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4/18/2017 - Cow milk's flavor can be damaged by exposure to light
11/17/2016 - Always check ingredients lists, since you never know when a food company might add sucralose, or who knows what else
7/23/2016 - Postum - Buy 3 Jars, Get 1 Free Sale Until August 31, 2016
7/22/2016 - Teeccino: An Excellent Alternative to Coffee
7/18/2016 - Links: Free (as in Freedom), Libre, Open Source Agriculture
6/17/2016 - Oatmeal: A Decent Substitute for Pasta
6/3/2014 - Milk Addiction?
11/8/2013 - Link: "Living in Color: The Potential Dangers of Artificial Dyes" (to Avoid)

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Cow milk's flavor can be damaged by exposure to light
Tuesday, April 18th, 2017
13:47:29 GMT


I wish milk was sold in glass containers inside opaque cardboard boxes instead of in plastic jugs of any opacity. It probably would be healthier and might more reliably taste fine.

Another reason I dislike plastic (other than plastic exposing milk to too much light) is because plastic might have negative health effects.


Here are some pages about the fact that milk's flavor can be damaged by exposure to light:

What effect, if any, does light have on milk?
(July 14, 2009 from ShelfLifeAdvice.com

Quote:

"Milk can develop off-flavors after just a few minutes in direct sunlight or two hours of exposure to strong fluorescent light"


Consumers sour on milk exposed to LED light
(June 8, 2016, from news.cornell.edu)


It's so frustrating to never know for sure if the next jug of milk I get is going to taste drinkable to me.

I've encountered this problem for many years. Certain brands of milk are reliably terrible and undrinkable to me, and the brand I usually like is only drinkable maybe 85% of the time. And I recently got two jugs in a row which tasted undrinkably bad, even though I always strive to get milk from the back of the shelf, where hopefully it hasn't been exposed to as much light.


But I seem to be especially sensitive. I was never able to tolerate undiluted coffee because of its bitterness, and I've never been able to eat grapefruits or drink grapefruit juice because they taste like vomit to me.

To my frequent surprise and dismay, usually the people I live with can't taste any problem with the milk, so they often volunteer to drink the ones I can't drink. Though on rare occasions, the problem is bad enough they can taste it too.


I already tried one brand of organic cow's milk in a cardboard carton, but somehow that tasted ghastly and undrinkable to me too, though I'm not sure what caused that.

Perhaps I should just try harder to be more vegetarian, and quit my cow milk addiction.

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Always check ingredients lists, since you never know when a food company might add sucralose, or who knows what else
Thursday, November 17th, 2016
08:26:39 GMT


I'm so tired of suddenly finding that things like sucralose have been added to food products I used to like.

It happened to me before, and it just happened to me again several hours ago.


As part of my effort to reduce my sugar consumption, I tried what I mistakenly thought was the totally unsweetened version of one of my favorite cereals, a healthy-sounding high-fiber cereal which I guess I won't name.

To my surprise, it tasted sweet. So, I checked the ingredients, and to my horror, I saw that it contained sucralose.


That gave me quite a fright, since I had already eaten a spoonful or two. I tried (but failed) to make myself throw up.

Then I checked the ingredients of the version of that cereal I usually ate (which I already was aware was slightly sweetened), and was horrified to find that contained sucralose too!

I don't know if it always had sucralose or if that's a recent addition, but, I'm really upset about that and will never eat that cereal again unless the sucralose is removed, and maybe not even then.

I'll always be wary of all that company's products from now on. And other companies too. Going to check the ingredient lists of everything far more carefully in the future, even things I regularly eat, since too often, the ingredients get changed for the worse for no good reason.


Anyway, I already ate many boxfuls of that cereal (including at least 1 boxful which definitely had sucralose), and don't know for sure whether or not that had any bad effects on me, so that made me less panicked about eating just a spoonful or two of the less sweetened version of that cereal.

At least I didn't eat that cereal every day - maybe a box every few weeks - and only started eating it several months ago, in summer 2016. I have had a variety of health issues (or nuisances) lately, but I'm not sure any are related to sucralose, since they all have other possible causes, and I haven't had most of the symptoms listed on this page or this page. And overall I think I've been improving and will probably be OK.

