5 Must-Know Answers to Common Cooking Questions
There are a lot of questions that come up during cooking, whether you’re an experienced chef or a rookie in the kitchen. You may find yourself wondering what actually is a superfood, or if you should eat organic. There is a science to cooking, and there is a reason for everything.
Here are some tough cooking questions answered:
Are raw or uncooked vegetables better for you?
All vegetables are good for you. And some vegetables are great for certain things. For example, tomatoes which contain lycopene helps protect against prostate cancer, is better absorbed when cooked. In contrast, if you overcook broccoli, many of the nutrients leach out. If you’re not sure how to cook your veggies to get the best nutrients, registered dietician Andy De Santis suggests eating them raw or lightly cooked.
How common is salmonella, and how can I prevent it?
If you’ve ever had a food-borne illness, you know how miserable they can be. Salmonella is most commonly in chicken, but can also be in produce, and raw animal foods like seafood, dairy, eggs, and meat. The Center for Disease Control estimates salmonella causes 1.4 million cases per year, including 400 deaths. You can prevent salmonella poisoning by washing your hands often, preparing foods safely, and cooking foods to a safe minimum internal temperature.
Why do onions make you cry?
This flavorful vegetable has the tendency to induce tears. This is because onions contain a tiny enzyme cavities in every cell, and when broken open it releases its contents. This leads to a chemical reaction which irritates the lacrimal glands in your eyes, which triggers tears. To avoid this, try chilling your onions for 30 minutes before preparation, and keeping the root end when chopping it.
Why are preservatives bad for you?
Sometimes cooking dinner after a long day sounds awful. Frozen meals are quick and easy, but you may want to think again before grabbing a frozen lasagna. Check the ingredient list to see what is in your food. MSG, hydrogenated oils, and fake dyes are common in frozen meals. Sodium is also a dangerous threat in frozen meals. Excess sodium in the diet over time can contribute to the risk of heart disease, and high blood pressure, amongst other conditions.
What are the benefits of buying organic? Does it really matter?
While most nutritionists say that buying organic is a personal decision, here is some additional research to back up why going organic is a good idea. Buying organic greatly decreases your exposure to toxins as well as dangerous chemical residues. While there isn’t a lot of research to suggest that non-organic foods are harmful, the best part about buying organic has nothing to do with your health but rather the Earth’s. Buying organic supports the diversification of our food system, maintenance of water and social quality and is more sustainable in practice, ensuring future generations have healthy and nutritious foods to eat.
If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section below.