Still, The Styrofor Cups and Lunch Boxes

When she said get some coffee cups I was expecting paper cups. Not the thick and easy to handle styrofor. It has been banned in major cities local and abroad. However, what arrived was the old usual thing. Not just that, the lunch boxes they used for lunch was made of the same thing. Continue reading “Still, The Styrofor Cups and Lunch Boxes”

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

Hot Gravy

Ouch, I almost dropped it. It felt burning hot and barely bearable. I was guessing the temperature was 70 to 80 C .

hot gravy

Perhaps the gravy arrived here in frozen state and need reheating to about 90 C. I was curious at what temp did they fill the gravy in this disposable container. Some miscalculations may have occurred to their side. Customers flocked and there was a need of gravy rush.

Disposable plastics are known sensitive to high heat and reuse cycles. Made of cheap materials. It needs be affordable, else, the offerings won’t be accessible to masses. Fast food chains caters to class C and D market , some with special focus on young ages.

It was my first time got served with scorching gravy. I assumed, it should be served at ambient temp as precaution to plastic container. I saw no deformation and tasted no off flavour though. It was okay for the time being. Routine act sure has cumulative effect, however.

Gravy dispensers on counter top are usually labeled “hot gravy” as precaution I guess. Often not hot when pumped.

I deduced this plastic is polystyrene. It is determined safe by USFDA, for decades? Hmmm! There were other conflicting findings. The polymer contains suspected carcinogen, styrene and benzene. Pouring in hot liquid causes partial breakdown. I got a dose already!

Before I forget. I shouldn’t feast with this, hygienically prepared or not. It is one of the worst offender when it comes to triggering my gout.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

TBHQ ?

What I was not surprised. There was unfamiliar term on last of ingredient list. Judging from where it was placed, it is the item of least amount. Perhaps dangerous, not proven safe, not proven harmful either.

There is no end to this. When one preservative is proven harmful. Scientists always come up with a questionable replacement. I am guessing the absolute priority is extend the food keeping life. The safety can come decades later. Cost of research should be recouped second. Then another … the cycle continues.

Oh I remember now. When I was in college, taking up my course. What was installed to my brain was to preserved the food of concern at all cause. Prevent the spoilage of perishables. Make the awful delicious. Not useful, more useful. Turn rejects and soon to be garbage to valuables. Maybe that is it. Food innovation and health are two separate things.

The questionable ingredient is TBHQ. Nowadays, it is so easy to know what it is as long as you have the two things. Android device and internet access. TBHQ is acronym for tertiary Butylhydroquinone. A bit harder to pronounce but its function is so simple. Preserve the oil in food. Goods naturally containing oil, added with or fried in it may contain TBHQ. It is an antioxidant, prevent rancidity. It is thanks to this chemical our favorite snacks reach our hand in perfect eating condition.

label with tbhq

The limit is 0.02 percent of the oil in food. USFDA set such thing not because it is dangerous beyond that. The reason is, it is not proven safe beyond the amount.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

What if Coffee has Cancer Warning?

What are you going to do if the next coffee you ordered has a cancer warning sign? Will you still enjoy it. Order again next time? Try a different or perhaps safer brand? The daily dose of morning stimulant is like getting a portion of cancer every time.

Los Angeles, California judge ruled that coffee served by major players in their territory must have cancer warning sign. That was cruel! A real deal breaker.

The NGO Council for Education and Research on Toxics is the petitioner. For all we know, many foods when heated (boiled, fried, roasted or any other heating forms), produces a cancerous substance called acrylamide. However, the amounts are usually down to acceptable levels.

Why now? Why coffee? There are so many other pressing matters. If they are gonna start putting cancer warning sign on every suspected unsafe foods. Then majority of commodities will have it. People won’t die of cancer, hunger instead.

They must be holding strong evidence that acrylamide in coffee is high enough to cause such. It may also boil down to habit. When I was working in laboratory I was consuming about 4-6 strong cups a day. I had to take a day or two break when my tummy became too acidic from drinking too much. Now there is more reason to refrain.

If I follow the logic. Heating foods naturally produces acrylamide. I must eat all raw or barely heated. Hope there is a way to cook rice and bake bread with no heat! That is absurd. Heat is essential to get rid majority of harmful microorganisms. We are going back and forth and yet the safety is still not assured.

The companies objected of course, but they must present proof that acrylamide level in coffee is at safe level. They sure have money to fund research but what if the results are not in their favor? They have no choice but to follow court ruling. The worst! Other countries may follow.

Will coffee consumption decrease? The world’s second most traded commodity go down the hill? I doubt it! The authorities must do more than that to turn the tide. People are born stubborn. Doing things even if the commodity is declared harmful and illegal.

Illegal drug trade is still on-going despite heavy punishments to both users and traders. They put heavy excise tax on cigarette, alcohol and sugar. Put images if ill person on cigarette packs. Campaign against them is regularly done. Yet, sales still continues. Perhaps, customers might perceive it as some sort of decoration.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

Fake Biogesic

Another fake medicine is in circulation. Someone is using the brand Biogesic for their own evil gain. For me, doing something purely for the sake of money is simply evil.

When a certain medicine is discovered. The person/company concerned may file a patent giving him an exclusive right to produce. Other parties should seek permission and pay appropriate fees. This what makes new medicine commands such a steep price.

Patent is a limited time privilege. After a certain period, the formula will become available to general public. Anyone with appropriate license to manufacture has the freedom to do so. Depending on demand, different brands will start entering the market, dropping down the value to affordable level.

Alternative brands with the same base ingredient is commonly called generics. As experts say, know the generic name and look for a cheaper brand of the same generic name. The price is probably cheaper but the affect is guaranteed the same.

As our previous doctor said. Ingredients for medicine manufacture and the process itself is cheap. Research, trials, advertising and patents are the factors of price increased.

It is clear how the generic manufacturer can lower their prices. They are using the recipe that were formulated by big companies and skipping the costly advertisements.

However, some entities with evil intentions take advantage. They are producing and selling under the name of popular brands. Fake in short. Lucky you if they diligently follow the formulation. Dilemma if not. They might have manufacturing facility that never met good manufacturing practices and other standards set by authorities. The worse case, it can make you more sick than better.

I won’t go pointing out how to spot fake medicines. They change their strategy frequently to avoid being spotted and make more sales. The best thing you can do is buy only from accredited and trusted pharmacies. Them selling fake medicines is very unlikely. Trying to save money on medicine might put you in worst scenario.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.