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  #51  
Old 05-25-2020, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by ArtBeforeScience View Post
I don't know about foods but apparently chocolate caused huge scandals. I'm not sure I can find the cite in 2 minutes. From Eduardo Galeano's 3-volume Memory of Fire, the early Spanish colonists in the Americas were crazed for hot chocolate even during church services. The ladies especially. Had me clutchin my pearls. Wait! here it is:
I've always suspected that some ladies would commit murder for their chocolate.
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Last edited by EinsteinsHund; 05-25-2020 at 05:37 PM.
  #52  
Old 05-25-2020, 07:27 PM
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I am not sure if allergies count as GI issue but people have peanut allergies. Also you can get allergies from the latex in raw papaya, if you are not careful. But at the same time papaya enzymes are good for digestion.
  #53  
Old 05-26-2020, 01:19 AM
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Yeah, evolution works very slowly. If we've evolved since 500 years ago it's that people who are most susceptible to some diseases had a few fewer descendants. We haven't evolved to digest tomatoes.
Wait...what? I sincerely think I’m missing something. Are you saying that people of European descent have trouble digesting tomatoes? That would directly contradict what I understood you to be saying upthread. Was I just whooshed?

Last edited by EdelweissPirate; 05-26-2020 at 01:21 AM. Reason: Specificity
  #54  
Old 05-26-2020, 11:29 AM
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One New World crop that often needs special preparation is cassava, aka manioc or tapioca. The root comes in "sweet" and bitter varieties, with the latter containing potentially toxic levels of cyanide-producing compounds and requiring special preparation in order to be safe to eat. However, the roots are equally toxic to anyone, and Old World peoples were not especially susceptible to them. Spanish colonists sometimes complained that cassava bread gave them digestive problems, but this could have been due to poor preparation or other issues. Today the crop is used widely throughout the tropics, including Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
Manioc needs to be extensively processed to remove all the cyanide. However boiling it removes the bad taste and enough cyanide that it is can be eaten safely in the short term. The problem is that over time eating unprocessed manioc can lead to chronic cyanide poisoning. Thus manioc eaters in the new world eat it processed and have no ill health but manioc eaters in the old world, mainly Africa, have serious health problems.
  #55  
Old 05-26-2020, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
Anything green, other than the green tomato fruit. So... stems and leaves.
Maybe not.

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But there’s scant evidence for tomato toxicity in the medical and veterinary literature. I found just one medical case, an undocumented reference to children having been made sick by tomato-leaf tea, in a 1974 book on poisonous plants. In contrast to the few anecdotal accounts of livestock poisoning, a controlled study in Israel in 1996 showed no ill effects when cattle ate tomato vines for 42 days.
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And it’s a chemical gaffe to attribute tomato toxicity to solanine. Dr. Mendel Friedman of the federal Department of Agriculture, who has studied potato and tomato alkaloids for two decades, wrote in an e-mail message that commercial tomatoes contain tomatine. Solanine, he added, is a potato alkaloid.

There are significant quantities of tomatine in green tomato fruits, which people have long eaten fried and pickled. And tomatine appears to be a relatively benign alkaloid.
  #56  
Old 05-26-2020, 12:14 PM
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People did notice something new about corn.
  #57  
Old 05-26-2020, 01:25 PM
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For what it's worth, Samuel Pepys writes about having a terrible hangover on the day after Charles II's coronation and going out with a friend "to drink our morning draught, which he did give me in chocolate to settle my stomach." It's not quite clear from Pepys's syntax whether he's drinking chocolate as his morning drink, instead of a boozier alternative, or mixing the chocolate with the booze (which doesn't sound altogether stomach-settling!) But at any rate, he and his buddy both seem to take it for granted that chocolate helps with an upset stomach, and I don't think they would have gotten this idea if chocolate had caused obvious GI issues in the first few Europeans who tried it.
  #58  
Old 05-26-2020, 02:07 PM
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All the "exotic" hot drinks---chocolate, coffee, tea---were perceived for quite a while in 17th- and 18th-c. Europe as being fundamentally medicinal. Yes, a "morning draught" might combine chocolate and sack, or dry white wine.
  #59  
Old 05-26-2020, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Ulfreida View Post
All of it except the tomatoes themselves. Same with all the nightshade foods -- eggplant, potato, okra.
Okra is not a nightshade. It's related to hibiscus, and isn't even in the same clade as nightshade plants.
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Old 05-26-2020, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by puddleglum View Post
Manioc needs to be extensively processed to remove all the cyanide. However boiling it removes the bad taste and enough cyanide that it is can be eaten safely in the short term. The problem is that over time eating unprocessed manioc can lead to chronic cyanide poisoning. Thus manioc eaters in the new world eat it processed and have no ill health but manioc eaters in the old world, mainly Africa, have serious health problems.
I'm not sure where you're getting this from. As I said, there's a big difference between sweet and bitter varieties of cassava/manioc. Sweet cassava doesn't need to be "processed" beyond boiling, baking, or frying. I eat it frequently here in Panama (where it's called yuca) prepared in this way, and it's a staple part of the diet. I haven't heard of it being a health problem despite the lack of processing. In Brazil and the Caribbean cassava is more commonly processed into meal or flour, in which the toxins are removed by soaking or fermentation.

You make it sound as if Africans don't process cassava, which is certainly incorrect. It's processed in many different ways. I've had cassava in West Africa as fufu and in other forms. Now there may be some places where cassava is sometimes not processed correctly, causing health problems, but this is not really an Old World/New World distinction.
  #61  
Old 05-28-2020, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
I'm not sure where you're getting this from. As I said, there's a big difference between sweet and bitter varieties of cassava/manioc. Sweet cassava doesn't need to be "processed" beyond boiling, baking, or frying. I eat it frequently here in Panama (where it's called yuca) prepared in this way, and it's a staple part of the diet. I haven't heard of it being a health problem despite the lack of processing. In Brazil and the Caribbean cassava is more commonly processed into meal or flour, in which the toxins are removed by soaking or fermentation.

You make it sound as if Africans don't process cassava, which is certainly incorrect. It's processed in many different ways. I've had cassava in West Africa as fufu and in other forms. Now there may be some places where cassava is sometimes not processed correctly, causing health problems, but this is not really an Old World/New World distinction.
I oversimplified. Sweet cassava only needs to be boiled to get rid of the cyanide. Bitter casava needs to be soaked, boiled, cut up, and sun dried to be rid of the cyanide. Most people eat sweet cassava, but bitter cassava is still used because it is much more drought resistant. In places that don't know to soak it long enough a disease called konzo can result and tens of thousands of cases happen every year. Even in places where it is processed more, tropical ataxic neuropathy can occur in old people.
  #62  
Old 05-28-2020, 01:17 PM
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This is probably not true.
Agreed. The King would have had his "food tasters" try it long before it would have been offered at a party.
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