Eating and Chemistry!

Food is a drug. This is point I’ve often made in many discussions regarding nutrition. Each bite of food contains chemical information that can affect our bodies in myriad ways, albeit some more dramatic than others.

THIS article explores how the foods we eat often leave digestive remainders which mirror or mimic the neurotransmitters in our brain:

The chemicals in the food that you eat will only act upon your brain if in some way those chemicals resemble an actual neurotransmitter or otherwise interact with a biochemical process in your brain that influences the production, release, or inactivation of a neurotransmitter. These “active” ingredients deserve close scrutiny.

How is it possible that plants and humans use such similar chemicals for normal, everyday functions? Plants produce chemicals that are capable of affecting our brain because they share an evolutionary history with us on this planet. Even primitive one-celled organisms produce many of the same chemicals that are in our brains.

Also, the last word in the article is “chocolate”, so that got our attention :)

THIS article explains some of the basic principles of molecular gastronomy within one scientists study of reproducing the orange flavor (one of natures most distinct flavors) using foods that are not actually oranges:

“Orange is quite difficult to make,” Lahousse told me. “First we said, ‘Which are the flavor components? What are the key odorants? What other products could we use to replace those key odorants? What products do we have locally to recreate the orange?’” This may sound like conceptual cooking, but bioengineering an orange was not a theoretical project. Lahousse says it’s possible to replicate some of the flavor-packing that OJ makers do in the confines of your own home.

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