Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Something You Didn't Know

As a long time big fan of the show Good Eats on The Food Network, I have a little more food science knowledge floating around in my head than your average bear. The host of the show, Alton Brown, strives to inform and educate, while making a few homemade weird contraptions and throwing in a recipe here and there. It's that devious type of programming that informs as it entertains, and that is dastardly. Often as the show cuts to commercials they'll throw a little tidbit of information at you or a food fact that is most often related to the just-concluded segment.

The new episode this week was about Asparagus. It is hard to imagine a more exciting subject than Asparagus, but when the good folks at Good Eats combined this vegetable with a little Michigan trivia, it's almost like they were writing a blog mention for me. The interesting food fact was something to the effect of "After California and Washington, Michigan produces the most asparagus out of all other states." Correct, friends, we are the third most contributory state to creating rank pee in America. This is a fact of pride to hold near our hearts.

While this is an interesting fact, perhaps more interesting, as Maureen pointed out, is the way that it was phrased. Why didn't they say something like "The three most asparagus-producing states are California, Washington, and Michigan" or "California produces the most asparagus"? Who specially calls out third place in any contest after quickly casting aside first and second place? That was kind of peculiar.

But now I know that Michigan is the third best state at producing asparagus and this is something I did not know before yesterday. I will now endeavor to find ways to incorporate asparagus more frequently into my daily routine - asparagus milkshakes, cut up asparagus in my cereal, throwing asparagus at various Tigers' opponents, using it as an wash cloth in the shower, and so on. Do you know what's even more amazing? Asparagus is genetically predisposed to grow in opposition to gravity - even when cut! That's why they always put the asparagus vertically at the supermarket. Otherwise, if they are placed on their sides, the tips of the asparagus will try to grow toward the sky and the asparagus will shape into L's. The earth is a fantastic place. You may now go to bed a little smarter, and probably a little happier.

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