• Posted: October 10th, 2011 - 4:23pm by Doug Powell

    In a new meaning for ‘peanut,’ a U.K. woman has, according to this story, which really needs to be verified, become the first person to suffer an allergic reaction to nuts triggered through having sex.

    The boyfriend of the 20-year-old, who has not been named, had eaten a handful of Brazil nuts just before the couple's passion took hold.

    Having recently found out she was seriously allergic to the food, she asked him to take extreme precautions.

    The man brushed his teeth, rinsed his mouth out, washed his hands and scrubbed under his fingernails, according to science-technology website io9.

    But what happened next has alerted scientists to the fact that the nut proteins can get into the seminal fluid.

    After the pair had sex, the lower part of the woman's body swelled up and she became short of breath.

    Doctors at St Helier hospital in Carshalton, Surrey assumed it was a severe allergic reaction to nuts, from kissing or skin-to-skin contact.

    But after the pair explained their precautions, researchers doubted that the nut proteins ended up in sweat or saliva, because the allergic reaction would have started earlier, and would have been triggered in other couples.

    It is the first recorded case of an allergic reaction to Brazil nuts through intercourse.

    To be absolutely certain, doctors brought the man back in and took two semen samples - one before, and one four hours after eating Brazil nuts.

    They then performed a test on the girl, where they give a small injection with a needle covered in semen underneath the skin.

    This is a common way to test for particular allergies.

    It appears that Brazil nut proteins resist digestion, which is why they generally end up in the immune system, triggering immune reactions.

    They discovered the woman's skin swelled up and his semen caused a reaction just three to four hours after eating the nuts.

    But because the couple split up after the reaction, scientists were not able to carry out further tests.

    Your rating: None (2 votes)
    Wacky and Weird  |  Comments
  • Posted: May 18th, 2011 - 12:24pm by Doug Powell

    I make a decent roast chicken.

    Michael Ruhlman has a recipe, roast chicken for two (when the kids are gone) that’s making the rounds on the Intertubes.

    Step 1: Preheat your oven to 425˚F or, if you have ventilation, 450˚F, and use convection heat if it's available.

    Step 2: Wash and pat dry a 3- to 4-pound chicken. Truss it if you know how, or stuff 2 lemon halves in its cavity. Season it aggressively with kosher or sea salt (it should have a nice crust of salt). Put it in a skillet and slide it into the hot oven.

    Step 3: Have sex with your partner. (This can require planning, occasionally some conniving. But as cooks tend to be resourceful and seductive by nature, most find that it's not the most difficult part of the recipe.)

    Step 4: Remove the chicken from the oven after it's cooked for 1 hour, allow it to rest for 15 minutes, and serve.

    Cooking, like sex, is good for your marriage.

    Once the kids are regularly gone during the day, carve out two hours (more if you can swing it) to rendezvous at home. The home itself will be strangely, wonderfully peaceful. Neither you nor your partner will be exhausted; instead, you'll still be fairly fresh and energetic—it's time for lunch, after all.

    I prefer lime over lemon, and stuff the bird with about 30 cloves of garlic and a generous helping of rosemary. Use a meat thermometer for safety (at least 165F).

    What should have been the title for this blog post?

    Your rating: None
    Food Safety Policy  |  Comments
  • Posted: February 11th, 2010 - 11:03am by Doug Powell

    Dr. Ruth once famously said, “The most important sex organ lies between the ears.”

    Yet people continue to look for a push, pharmaceutically through Viagra and numerous spam e-mail spin-offs, and, with Valentine’s Day approaching, through food.

    Sarah Kershaw of the New York Times writes that certain foods with aphrodisiac status, like basil, rosemary, saffron, honey, grapes and pine nuts, were coveted for their great libidinal powers by ancient Greeks and Romans and medieval Europeans. Or, like foie gras, caviar, truffles and Champagne, they were exalted as romantic gifts because of their rarity and luxury.

