13 2010 12:04 AM

For the gentleman who was concerned about sugar substitute, you can try this link
http://www.marthastewart.com/article/chefs-secret-baking-substitutes

Nov. 12 2010 08:48 PM
Melissa Mutch from New Jersey

Why is it important to "never refridgerate tomatoes"?

Nov. 12 2010 01:58 PM
Cupcake from Brooklyn

I have seen the amount of prepared food increase and the sections for baking decrease. Do we need to be worried?

Nov. 12 2010 01:57 PM
Nina

What is the best way to store onions and potatoes and what about fresh ginger?

Nov. 12 2010 01:56 PM
Jessi from Brooklyn

For your diabetic listener - A great resource for how to bake with agave and other natural sweeteners is the book Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson.

Nov. 12 2010 01:55 PM
Grace

GOODNESS! Don't use Agave if you are a diabetic! Holy cow...... It's still sugar! If anything it is worse because it is more processed and mostly fructose. I can't believe the gust let that one slide.....

Nov. 12 2010 01:53 PM
Rebecca from Ridgefield, CT

The other day, my roommate was cooking ground beef that he'd gotten from the Whole Foods deli the day before. When he opened the package, it was red on the outside, but when he broke it apart, it was all brown on the inside. Our other roommates were convinced that this is normal, but I was skeptical. What the heck?

Nov. 12 2010 01:49 PM
Elaine from Baltimore

Does vege wash remove the waxes and pesticides better than just water or dish soap? When I use it on peppers, it seems to remove the wax.

Nov. 12 2010 01:48 PM
Kate from Sleepy Hollow

I'm enjoying your informative show (listen to it EVERY day!). Question for Mr. McGee: How does onestore fresh herbs so they last longer??

Nov. 12 2010 01:47 PM
Alex from New York

Your guest missed an important point about the energy efficiency debate of gas vs electricity. While 50% of the energy in the gas might be lost when the gas burns on the kitchen stove, a similar percentage of energy is lost when fossil fuels are burned at the power plant. Moreover, some energy (in form of electricity) is lost when it is transmitted from the power plant to your home. Since most of our energy is produced by burning fossil fuels, the environmental impact of cooking with electricity is similar to cooking with gas.

Nov. 12 2010 01:47 PM
Elaine from Baltimore

Does vege wash remove the waxes and oesticides better than just water or dish soap? When I use it on peppers, it seems to remove the wax.

Nov. 12 2010 01:47 PM
Susan from Manhattan

You spoke about gas vs. electric heat for cooking. I live in a prewar high-rise apartment building and own a high quality gas oven. When I bake I always use a oven thermometer. From day to day I find the oven temperature varies widely--one day I set the thermostat to 375, but find the thermometer only registers 350 and have to increase the heat. Other days everything is spot on. Could there be a variance in the gas coming through the line, or could it be that my oven or thermometer need to be adjusted?? Thank you!

Nov. 12 2010 01:45 PM
Alex from New York

Your guest missed an important point about the energy efficiency debate of gas vs electricity. While 50% of the energy in the gas might be lost when the gas burns on the kitchen stove, a similar percentage of energy is lost when fossil fuels are burned at the power plant. Moreover, some energy (in form of electricity) is lost when it is transmitted from the power plant to your home. Since most of our energy is produced by burning fossil fuels, the environmental impact of cooking with electricity is similar to cooking with gas.

Nov. 12 2010 01:44 PM
Hal

Organic produce is more about protecting the environment than the consumer. But organic farmers tend to grow better varieties.

Nov. 12 2010 01:43 PM
Janet Sikirica from Rockin' Dobbs Ferry

If you buy a large bottle of olive oil and want to perserve the contents of the open bottle, can you "bump" it with a rubber wine stopper by pumping the air out of the bottle hense sealing it from oxygen (like with an open wine bottle)?

Nov. 12 2010 01:40 PM
antonioferrera from east village

In my village at my family's stone press Extra Viirgin is that oil that accumulates atop the freshly mashed or crusshed olives before it is placed on nylon mats and pressed and then cold and finally filtered with a centrifuge. As a child this oil was ladled off the top and given to us on our pastina.

Nov. 12 2010 01:40 PM
karen

We tried brining our turkey a few years ago according to a recipe in Cooks Illustrated. It was without a doubt the moistest turkey I ever roasted. I always brine my turkey now. What is the salt doing to make the meat so moist and tender?

Nov. 12 2010 01:39 PM
Jessi from Brooklyn

I'm really disappointed that your guest didn't even address the well documented evidence that microwaves damage our food on a molecular level and actually make the nutrients more difficult for us to absorb. The microwave irradiates food after all and were originally called radar ranges in the 70's.

Nov. 12 2010 01:37 PM
Grace from Jersey City

I thought the color of meat was from food coloring as well! I wonder if this is true... Also, isn't grass fed meat supposed to be darker and that's better?

How long can I keep olive oil before it actually goes bad?

Gosh as if i wasn't already anxious about my food.....

Nov. 12 2010 01:35 PM

I found the secret to keeping the turkey breast very moist. I roast it breast side down, - making it absolutely delicious - so says all my guests!!!
Question: What's the purpose of paprika?
I heard it's used just for color.

Nov. 12 2010 01:34 PM
brenda from west milford,nj

please discuss your method for cooking turkey, freezing the breast?

Nov. 12 2010 01:34 PM
Alden from Inwood

I thought the red color of most grocery store meat was primarily food coloring. What does the color of the meat tell you?

Nov. 12 2010 01:30 PM
Amy from Manhattan

On weighing ingredients rather than measuring their volume, don't recipes specify whether to use table salt or kosher salt & list how many teaspoons according to the type of salt? Besides, how many cookbooks give the weight of this type of ingredient?

Nov. 12 2010 01:27 PM
Gerald Fnord from Palos Verdes

Much as I often like Alton Brown's original food programme, I think it's missing something: a "Thanks, Harold!" or some such at the end of every credits scroll.

Nov. 12 2010 12:00 PM

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