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Off Topic: Surprises In Snacks
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:40 pm    Post subject: Off Topic: Surprises In Snacks Reply with quote


Article Digest:
This week has brought some interesting surprises. A couple days ago, Tina bit into a bright green, unblemished tomato that we got from the harvest festival and discovered that all the seeds inside the tomato had sprouted! She cut open each side of the tomato to discover that indeed all the seeds had sprouted and there were little tomato plants growing inside her otherwise perfect tomato.

A day later, I was eating a bag of Doritos brand nacho cheese flavored tortilla chips at work when I looked in the bag to discover a fairly large lump of orange material. I assumed it was the "cheese" and spices clumped together in a solid mass. Talk about a couple of unexpected surprises in mundane snacks.

Here's a picture of Tina's tomato with two of the sides removed. You can see the sprouts clearly growing out. Gross and fascinating at the same time.
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Here it is with more sides removed.
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A close up of the other side of the tomato.

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After much discussion, we've decided that we don't have the space to grow tomatoes in our small condo and this variety probably isn't a variety that we're that interested in growing anyway (especially if the offspring start sprouting prematurely). We haven't thrown it away, though. The tomato is sitting on a plate on our dining table where it continues to grow.

Doritos
After finishing my bag of Doritos, I took the extra lump home and weighed it. This chunk of seasoning was 14 g (with the net contents of the bag marked as 49.6 g). That means I consumed 28% less chips than I expected to (probably better for me). Still, a call to Doritos was in order.
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I dialed 1-800-352-4477 and spoke to a man named Quincy. I described what I had found to him and he said that it sounded like it was an accidental inclusion of the accumulation of seasoning. Occasionally, these seasoning accumulations make it through cooking and find their ways into bags. The oil used to cook the chips probably causes the clumping and the cooking keeps the lump from separating. Frito-Lay (the company that owns Doritos) considers this to be a foreign object and compensates consumers who discover foreign objects in their products. The compensation for the bag of chips? Quincy said he's mailing me a packet of Frito-Lays coupons including three free product coupons, each worth over $3. Not bad considering I didn't have to eat the seasoning lump to claim my prize.
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by Michael Chu
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Karen
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My first thought was, "That was nice of Doritos."

Followed quickly by my second thought, which was, "They have a PLAN for compensating people who find things in their chips?! UGH! What does that say about how often it happens? And what kind of 'foreign objects'...no, never mind, I don't want to know."
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The scary thing is that some people would be delighted to eat a huge clump of cheese-flavoured seasoning. You see it as a food-processing anomoly but they see it as concentrated Dorito heaven.

I don't know anyone that would enjoy a big handful of tomato sprouts though :oP
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I once nearly had the pleasure of consuming cigarette butts with my Pistacio nuts...
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rolandog
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL, I agree with anonymous poster #1. I remember I've found several small clusters of yummy-smile-inducing-dorito thingy...
It's goooooood
And wow... great find (there's something very scary in little tomatoes growing inside another tomatoe... perhaps, the evolution of tomatoes?).
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Revion
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting!
It's apparently much more than it seems. You know for a fact that tomato seeds are covered by a jelly-like substance. This substance prevents the tomato seeds from sprouting in the tomato. One way that the seeds COULD sprout in the tomato is when the tomato is decaying. The decayed coat would allow the seeds to sprout. Another way is much more interesting. It means that that particular tomato lacks the coating on its seeds, whether by genetic mutation or something else.
Haha... I guess maybe I'm over-reacting. But still...
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Ravion
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went googling and found a webpage that confirms my suspicion: http://www.zetatalk.com/food/tfoox010.htm
Look at the 2nd post on that page. Hehe... sounds uncannily like your situation, except that yours wasn't intentional!
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many years ago, I found a greasy work glove (black grease!) in a bag of Lay's potato chips. If I recall correctly, the standerd remuneration was coupons back then, too.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FDA actually allows a certain percentage of "foregn matter" in food packages. I know for pistachios it's 0.25% (http://www.ams.usda.gov/standards/pistinsh.pdf table III). This percentage aplies to a lot of product, not individual package, which means that one package may contain the 0.25% of the whole lot Smile Foregn matter by there definition includes anything, except for: glass, metal, and life insects!

Bone Apetit!
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josht
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's very interesting! One time, when I was very young, I was eating a bag of Cheetos in my back yard. Now, I was at the age when I loved collecting rocks of all different sorts, such as the ones you would buy at a museum gift shop. Well, I had one of my most favorite rocks with me while I was eating my Cheetos, and I was preoccupied with something (I was reading a book I think), and as I reached down to get another Cheeto, I accidentally grabbed the rock instead. I bit down as hard as I could, and chipped a tooth! I don't think I cried about it though, I just though it was funny. The rock survived.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What you said about the Doritos was a little disturbing. That would orobably taste really salty and sigusting, especially because it's not even real cheese. Chemicals, probably. I shed pity for your experience. Tear.
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palegreenhorse
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

have you tried any of the tomato sprouts? there are a lot of tasty sprouts like broccoli, bean, spicy bean, and the ubiquitous alfalfa. perhaps tomato sprouts could be the new rage.
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Chris Lundie
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe your tomato was born pregnant, like Tribbles.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I noticed all of the sprouts are growing in the same direction (up?). At first I thought this would indicate perhaps a mutant tomato without the pigmentation of a normal tomato, allowing UV light to seep through and begin germination (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germination, and then photosynthesis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthesis).

However, upon doing a little research, it would appear that the seeds underwent some kind of natural stratification (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stratification_%28botany%29). This is where the hard coating of the seed was softened (or absent from growth) and moisture is allowed to the embryo. I am postulating that the tomato either mutant (again, but here without the hard seed covering), or that the tomato was subjected to a long period of cold, which broke down the layering, and then warmth again to begin the germanic cycle.

Well- that was interesting. I havn't looked at that kind of science since sometime around 4th grade. Thanks!

Robert Emperley
Ann Arbor, MI
Strasbourg, France
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tomato sprouts, like the sprouts of any nightshade, are poisonous in any decent sort of quantity. They should not be eaten, like, ever. I like the blog, so if you ever find another one of those, please don't eat it. kthxbye.
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