t takes very little for me to have flashbacks of eating street meat in places I’ve lived or visited, namely China, HK and Japan. The mere whiff of an exotic spice can easily send me off to places past, transforming me from here to where I’ve been. I literally lose track of what I am doing and will walk off to chase a scent down. Now that I live in Toronto, Canada, where multiculturalism has evolved to mind expanding lengths, I become easily impatient with our city politicians as they dither about what is acceptable street food offerings to Torontonians. Here’s a novel idea: Let anyone offer food on the street and let the general public decide what they want to eat. Make it easy to get a licenses, enforce strict health rules, and punish those that are unclean. That, however, would be too easy.
nteresting. Here’s an organic additive that creates deep and rich reds for your food or cosmetics. Ground up female cochineal beetles. I’ll be looking for these 5mm critters the next time I go shopping and begin reading packaging ingredients.
___Yes, the ingredient is called cochineal, carmine (carminic acid), or E120. Because beetles are insects it is not considered kosher, halal, or vegetarian. Some people can have allergic reactions to it, as was televised by “60 Minutes”. Yes, this kid almost died of anaphylactic shock. I’m always amazed at what is put into our food that we don’t know about. As usual, Canadian labeling laws do not give you any indication of its origins. While I do not have an aversion to eating bugs (they make a great supplemental protein source), I know most other people do. Cochineal can also be used as organic ant repellent.
___It is interesting that “60 Minutes” omitted to tell us of the long history of this dye and its stellar safety record. There was much sensationalism in the story, as if this was a new additive used by evil food manufacturers to poison us all. So much for unbiased reporting.
n a recent airline flight we ordered kosher meals, but only for one person in our family. The stewardess looked at us quizzically, but gave us our kosher meal anyway. She double checked to ensure we had indeed ordered it. There was no mistake; we were the ones that ticked the kosher box when booking our tickets. As the long flight progressed the stewardess, now quite curious, asked us why we would order the kosher meal. On this trans Pacific flight, of the 500 or so passengers, we were the only ones that ordered a kosher meal.