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Re: toxicity of kitchen utensils

On Wed, 21 Feb 2001, Bernard G. Cleyet & Nancy Ann Seese wrote:

John has used the concept of "power hydrogen" in conformity with chemistry
^^^^ Geepers! So many Johns, so little time! Maybe last names would
help sort them out. In my house we ask would a John by any other name
smell as sweet?

custom. This has always bothered me, because I think -2 is a larger number
than -10. (or 10^-2 vs. 10^-12) Do I need my brain readjusted?
Yep, brain function normal to adequate. Historical custom and
precedent supercedes logic in all manner of conventional technical
writing. pH = -log[H+] as I trust you know, so tweak away, but to
understand and be understood, accept and use the language of the domain or
risk loss of time, energy, patience, etc., etc. as you please.

Cu is essential (so all pro. cooks claim) to create the best meringue, e.g.:

Harold McGee's wonderful tome, On Food and Cooking, [Scribners 1984,
as much applied physics as chemistry] carries a couple of pages 78-79 on
this issue. The gist [now why, if you require consistency and logic, is
that spelling given the soft 'g' = 'j'?] is:
above pH 6 {[H+] < 10^-6, Bernard/Cleyet}, several 2+, 3+ metal ions
bind to various egg proteins strongly enough to enable a stable foam.
Cupric (Cu^2+) appears to be the best of the common metals' ions, and it
obviously doesn't take much if it's what's dissolved off the surface of a
metal bowl so the health hazard is deemed negligible.
However, McGee (p. 622) also notes that cooks used to toss cupric
salts into overcooked green veggies to keep them looking a healthy fresh
when they were long past prime, a practice frowned upon since human
excretion of cupric is slow and limited thus accumulation can make other
than the veggies 'turn green'. Again, dose makes the poison; or more
precisely, level where the action is makes the poison.
Then conjure if you care to what grocers spray on packets of old
ground meat to keep their stinky brown interiors looking freshly pink on
the surfaces the consumer peruses before buying. Positively gags the


John Cooper wrote:

On Tue, 20 Feb 2001, John S. Denker wrote:

John N. Cooper, Chemistry
Bucknell University
Lewisburg PA 17837-2005
VOX 570-577-3673 FAX 570-577-1739