You’re eating dead wasps when you eat figs – Weird and Wacky Wednesday facts

Yep. I only just discovered after watching this video.

When a female wasp pollinates that juicy fig, she dies inside, gets digested by an enzyme in the fruit – and you’re essentially eating its dead body. Don’t worry, those crunchy bits are actually the seeds, not the wasp. But that fact kinda freaked me out. I love my figs anyway. I wonder if it can be used as a source of extra protein and vitamin B12 for those on a vegan diet?

If it’s any solace, from this article, it seems only dried figs are the main culprit… All this figgy talk reminds me of one of the biscuits I loved from Aldi in Australia, the fig bars. Which I can’t seem to find in Singapore…

The truth is, you’re doing more entomophagy (insect eating) than you would like to think. The red food dye in your cake? Yep it’s made from cochineal (ground up beetles). Beer, made from hops, contains up to 5% of its weight from aphids. Jelly beans and waxy apple skins are sweet, but also coated with a resin secreted by a Thai insect, Kerria lacca. Entomologist Dr Douglas Emlen revealed that most pre-ground coffee has ground cockroaches in it, as it’s too difficult to be processed out of the beans (the interview transcript). The FDA in the US say 100g of spinach can contain no more than 50 storm flies (thrips). And did you know fruit flies love ketchup? The FDA allows up to 30 fruit flies for each 100g of ketchup.

We’re already inadvertently doing it, I wonder if we may eventually open up to the idea of eating bugs as a sustainable source of protein and the future’s wonder food (did you know that historically, lobsters were considered disgusting to eat, yet now are delicacies?).

What do you say, yay or nay to eating bugs?

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Red kiwi fruits – you can eat kiwi fruit skin!

I’ve been eating out a lot because of the busy work schedule (and lack of time to cook at home) for the past few years, and everyday I really need some fresh fruit to counteract that greasiness/saltiness. Kiwi fruits are one of my favourite fruits, although they’re pretty expensive in Singapore so they’re not always my go-to fruit. I was very eager to try the red kiwi fruit by Zespri at the local NTUC Fairprice last month, and got a pack before they ran out of stock. Indeed they are even better than the yellow flesh kiwi fruits!!! More sweet, juicy, softer, less astringent, with a nice strawberry flavour as well.

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The red kiwi is bred with a natural semi-transparent crimson coloured red flesh. I couldn’t find much information about the nutrient content, but according to this website it contains twice the amount of vitamin C as a regular kiwi. Sweeter, more delicious, and more nutritionally ideal, sounds good by my books! But, I couldn’t find it anymore after a while!!! While I was searching for its availability, I found on Zespri’s Facebook page (replying a fan’s comment) “Unfortunately the red kiwis typically have a smaller crop and therefore are no longer available. However, rest assured that we will keep our fans posted of any future updates via our Facebook page . So do check back, thanks! Meanwhile, the SunGold and Green kiwis are available in your local supermarkets for your enjoyment!”

I tried kiwi berries once last year; although again I think they are only seasonal as I haven’t seen them for the whole of 2015. I will blog about them some other day when I find the photo amongst my disorganised iPhoto!

All kiwi fruits are imported mainly from New Zealand, but contrary to its common name, the kiwi is native to China. Actually all kiwi fruits are originally from China; hence the name of Chinese Gooseberry. Historically, the Chinese were never overly fond of the kiwifruit (hmmm perhaps that says something about my non-traditional tastebuds?! :P), and used it mainly as a tonic for growing children and for women after childbirth. Other fascinating kiwi facts can be found here.

When cut, they release an enzyme (unique to kiwi fruits) that will soften other foods (and themselves) — so do only cut and serve until the last possible minute. Interestingly, this same enzyme actinidin has also been shown to help with protein digestion in the human digestive tract. So next time you’re feeling bloated from a meat-heavy meal or feeling creative for a natural tenderiser in cooking, why not give kiwis a go?

Another kiwi factoid: amazingly after 25 years of eating it the wrong way, I found out that just like furry peaches, kiwi skin is edible! It is much softer and thinner than you might think. But alas after 25 years of conditioning, I had trouble trying to down the skin; I thought it was too astringent and leathery. Although the SunGold and red kiwis are a bit better because of the lack of fur, the green ones can be taken with as well and you can scrape off the furs with the back of a knife. As with most other fruits, the skin is the portion that is highest in fibre (packed with other nutrients too), so I guess we are kind of throwing away much of the good stuff. No more peeling, wasted fruit flesh or handling a slippery green ovoid. I used to only like peeled apples, but after realising the health benefits of having it with the skin, I tolerated the toughness and now I would never think about peeling an apple again! Hmmm… food for thought. If you’re concerned about portion control, one serving of fruit is equivalent to about 2 medium kiwi fruits (150g); if you must be exact with carbohydrate counting for those with diabetes, one 15g CHO exchange would be about 1.5 kiwis. Kiwis are low GI too. Here’s a nutrient comparison between the green and gold kiwis from Zespri.  Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 10.42.53 pm Do you eat kiwi fruit with the skin on? If not, would you start to for their health benefits?