Some More Food Related Weirdness

Returning to a topic close to my heart (well, the cholesterol is at any rate), I'd like to start this food of the weird round-up with an intriguing piece of recent research that chocolate milk may, in fact, be a better "sports drink" than many sports drinks. In trials conducted by scientists from James Madison University on thirteen college football players, low-fat chocolate milk outperformed commercial high-carbohydrate recovery drinks, with tests showing lower levels of kinases associated with muscle strain. Though equally effective as a training aid, chocolate milk is unlikely to replace sideline "energy" drinks like Gatorade anytime soon. Which is a pity, if nothing else, a switch to chocolate milk would enliven the coach's traditional "post-game shower" (Net Doctor).

Of course, the athletic benefits of chocolate could only be improved by adding a protein supplement, right? Well not if, as alleged by one Tampa Bay business, that extra protein came in the form of an infestation of moths. Wholesaler "Mar-Len Confections" and retailer "Chocolates by Michelle" are currently suing one another over the fate of a shipment of $4500 worth of chocolate supplied by the former. According to Michelle Palisi, owner of the eponymous business, the chocolate was contaminated with live moths, meaning she not only had to throw out the shipment and replace it, but also had to hire an exterminator to eradicate the moths and clean the building. Wes Niedecken, owner of Mar-Len, disputes this, blaming poor pest control on the part of Palisi. The moths themselves are not unusual, and candy - especially chocolate - is a particular favourite of caterpillars. Fortunately for the consumer, the FDA has strict rules in place... no more than 60 insect parts per 100 grams of chocolate (St. Petersburg Times).

Also coming up for a food related day in court is NC teen John Szwalla, who tried to hold up a convenience store... with a banana. The 17 year-old, now facing charges of attempted armed robbery, initially told staff at the Winston-Salem store that he had a gun, though the truth quickly became apparent when owner Bobby Rae Mabe and a customer managed to jump Szwalla and pin him to a chair. The would-be robber then tried to dispose of the evidence by, you guessed it, eating the banana. He was unable to dispose of the peel however and police later took it away as evidence. Recalling his harrowing experience Mabe said, "If he had had a gun he would've shot me, but he had a banana" (Sky News).

But while the humble banana might not be the weapon of choice, it can still make you money. At least, that's what banks in Davao in the Philippines think. Fresh from the success of sub-prime mortgages, banks are apparently eyeing banana plantations as the next big growth sector. One local bank plans to double its $27 million investment in bananas by the end of the year, citing growing demand. Said bank president Alex Buenaventura, "Banana has become the fabled duck that lays golden eggs" (Business Mirror).

While it's easy to mock, perhaps Mr. Buenaventura enthusiasm mightn't be quite the joke it first appears. Banana imports to Japan have leapt over 25% in just a few months on the back of a new diet craze, the "Morning Banana" diet. Initially aired on a social networking site, this new fad has already spawned four bestselling books and a raft of TV endorsements, with public and celebrities alike lining up to show off their new - banana-induced - bodies. As for the diet, it is simplicity itself, just eat bananas for breakfast, and nothing else, then enjoy whatever you want for lunch and dinner (Inventor Spot).

And what happens when you put a banana under ultraviolet light? Don't know? Well neither did anyone else until last year, when it was discovered quite by accident that they glow blue. If they're ripe that is. Researchers at the University of Innsbruck discovered the unusual fluorescence while studying the yellow pigments of bananas. Upon examination by chromatograph, the team, led by Berhhard Krautler, were surprised to find their samples glowed blue. The culprit is believed to be a result of the breakdown of chlorophyll, which makes unripe bananas green, so the blue glow increases in brightness as the bananas ripen, and peaks when they are at their best. Krautler suspects that in the wild the strong UV response attracts animals that might eat the fruit, and so spread the seeds, in much the same way many flowers use UV to attract insects (Royal Society of Chemistry).

Finally, that planet-saving fuel source and all around superfood, bacon, just got better. You can now eat your bacon anywhere, even on the go, thanks to the invention of bacon jerky. Nuff said.
     Posted By: Dumbfounded - Wed Jun 03, 2009
     Category: Exercise and Fitness | Fads | Science | Sports | Stupid Criminals | Nutrition | Bananas

BACON JERKY! sounds yummy. 😊
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 06/03/09 at 05:00 PM
Note: Sorry for the swapping around, work have just updated my PC (to a super-fast quad-core with 22" LCD, woo-hoo), but the new machine doesn't have Firefox on it (and they won't let me install it "for security reasons").

So (a) I've lost all my bookmarks, history, etc. including all the stuff I was getting together for an upcoming "Science of the Weird" post, and (b) stuff I preview on IE sometimes doesn't look like I expected on FF.
Posted by Dumbfounded on 06/03/09 at 06:04 PM
Bacon Jerky - About time! Now they need to add it to the trail mix with the M&Ms;and I'll have a perfect snack.

Chocolate milk - This is not new info. Before there were protein powders, bodybuilders used to just drink milk (some over 2 gallons a day). It has an almost perfect ratio of carbs to protein for building muscle and replenishing blood sugar levels after a workout.

Note to Dumbfounded - It's OK. We'll forgive you, this time.😉
Posted by Matt in Florida on 06/03/09 at 07:02 PM
For those of us not on the metric system, 60 bug parts per 100 grams is roughly 15 parts per ounce. But don't let that deter you, its just bug parts, not a whole bug. :roll:
Posted by Matt in Florida on 06/03/09 at 07:09 PM
For some reason all the FDA guidelines are per weight in grams. I'm guessing it must be something to do with the slow infiltration of the US by the "world government" or the Illuminati.

(By the way, don't follow the link if you are intending to eat anytime in the next... ever.)
Posted by Dumbfounded on 06/03/09 at 07:22 PM
How about an entire museum devoted to the yellow fruit?
Posted by driven2succeed on 06/03/09 at 08:53 PM
our food delivery system depends greatly on us having no idea of the allowable contamination ratios. searching out this info is self torture as this is the system we must depend on. unless of course you are going to live in the boonies on a totally self sufficent farm. which noone does. that's the long way of saying-
I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :ahhh:
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 06/03/09 at 09:45 PM
For a laugh, in the interests of weirdness, and because I could stand to lose a few pounds(*), I'm trying the "morning banana diet" for myself. I'll let everyone at WU know how it went in a couple of weeks.

(* If we include very large values of 'few'.)
Posted by Dumbfounded on 06/09/09 at 08:30 AM
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