Joined: 31 Jul 2005 Posts: 39 Location: Athens, Georgia, USA
Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:50 pm Post subject: Food and Geology?!
Im a geologist and a member of the Geological Society of America. Last week I received in the mail my monthly issue of GSA Today, a newsletter with society announcements and advertisements. However, it always has one scientific article as the cover story. I was intrigued and delighted to see a very culinary title for this months GSA Today article The long-term strength of continental lithosphere: jelly sandwich or crème brûlée? And of course, the lead author is French! If anyone is interested in reading the article, follow the link below and you can read the article online or download a pdf Print Version of the original. Of course, it is a somewhat technical article on the strength of the Earths crust and not a masterpiece of culinary literature. I just thought I would share some of my nerdiness with you all.
I also studied geology (essential for archeaology in Australia) and so I don't think it is nerdy at all.... kind of funky and cool really..... maybe I am a nerd too ?
Hmmm, creme brulee.... interesting and delicious concept....
Sarape. Congratulations on the start of your retirement! Hope it turns out to be everything that you want it to be. Pucker up and catch the big cyber smooch heading over to wish you well... _________________ If you cannot feel your arteries hardening, eat more cheese. If you can, drink more red wine. Diet is just "die" with a "t" on the end. Exercise is walking into the kitchen.
Joined: 20 Jan 2006 Posts: 1 Location: Richmond, VA
Posted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:06 pm Post subject: Food and Geology: Mohs hardness scale
I've been trying to come up with a gastronomic equivalent to the Mohs scale of hardness, perhaps you have some thoughts on this.
For example, fingernails are 2.5 on the Mohs scale. A culinary equivalent of fingernails are gizzards; which are composed of the same keratinous material as finernails. Do you have suggestions for filling in the rest of the scale?
Joined: 31 Jul 2005 Posts: 39 Location: Athens, Georgia, USA
Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 4:51 pm Post subject:
Sarape, congratulations on your retirement! I really hope you are enjoying your first weekend! Do you have any idea of what youre going to do now? I assume you dont want to solve fluid mechanic problems with you new found free time!
Debbie, Im glad you liked the article. Plate tectonics is not my cup of tea but I was very excited to see the culinary allusion. Im actually more closely allied to your field of archaeology. Im working on a Ph.D. in paleontology. And I wear my nerdiness on my sleeve, and I think the world would be a much better place if there were more nerds (although not necessarily all science nerds!)
Genevelyn, I am very impressed by your attempt at a culinary hardness scale. I would definitely have to think about it more and of course get out my scratch plates to come up with a final scale, but I have come up with a list of culinary minerals, which can serve as a start.
Kaolinite H = 2
Halite H = 2.5
Aragonite H = 3.5 4
Apatite H = 5
Hardened Steel H = 7+
Kaolinite is a white clay mineral present in many food products. The most infamous use, in my mind, is fast food milkshakes. If youve ever had the misfortune of consuming a milkshake (or anything else) at McDonalds your shake may have been warm, yet still frozen. This is because they dont actually have milk, the shakes are a slurry of kaolinite and sugar. Kaolinite is actually one of the major exports in Georgia (the state where I live) and bags of kaolinite can actually be purchased at gas stations in central Georgia near the mining towns. Apparently its taken to help with weight loss. For sure, its calorie-less (and nutrition-less), but bedsides depriving ones body of sustenance I really think it will only serve to clog ones plumbing. Moving on halite is salt and familiar to all. Aragonite (calcium carbonate) is the mineral that most mollusk shells are composed of. And although I dont think most people eat mollusk shells, they are quite familiar to epicureans. Apatite (calcium phosphate) is the mineral of which most vertebrate bones are composed. Again not recommended for eating and it should be noted that cooking will reduce the hardness. Finally, hardened steel, which is not a mineral, is familiar because most good knives are steel.
The culinary hardness scale, I think, should be given a name other than mohs, and should probably be rescaled. The mohs hardness scale ranges from 1 to 10. However, since out teeth are apatite and have a mohs hardness of 5, it is really not recommended that we eat items harder than 5. Thus, I propose that we rename and rescale the culinary hardness scale. Any suggestions? And of course, we should add some more not mineral items, (e.g. raw carrots, egg shells, crème brûlée crust, sugar). Ill work on it.
Joined: 15 Dec 2004 Posts: 583 Location: Anniston Alabama USA
Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 12:56 am Post subject:
Thanks everyone for the good retirement wishes. This is my first official day of retirement and so far, I think it really feels right. I am now noticing that I'm taking the time to do little things properly and not worrying about getting something done right now or even today.
For example, normally I cook on Sunday for the rest of the week. Well, I only did about half of normal yesterday since I can cook during the week.
Also noticed that I'm taking more time and doing all the things right and patiently. Little things like filing bills, or putting away items like batteries, sunglasses, keys, extension cords, etc. Normally I would rush or throw it in a box, now I'm ordering my life properly.
Anyway, it all feels real good after one day.
Hope to be staying active with Chocolate and Zucchini. This is one of the nicest places I've found on the internet. _________________ ' She says, 'I am the glamorous type.' I said, 'So what?'
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