    Others, like figs, asparagus and cucumbers, have long been seen as erotic because of their resemblance to the male and female sex organs (we had asparagus, salmon and sweet potato for lunch yesterday; made Amy a sald with salmon, pine nuts, walnuts and strawberries for lunch today).

    Foods with nutrients that could potentially enhance fertility and virility have drawn more interest from researchers, cooks and practitioners of alternative medicine in recent years. Among them is, again, the oyster, which contains zinc, linked to increased sperm production. (However, a zinc-deficient person would have to mow down enormous quantities of oysters before he noticed a difference.) Garlic contains an amino acid that enhances blood flow and could augment erections, according to Meryl S. Rosofsky, a doctor and adjunct professor in the department of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University.

    Rachel S. Herz, an expert in the psychology of smell, wrote in her book “The Scent of Desire” (William Morrow, 2007) that “Asians consider the smell of cheese to be hideous, yet westerners regard it as anything from comfort food to sumptuous indulgence.”

    Researchers have uncovered strong links between scent, emotion and sexual attraction. Smell can induce emotion that then triggers neurochemical changes, Dr. Herz said. Of all the senses, she said, it is the only one that bypasses the conscious parts of the brain and goes directly to the limbic system, the region responsible for basic memory, motivation and emotion.

    Smell evolved for finding both food and mates, and much research has found that body odor plays a powerful role in human attraction.

    This is why I should shower more often.

    The nostalgic recall triggered by odors, known as the Proustian Effect, has been embraced by some chefs who believe that eating should be a full-sensory experience, involving taste, smell and even sound.

    Heston Blumenthal, of the Fat Duck in Bray, England, invites diners to write down childhood food recollections and uses those musings for inspiration for future dishes.

    I’m sure the over 500 people who barfed from norovirus after dining at Blumenthal’s Fat Duck will want to recreate that, especially the sounds, at their next meal.

    Leg of lamb from the cheap meat section at the supermarket tonight for dinner, with lots of rosemary. Maybe even some champagne.

    But, as Kershaw notes, Shakespeare warned in Macbeth: Alcohol “provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance.”

    Your rating: None
  • Posted: February 4th, 2010 - 4:25pm by Doug Powell

    A Toronto restaurant is inviting diners to inject some sizzle into their Valentine’s Day dinner by promoting sex in their bathrooms.

    Chef/co-owner Donna Dooher of Mildred's Temple Kitchen said,

    "We've always had little trysts in our bathrooms. We're taking it to the next level on Valentine's weekend."

    The Toronto Star reports that the restaurant's four bathrooms light up outside when occupied. Staff have learned to watch the light flicker twice when two customers enter the same bathroom, usually a few minutes apart.

    Jim Chan, manager of the food safety program at Toronto Public Health, said as long as there's no sex in the kitchen and the restaurant keeps its washrooms clean and sanitized, it's not fussed, adding,

    "As far as bodily fluids, it's pretty much similar to the other human functions going on in there.”

    Your rating: None (2 votes)
  • Posted: January 29th, 2010 - 10:35am by Doug Powell

    In a move to apparently counteract the negative associations with swine flu, Argentine President Cristina Kirchner told a gathering of business people at a meeting at the presidential palace that eating pork is at least as effective as popping a Viagra pill to spice up your sex life, stating,

    "Pork consumption improves sexual activity. This is not a small detail. Besides, some nicely grilled pork is much more gratifying than taking Viagra."

    Kirchner said she ate some roasted pork over the weekend with her husband, former president Nestor Kirchner, at the couple's retreat in Argentina's bucolic southern Patagonia region, with "impressive" results.
    "We were in high spirits the whole weekend," she said, smiling.

    The head of the association of pork producers, Juan Uccelli, on Thursday said people in Denmark and Japan, where pork consumption is high, "have much more harmonious sexual lives than us Argentines have."

    Your rating: None (1 vote)
    Wacky and Weird  |  Comments