OPEN THREAD 20191211

Basically, all legal free speech is allowed. We will assist the authorities in dealing with illegal speech. You are each other’s moderators. Have fun. And don’t forget to MAGA at nuclear levels.

Citizen U

Day 35 – BROMINE.

15 thoughts on “OPEN THREAD 20191211

  1. You’d never guess this from my reserved and quiet demeanor on this board, but as I’m allowed to walk around in public, I’ll get into odd discussions with people about all sorts of subjects. And, as it turns out, I have actually been in a discussion about bromine in the last year or so with Kirk Vartan, founder of A Slice of New York pizza in San Jose. He lives nearby and I can walk to the original restaurant.

    What spawned this discussion was the recent appearance of a Prop. 65 badge on a neighboring fast-food outlet, Jack-in-the-Box. The badge essentially said that certain food items in this establishment had been determined by the State of California to cause cancer.

    For people who don’t live here, I should explain that a California law that was ramrodded-through on a ballot (so legislators can’t be held accountable) essentially says that there must be a label at the door of any business that alerts people that items inside might cause cancer, if you fell into a steaming vat of same as soon as you entered. Being that essentially everything can cause cancer in excess, a Californian will run into several hundred of these notices each and every day……and, quite properly, ignore them.

    But, you know, bureaucrats — so where Jack-in-the-Box used to have Prop 65 cancer warnings if you immersed your head in the fry cooker, now it has to have warnings about the scorch marks on grilled meat. Yes, cooking food at high temperatures may create potentially carcinogenic compounds, dubbed “heterocyclic amines” (HCAs) and “polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons” (PAHs). These nasty chemicals have been shown to cause cancers in animal studies, but large-scale intervention studies on humans are nearly impossible to conduct — partially because any potential “control group” has to agree to entirely forgo bacon.

    This lead into a discussion about their recent experiences with food safety inspections. It turns out that it’s extremely expensive and difficult to premake salads and put them in a fridge on the customer side of the counter, whereas making the same salads and stocking them in a fridge on the worker side of the counter is (today) straightforward. This is because the ingredients, calorie counts, and pedigree of each ingredient must be on the label of each consumer-accessible salad — but you can still say “we took a bag of chopped romaine, filled a bowl, and garnished it with cherry tomatoes, cheese, and croutons” when an employee is involved. Supposedly, this is so that the customer can ask, “will this trigger my peanut allergy?” or “has this lettuce been recalled?” in a face-to-face transaction, but can’t if pulled from the fridge — so every possible question must be answered on the label for something sold from the fridge.

    Anyway, we soon drifted onto the subject of brominated flour (technically, it’s bromated flour — flour to which potassium bromate has been added, which promotes gluten development and enhances elasticity). Kirk’s a NY guy from the soles of his shoes to the top of his hair. You stretch out pizza and throw it in the air to stretch it more. And he went back to The Source — which, for him, was Ultimate Pizza in Manhattan, because if he was going to represent, he wouldn’t do it half-assed. He learned it there, he practiced it there, and he built it here. Only it was a little different.

    His flour vendor won’t sell bromated flour west of the Mississippi.

    He’s studied the issue. The bromine bakes out in the oven. To actually be dosed by bromine from bromated pizza flour, you’d have to eat a slice that was so undercooked as to still be doughy, at which point the food-poisoning from undercooked toppings deserves star billing. And even then, that’s to get any bromine dose at all.

    But we live in a state where restaurants wear the scarlet letter of cancer because their meat has sear marks.

    Liked by 2 people

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