Oh good!–Today we get to do chemistry!
I started the day with pretty much the breakfast I had planned–cottage cheese with dried fruit and toast (no jam; the fruit was sweet enough).Those dried apricots were so plump and bright! I glanced at the package. You guessed it–sulfur dioxide. So, what is this stuff? I checked it out on Wikipedia, AltMedAngel, Yahoo Answers, and the Center for Science in the Public Interest CSPI).
Wikipedia defines it as a chemical compound with the formula SO2 (not big news, given its name) produced by volcanoes and some industrial processes. (I’m eating volcano poop?!?) It is a major contributor to acid rain; inhaling it is tied to respiratory disease, difficulty breathing, and premature death. (Death? Great.) CSPI agrees that it can cause severe allergic reactions in some people, but concludes that, for non-sensitive people, sulfites (of which sulfur dioxide is one) are safe. (I must be non-sensitive, since here I am, typing away.) Nevertheless, AltMedAngel lists it among the Top 20 Food Additives to Avoid.
So naturally, it’s used as a food preservative! Especially apricots. Yahoo Answers informs us that dried apricots without it are darker and drier. Well, I’m too cheap to throw out the rest of my chemically enhanced apricots, but now I know what to look for in my next batch–pick the ones the color and texture of ancient sandal soles!
Too much food! The lunch I planned for today (leftover lamb shank, spinach) seemed like overkill, so I just had another bowl of yesterday’s squash soup with baguette croutons. Just right!
And my calendar tells me that I’m signed up for a Bon Vivant cooking class tonight! Vegetable Paradise. I’ll see if they’ll let me take a pix or two. Before I go, I’ll have some cheese and crackers or grapes or both; the class doesn’t start until 7:00, and it takes a while to crank out the first dish.
Maybe later in the week I’ll cook the dinner I had planned for tonight. But in any case, on to Day Five!
Overall Score for Day Four: Incomplete