But I still don't ever want to risk eating sucralose, and I'm so upset that food companies unnecessarily put things like that into their products.

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Postum - Buy 3 Jars, Get 1 Free Sale Until August 31, 2016
Saturday, July 23rd, 2016
05:56:08 GMT


Postum is another excellent caffeine-free hot drink which tends to be placed in the same category as Teeccino - a coffee alternative.

And, until August 31, 2016, there's a buy 3 jars, get 1 free sale of Postum from Postum's official website.


I haven't had Postum in a long time, maybe since 2004 or something. But even though I didn't drink it very often (since I mostly drank caffeinated tea instead), I still liked it.

I only ever tried the Original flavor, which never tasted that much like coffee to me. But, I liked it anyway, especially since I wasn't even looking for a perfect replica of coffee - just something new (to me) and different from what I usually drank.


I read on this page that Postum was actually discontinued by the company Kraft in 2007, which I found very surprising and bizarre. Why would any company discontinue such a good, popular product?

Fortunately, Postum was so popular that a different company (Eliza's Quest Foods of Charlotte, North Carolina) revived it in 2012.

Which is very unusual - since I don't think any other discontinued product I ever liked ever got revived. I wish such revivals would happen more often.

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Teeccino: An Excellent Alternative to Coffee
Friday, July 22nd, 2016
21:32:18 GMT


I sometimes run across articles which suggest that it would be healthy to give up caffeine.

I actually mostly don't drink coffee, and I only drink 1 cup of caffeinated tea per day maximum - but I'm definitely addicted. (Edit, Aug. 13, 2016, 10:42 PM EDT: Actually, I drank one 17 ounce mug which I mistakenly thought was 12 ounces.) I've tried repeatedly (though not very determinedly) to gradually give it up, but I just like the taste too much.

It's probable I'd consume less caffeine if I simply switched completely to coffee, because I only enjoy coffee which is very diluted with water and cream. (Otherwise, coffee tastes unbearably bitter and horrible to me.)

But, my goal is to mostly stop drinking any caffeine, since I think maybe I have adrenal fatigue, given that I have sometimes been unusually tired lately despite going out of my way to avoid stressful things for over a month now.


There are various non-caffeinated herbal teas I like. But, I wanted to try something totally new to me.

So, today, I tried Teeccino, which is made of chicory and other tasty ingredients.


I tried a "tee-bag" of the Maya Chai flavor. And, I liked it! I could definitely distinguish it from coffee, but it was still quite good, coffee-like, and better than any decaffeinated coffee I've ever had. (But I should probably point out that I never tried a wide variety of decaf coffee, nor even caffeinated coffee.)

Teeccino "tee-bags" seem to take longer to steep than probably most tea does. I didn't carefully follow the instructions - I stuck the bag in a cup of cold water and microwaved it, which I think worked well enough.

Rather than removing the bag, I decided to just leave it in as I was drinking it, and see how long it would take for it to get too strong for my tastes. I don't know exactly when that happened, but it seemed to take a long time, maybe over 10 minutes.

Similar to the way I drink coffee, I liked it best with a lot of cream.


I greatly look forward to trying all the other flavors of the sampler pack I got, and I think Teeccino will definitely assist me in hopefully finally really giving up caffeine, or at least drinking a lot less caffeine.


Addition, July 30, 2016, 11:14 AM EDT. Here's a new blog post by me which could be of interest to Teeccino drinkers:

Chicory and barley: reputedly good for dental health, etc.


Additions, July 23, 2016, 3:23 AM EDT, etc. The way I sweeten my tea, coffee and Teeccino is usually:

I used to be able to just use any random brown sugar from a grocery store, but I find that difficult to use anymore because the above makes everything taste so much better in comparison.


Anyway, I just tried the Chocolate Mint flavor of Teeccino. I liked the Maya Chai, but I love this! It reminds me of Andes mints in liquid form, but more subtle. I think I like it even more than hot chocolate, because hot chocolate (unless you make it from scratch) tends to be overwhelmingly sugary, and with this, I can control the amount of sweetness.


Addition, July 30, 2016, 12:27 PM EDT. By now, I've tried all the flavors from the sampler pack.

