Harold McGee, curious cook and kitchen scientist extraordinaire, debunks raw foods and the five-second rule. And advocates for electric ovens, a little gassiness with beans, and frozen vegetables.
Good cooking relies on proven science and few
Ordinary cooking can’t eliminate all microbes and toxins in food. The only way to guarantee microbe- and toxin-free food is to pressure-cook it for hours and consume it immediately. Such food would also be pleasure free.
Raw foods are not necessarily more nutritious than cooked foods. There’s no good evidence of any health benefit to keeping foods below 118 degrees Fahrenheit, a practice reputed to “preserve enzymes.” Cooked foods ar
Frozen vegetables can equal or better the quality of fresh, especially vegetables that lose flavor and tenderness rapidly after harvest. These include green peas and lima beans, and sweet corn.
Burners waste a lot of energy. More than half the energy in a gas flame escapes around the sides of the pot and heats the kitchen instead. Electrical elements waste about a third of their energy. Induction stovetops are by the far the
Steaming uses much less water and energy than boiling, and leaches less nourishment and flavor from food. It only takes a few cups of boiling water to fill a large pot with steam for 15 to 30 minutes. Steaming is well suited to the si
Searing meat does not seal in its juices and most cooking methods do not make meats moist. Juiciness depends almost entirely on how hot you cook the center of the me
Plastic wraps and preformed plastic storage bags are petroleum products, usually polyethylene, and often include trace substance that can migrate into fatty and oily foods. Some have an unpleasant smell. ... Plastic wraps conform more
Food production terminology is neither precise nor tightly regulated.The terms are loose at best and because some justify higher prices, they may be used to mislead or deceive.
Be skeptical about alternative production
Don’t follow the five-second rule. Food dropped on the floor is contaminated immediately. If you can’t remove the contaminated surface, discard the food.
Never eat moldy bread. If only a portion is moldy, cut deeply and smell the remainder before eating. Mold filaments can spread extensively and invisibly into the interior of a loaf.