Nagging Question rss

Should You Rinse Rice Before Cooking?

It’s a question cooks like myself (too lazy to look it up) have been asking for years: to rinse or not to rinse before cooking? The short answer: It depends on the type of rice. READ MORE

How Do You Get Chile Burn Off Your Hands?

If you've ever chopped hot chiles with hands unprotected by food-prep gloves, you've experienced the searing burn of capsaicin. The active component of chile peppers feels like torture when it gets into your eyes or mucous membranes, and it can irritate your fingers with a burning pain that lasts for hours. Obviously, your skin isn't actually burned, explains Dr. John Hayes, director of the Sensory Evaluation Center at Pennsylvania State University. Your body is just tricking you. READ MORE

Should You Rinse Meat Before Cooking?

Not only is there no need to rinse or wash beef, pork, lamb, chicken, or veal before cooking it, says the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, but cooks who do increase the risk of cross-contamination. Any bacteria lurking on meat when it comes out of the package will die during cooking. Sadly, you can't say the same for your sink, counters, utensils, or cutting board, all of which should be washed with hot, soapy water, rinsed, and then air- or paper-towel-dried after being in contact with meat. READ MORE

Can You Eat the Rind on Brie?

Yep, you can eat the rind of any soft-ripened cheese like Brie or Camembert. But just so you know: Sometimes it won't taste so good.

"Soft cheese bruises like an apple," says Maxx Sherman, director of national sales for the Marin French Cheese Company, which makes a number of soft cheeses in Petaluma, California. "If the cheese is mishandled and bruised, it'll have spots that are mocha-colored and ammoniated." READ MORE

Does Everybody’s Pee Smell After Eating Asparagus?

This question has baffled scientists for over half a century. In 1956, British researchers divided the population into two categories: excretors (those whose urine smells after they eat asparagus) and nonexcretors (asparagus eaters who remain odor free). READ MORE

Why Does Regular Dish Soap Work Better Than the Ecofriendly Stuff?

When we first started chasing this down, we headed in the direction of phosphates, those eco-enemies that pollute waterways by fertilizing the algae already living there, causing massive blooms that choke out other plants and animals in the ecosystem. Phosphates are so wicked, in fact, that in 2010, 16 states banned the sale of high-phosphate detergents. READ MORE

Does Eating Celery Burn Calories?

Not quite. A medium-size stalk of celery contains roughly six calories, and you'll burn less than one of those digesting it. "Eating does burn calories," says Toby Smithson, a registered dietitian and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, but that only works out to about 8 percent of caloric content on average. (Fatty foods require fewer calories to digest, while protein-rich items require more.) In other words, your digestive system needs roughly 32 calories to process that 400-calorie ham-and-cheese sandwich you had for lunch. READ MORE

Is It Safe to Leave Butter Out at Room Temperature?

According to FDA spokesperson Tamara Ward, butter will last up to 10 days at room temperature before turning rancid. Rancid means that enzymes that are naturally present in milk begin to digest the fats in the butter, causing a sour flavor and aroma. The butter isn’t unsafe at that point, it just tastes bad. READ MORE

Can You Age Box Wine?

Aging wine is a complex process that depends upon the proper amount of air being allowed into the bottle. A vessel that's airtight doesn't allow flavorful compounds to develop, while one that's completely open to the air causes the wine to quickly oxidize and taste bad. You've experienced this if you've left an open bottle of wine in your fridge or on your counter too long. A properly corked bottle is just airtight enough to keep wine fresh yet allow the wine to mature: The glass is airtight, but the cork allows in .01 to .1 cubic centimeter of oxygen a day. Box wines, not so much. READ MORE

Do the Stickers on Organic Fruit Use Organic Glue?

Fruit Stickers, Organic Fruit, Organic Glue, Adhesives

The adhesives used on fruit stickers are regulated by the FDA as "indirect food-contact substances," says Soo Kim, a spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service. (The ingredients that may be used are outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations part 175.125.) The same rules apply to adhesives for both organic and nonorganic fruit, says Barbara Haumann, a spokesperson for the Organic Trade Association. READ MORE