The spices They are an indispensable ingredient in the kitchens of all those who enjoy cooking tasty dishes.
However, since not everything in life was going to be giving flavor, many of them hide other hidden functions that have come to awaken our fear, when we have heard it out there.
I don't miss him nutmeg to meals, because it can cause death. It is possible that you have ever heard that statement from someone you know. In the same way, surely you have also read in the boats of orange food coloring that message in small letters (because they have to be there, but it's also not a matter of you reading it right after you grab the boat) that says it could cause hyperactivity in children. But hey, then what do we do? Cooking without spices is too bland and the solution doesn't have to be that. As we always tell you, things are not just black or white, but to know the intermediate effects it is necessary to know the science behind it.
Spice side effects
Not all spices are dangerous to our health, but I do know that there are some with which you have to be a little careful. In this article we talk about nutmeg and orange food coloring.
Nutmeg, from béchamel to the brain
The nutmeg It is an indispensable ingredient in many dishes of habitual consumption, especially in the bechamel. And it is that a béchamel without this spice is like a cold winter, which can happen, but always lacks something.
Therefore, it is important to know exactly what those who claim that nutmeg can be deadly mean, to know to what extent we risk it if we put it in our culinary creations.
Well, the substance that gives toxicity to this spice is the myristicin, which is mainly found in the nutmeg essential oil, although it is also in a smaller proportion in other commonly consumed spices, such as parsley.
In nature, this chemical compound serves as insecticide and acaraicide, due to their neurotoxic effects. And this is precisely where the problem lies. Does that mean we are cooking with a compound that can harm our brain? The answer, as in so many other cases, is in the dose. So that you have an idea, so that this substance begins to produce hallucinations and may pose any danger to our health, should be ingested 7 to 10 grams. Whole walnuts sold in the market generally weigh about 5 grams and most cans of spice powder contain about 40. Needless to say, no matter how rich we want a béchamel sauce, we don't usually add a whole walnut and neither a quarter pot.
No matter how rich we want a béchamel sauce, we do not usually add a whole walnut and neither a quarter of a pot
So, we should not fear its use in kitchen. Yes, be careful with its use as hallucinogen. Many people calculate the exact dose to produce hallucinations, without being dangerous, but the truth is that this line is very thin and if it is making us see strange things it is because in our brain Something weird happens, reason to think twice before doing it.
The coloring of paellas that can make children hyperactive
As I told you in the introduction, the label of many food colors contains a message that warns of the possible involvement of some of their additives in the appearance of hyperactivity. Especially, this occurs with the case of tartrazine (E-102), an additive that gives yellow or orange color, so it is used to color dishes like Paella.
Now, is it true what it says on the label? If you notice, the phrase is in conditional (could produce). This in science is very important, since it means that there is no clear evidence of the presence of these effects, but neither are there the opposite case.
This all started with a study published in The Lancet, in 2007, which highlighted the implication of the tartrazine in the appearance of attention deficit disorder (ADHD) in children, especially if mixed with sodium benzoate, a substance present in carbonated soft drinks.
However, in 2009 a new study of the European Food Safety Authority appealed for calm, claiming that previous studies did not provide conclusive evidence and that, therefore, it was necessary to remain calm, since the doses approved by the European Union they do not pose any health risk. Even so, in 2008 the European Parliament passed a law according to which all foods containing these additives must warn on their labeling of the possible risk involved, hence the message that we said at the beginning.
So, can the little ones of the house take food with this coloring easily? The decision is left to the parents. There is no evidence of its danger, but you can always substitute artificial colors for more natural ones, such as saffron. And if for whatever reason you decide to use tartrazine, but you want to find a way to stay calmer, try not to have it with soft drinks. After all, there is nothing healthier than drinking water with meals.
As you can see, the solution is not to eat bland, but to eat with caution. Knowledge makes us free, in all areas that you can imagine. In this case, it makes us free to eat without fear, by being able to assess the risks involved and act accordingly. No more making béchamel with no flavor at all.