There are only 4 flavors I wasn't so fond of - Orange, Maya Chai, Almond Amaretto, and Chocolate.

But, I liked (or loved) them all, and all of them were superior to any decaf coffee I've ever had. And it turns out mixing multiple flavors together is fun, so, I might eventually buy even the ones I'm less fond of just to see if they'll taste better as components of my own custom blends.

I already got two 11 oz. packages of ground Teeccino from a local store. The store had only had 4 flavors (and only 2 I particularly liked), so I got Java and French Roast.


For me, coffee machines are too much of a time-consuming nuisance, even though I don't have a non-libre coffee machine with DRM. :-) But fortunately, a coffee machine isn't necessary to brew ground Teeccino.

On various pages on the Teeccino website (like this one), it says "The exact same Teeccino grounds are in the Tee-bags as in our 11 oz. bags." And Teeccino's website sells empty tea bags. (But I already had some of a different brand - I got 100 on sale for 99 cents from a local store.)

I considered getting a metal tea infuser, strainer, filter, or teaball. Particularly to my liking was this one (but beware of the volume in that video around 0:46 to 0:55). But, in the end, I decided against any metal tea contraption, because I was worried about things like, where was this manufactured, exactly what is it made of, how was it made, and is it really safe?


Teeccino takes minutes longer than ordinary tea to steep. I'm not sure exactly how long, but it probably varies depending on how strong or weak you'd prefer it to be. And also depending on which Teeccino flavor it is.

Filling my own tea bags was a bit less convenient and more messy than buying already-filled "tee-bags". But, I love being able to choose the amounts to put in, and being able to easily mix multiple flavors together.


In my 17-ounce mug, I like both pure Java (with about 3 non-heaping spoonfuls) or pure French Roast (with some amount less than 3 non-heaping spoonfuls, since 3 initially seemed too strong for me, though I soon got used to it and liked it anyway).

But I also like combining Java and French Roast, with 2 non-heaping spoonfuls of Java, and less than a spoonful of French Roast (since just 1 spoonful surprisingly seemed a bit too strong for my liking). And I'll be trying other combinations too.

I think maybe I'm unusually sensitive to strong flavors (especially in light of my inability to drink undiluted coffee). A former coffee drinker I know very much enjoyed an 8.5 ounce cup made with 4 spoonfuls of French Roast! (Addition, Aug. 2, 2016, 2:08 PM EDT. That person said 2 spoonfuls is just as good.)




Here is my mostly indecisive ranking of all the Teeccino flavors from the sampler pack, which no doubt will vary depending on my mood:

  1. Chocolate Mint - Still my favorite! But it seems too much like dessert for me to use it as my usual tea replacement. And also, chocolate (including Teeccino flavors containing chocolate) contains theobromine, which has effects similar to caffeine.

  2. Java - I never had real java, so I can't compare this to that. But, it's definitely good. Mixing it with a small amount of French Roast enhances it for me.

  3. Vanilla Nut - Better than all the vanilla teas I've ever had. I seldom have found a vanilla tea I've really liked. (Hedley's Vanilla comes to mind, but I don't know if that's even made anymore.)

  4. Hazelnut - Reminds me of Almond Amaretto, but somehow more agreeable to me.

  5. French Roast - Amongst all the Teeccinos (including the ones I'm less fond of), this one seems to have the strongest, most intense coffee-like flavor.

  6. Mocha - I don't remember many details about this one, but it was good. But since it has chocolate (and therefore, the caffeine-like substance theobromine), I should probably usually avoid it.


Here are the flavors I'm less fond of. They were all good enough for me to finish my cup, but I liked the above more.

However, the below might still be interesting components to mix into custom blends - so, for that reason, I might buy these too eventually.

  1. Orange - I figured this was one of the flavors I was least likely to like, because I seldom like any fruit tea. (The only exceptions I can even think of are Gevalia Ceylon Cinnamon Orange and Blackberry Spice, which I love.

    And a notable pseudo-exception is Twinings Ceylon Orange Pekoe tea - which has nothing whatsoever to do with orange fruit. It's simply a black tea - but for some years, it qualified as my #1 favorite daily tea, until I tried PG Tips.)

