Final Thoughts from Orlando

I’m back!  It’s so nice to be home and have a fully functioning internet connection again.  Throughout the week I realized I kept missing things I wanted to talk about.  Before I go back to bed, hopefully I can come up with them all and give a final wrap up on what turned out to be a non-organic experiment.

– The next time I travel I’m totally going to bring tupperware or containers that I can’t carry my homemade lunches in.  I felt so incredibly wasteful having ziplock bags that I threw away all the time.  That was one thing that really bothered me.

– I felt sick every time I ate my strawberries.  I also had a couple that I could distinctly taste something that was off – this went for my carrots too.  Since I’ve only been eating organic have I lost my tolerance for pesticides?

-Speaking of which, I went to a seminar at the chemistry conference that talked about uses for a miniature mass spec.  Basically, a mass spectrometer is an instrument that allows you to take a very minute sample and analyze it to determine the exact chemical substituents.  The presenter, (the amazing Graham Cooks), showed how his group took the mini MS to a supermarket and tested organic and non organic produce.  On non organic apples they found surprisingly high concentrations of diphenylamine.  Diphenylamine is commonly used in apples to keep their skin looking healthy in the supermarket.  It’s not something you want to mess around with, though, as it’s actually pretty toxic.  The MSDS (material safety data sheet) for diphenylamine shows that it’s pretty nasty.  It is a potential mutagen (can change your DNA) and teratogen (can cause birth defects).  It’s also considered harmful if swallowed.  Granted, you would have to eat a high concentration at once to see any immediate effects, but the build up of diphenylamine in your system could cause issues for you later on in life.  Besides being found on the skin, diphenylamine was found insidee the apple, too.  For this reason, apples are widely regarded as the one fruit you should always buy organic.

-I am absolutely going to detox this week.  Eating out every night for dinner left me feeling disgusting, even if I did run every day.  It’s amazing how superfluous eating out is.  One night at Joe’s Crab Shack I had a chocolate craving and got their 6 layer cake.  It was beyond amazing.  Well, I suppose it shold have been the best damn piece of cake I have ever had considering it was 1600 calories and 155 grams of sugar.  That didn’t make me feel bad until I looked up my entree (diablo mussels), and those were 1100 calories.  I had also eaten a light dinner in my hotel room before I went out (peanut butter sandwich, yogurt, orange).

-all you can eat.  What a shameful waste.  Our advisor took us to a restaurant at Disney World the last night we were in town.  It was at one of the resort hotels so they all have the same format- the big thing is an “all you care to enjoy” family style meal but you can also order a select few entree options.  Our advisor encouraged us to go for the all you can eat meal which was salad, mashed potatoes, corn, cornbread, beef brisket, pulled pork, chicken, and possibly one other form of meat.  I opted for an entree off the menu, but also ended up eating some of the all you can eat meal, too.  (btw, the all you can eat was $29, HUGE waste).  I’m appalled at how much food ended up being brought out that didn’t get eaten.  At one point the guys asked for more chicken.  They were brought out the equivalents of 1.5 chickens and only 2 legs were eaten.  What was left had to be thrown out.  I suppose most normal buffets are like that too, but at least the food that’s left over could possibly go home with someone (having worked in restaurants I realize this probably isn’t the case, but it is an option).  When food is left on a table, though, it HAS to be thrown away.  We ended up leaving at least $15-20 worth of food uneaten.

-red quinoa cakes.  One of my friends ordered these.  delicious.  on my to make list.

-I cannot freaking wait to make a home cooked meal tonight.

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