    Fortunately for me, it turned out Orange Teeccino didn't actually taste very orangey. I liked it a bit more than the Maya Chai.


  2. Maya Chai - I don't think I would have even guessed this was a chai if I tasted it without knowing what flavor it was. It's still good, though. But the name makes me compare it to chai teas I've had. And since I've had some really excellent chai teas, this scarcely compares at all to them.

    But this is a favorite of the aforementioned former coffee drinker I know. That person said they liked this because it's strong.


  3. Almond Amaretto. This is another flavor which the aforementioned former coffee drinker particularly liked, which I didn't like so much. The smell of this reminded me of anise, or something else I mostly don't like. (Not sure I know the correct name for the scent I'm referring to.)

    It reminded me of a weird Celestial Seasonings tea I had a long time ago called "Almond Sunset", which I also found rather disagreeable (though sometimes intriguing).

    Even though I didn't like Almond Sunset that much, it saddens me to find that Almond Sunset was retired. Yet another reason why it's better even for food and drink recipes, including tea, to be free (as in freedom), libre, and open source.


  4. Chocolate. Even though I love the Chocolate Mint flavor - for me, the plain Chocolate flavor didn't compare well to ordinary hot chocolate. Still was good enough to drink, though.


There are numerous other flavors for me to try. I'm most interested in trying Pumpkin Spice, since I love pumpkin pie, and one of my favorite teas is Bigelow Pumpkin Spice.

I'm also interested in French Vanilla, since I've had a surprisingly hard time finding vanilla teas I really like, and Vanilla Nut Teeccino was better than all of the vanilla teas I ever had.

So, I'll probably try this Boutique Sampler next.


Addition, Aug. 13, 2016, 5:36 PM EDT. I tried all the Boutique Sampler flavors. Here's my current ranking of everything, which will also probably vary depending on my mood:

  1. Hazelnut

  2. Pumpkin Spice - For some reason, I usually like most pumpkin-flavored things. I haven't had Bigelow Pumpkin Spice in quite a while, but I'm sure this Teeccino is least as good as that, and probably better.

  3. Chocolate Mint

  4. French Roast

  5. French Vanilla - Might have a stronger vanilla flavor than Vanilla Nut. I'll try comparing the two more carefully at some point.

  6. Java

  7. Vanilla Nut

  8. Mocha

  9. Caramel Nut - I'm almost tempted to put this in the group of flavors I'm not so fond of, except I probably liked it a bit more than them. Pecans were never a favorite nut of mine, even though I'm capable of enjoying them.


And the flavors I'm less fond of. They were all good enough for me to finish my cup, but I liked the above more.

However, the below might still be interesting components to mix into custom blends - so, for that reason, I might buy these too eventually.

  1. Orange

  2. Maya Chai

  3. Almond Amaretto

  4. Chocolate

  5. Southern Pecan - I wasn't sure what I'd think of this one, since pecans were never my favorite nut, but, I actually really liked this great Nuts.com pecan pie.

    Anyway, the Teeccino Southern Pecan flavor seemed to improve the longer it steeped (or the more I got used to it), but until it reached that point, I was considering discarding it. But, it somehow gradually became tolerable. So, I suspect maybe it might be good for me in small amounts as an ingredient in a custom mix.


And I finally found a flavor I found undrinkable:

  1. Chocolate Raspberry - I seldom like fruit flavor in tea or coffee, especially if it's raspberry. I'm not even very fond of most fruit pies (except pumpkin, if that qualifies as a fruit). People around me liked the smell of Chocolate Raspberry, but, I didn't even like the smell. Both its smell and taste reminded me too much of medicine. So, I had to discard it.

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Links: Free (as in Freedom), Libre, Open Source Agriculture
Monday, July 18th, 2016
14:57:07 GMT


Ever since I saw the documentary Gasland several years ago, I've been increasingly worried about farms, groundwater (or any water), nature in general, and also places where people live, possibly getting contaminated by pollution from various forms of industrial activity.

And I also think it's quite distressing that unless you pay extra to buy organic food, you're stuck buying food which quite possibly had pesticides used on it, or which might have been genetically modified (GMO).

And, as someone who has at times had a rather inadequate diet simply due to lack of enough money, I've sometimes daydreamed about how nice it would be to be able to grow my own food on my own farm, or in a greenhouse, or something.


So, today, I was very pleased to run across the below links, since perhaps free (as in freedom), libre, open source agriculture will someday help alleviate some of the above problems.

This Ag Innovator Wants to Find Your Broccoli by IP Address
(June 10, 2015 from ThePlate.NationalGeographic.com)

MIT Open Agriculture Initiative


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Oatmeal: A Decent Substitute for Pasta
Friday, June 17th, 2016
03:59:37 GMT


(Last updated June 24, 2016 at 5:46 AM EDT.)

Today, I was reading about foods that are good for your arteries. Oatmeal, garlic, olive oil, and tomatoes (among many other things) appeared on various lists I browsed on the web.

(Upon further reading, it looks like olive oil is sometimes reputed to actually be bad in various ways. I don't know what to think yet.)


The latter three put me in the mood for pasta. But not enough in the mood to actually go to the trouble to cook pasta.

So... I decided to make oatmeal instead. I added water to some instant oatmeal, and put it in the microwave for almost 2 minutes (which was probably longer than necessary). Then I put in a crushed clove of garlic, some olive oil, and some tomato sauce. Also a bit of salt.


And, surprisingly, I think I actually like it more than pasta! Pasta doesn't have much of a taste, and neither does oatmeal, but I think I like oatmeal a bit more.

That's very convenient for me, because oatmeal is a lot quicker to make than pasta, and even microwaveable frozen raviolis. Maybe it's healthier, too.

Another good thing to add would probably be a few spoonfuls of ground flax seed - another food often reputed to be good for your arteries, and which contains a lot of the ALA form of Omega 3 fat.

It would also probably be good with one of my new favorite vegetables, kale. To me, kale tastes like a cross between broccoli and parsley. Really good stuff, much better than lettuce (which I find boring), and even better than raw spinach leaves (which I actually like). Kale is so good I can eat it right out of the bag, or almost alone in a two-ingredient salad with MSG-less ranch dressing.

Another thing I like about kale is that unlike many salad components, it stays good for a while instead of going bad in several days. I keep it refrigerated and only buy kale that is sold inside a sealed bag, since it seems to taste better that way.


Just thought I'd post this, since substituting oatmeal for pasta seems like a rather novel, seldom-considered idea, at least judging by the fact that in my entire lifetime so far until today, I had never once thought of the idea. :-) And I don't recall ever hearing about it before, either.

I think this is my favorite way of eating oatmeal I've ever found!

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Milk Addiction?
Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014
03:00:40 GMT


I've been wanting to become vegetarian, but, the thing I most struggle with is giving up cow's milk. My craving for milk is sometimes so strong I noted that I actually feel like I'm addicted to it.

So, recently, I searched the web for something like "cow milk addiction", and ended up reading a page or two which surprisingly mentioned something about morphine in cow's milk.


Here's the most credible-seeming page about that that I found (after a brief and lazy search). It's dated August 28, 1981, and its URL is: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6267691

Morphine in cow and human milk: could dietary morphine constitute a ligand for specific morphine (mu) receptors?

Funny that it mentions "mu" receptors. :-) At least they didn't spell morphine "moorphine". :-)


So, if it's true that cow's milk contains morphine, maybe I truly am a bit addicted to cow's milk?

I don't drink a huge amount of cow's milk, but I definitely find it a bit uncomfortable to go without any of it for more than a day or so, and no milk substitute I've tried eased the craving.

I originally thought that was maybe just because the alternatives might lack some nutrients that cow's milk contains. But, perhaps it's the lack of morphine? :-) Don't know, just wondering.


Disclaimer, just in case: I am not a health expert, and none of this post is intended to be health advice or medical advice.


Click this link to display the blog comment thread hosted at the Eryss.Com Forum:

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Link: "Living in Color: The Potential Dangers of Artificial Dyes"
Friday, November 8th, 2013
10:49:07 GMT


to Avoid

From Forbes.com:

Living in Color: The Potential Dangers of Artificial Dyes

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