They had been bought at lunch time for the working team, but unfortunately, we were too full to eat them and so I brought them home.
At 1:30am (yes, I left the office at a very late hour that day), I was looking for comfort food, and decided to have ½ a chocolate chip muffin. It absolutely hit the right spots for me in terms of taste and texture that night! Yum! I rarely have cakes, muffins and cookies as I am gluten intolerant but as I believe in eating in moderation, and having the occasional treat, I happily went for it that evening as I was exhausted from work and wanted a naughty sugar-and-starch hit!
I crashed to sleep right after, and woke up in the morning. My first thought was, “Oh no, I left the un-finished muffin on the table … I bet it’s teeming with ants by now. Ugh!”
Now, I live in Singapore and in our tropical climate, ants, cockroaches and insects are a part-and-parcel of life. So, when I walked past the previous night’s half-eaten muffin, I was stunned to find that there wasn’t a single ant in sight nor were there any cockroaches. Shocking!
So that got me wondering, “What on earth could have been added to the ingredients that even ants and cockroaches no longer recognize the muffin as food?”
RECREATING THE EXPERIMENT
Now, I was beyond S-T-U-N-N-E-D. I also started to worry about what sort of chemicals I had ingested when I had eaten that ½ muffin and ½ cookie!
In the video at the start of this blog, you see me with another cookie, bought from the same globally established chain of cafes.
FOUR NIGHTS ON
What did I finally resort to doing? I left a crumb directly near a trail of ants. Any luck? Well, watch this next short video.
| || |
Normally, when ants find food, they linger, taste it and rally their friends together to cart the food off. What you will see here is this: the ants find the cookie crumb, and then seem to go a bit “crazy” like a child on too much sugar? Or are they more sensitized than humans to the preservatives in the food? A few ants come by and none of them stayed to try the cookie crumb!
So I was wondering, “Are these ants not fond of sugar?” To test if this was true, I put out some natural brown sugar. My goodness, the contrast in how they responded to the natural sugar was amazing. See for yourself in the clip on the right
COMMON CHEMICALS IN OUR FOOD
A quick google search yielded this list of food preservatives used in baked goods like bread, cookies, cakes, muffins:
- Butylated hydroxyansiole (BHA) – a waxy yellow solid used to prevent oxidation
- Butylated hydroxytolune (BHT) – white powdery substance added to packaging, fats and oils and is often found in shortening.
- Disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetic (EDTA) – retards oxidation as a chelating agent for metals in the food.
Gosh, I can’t pronounce these words easily --- can you? If we have difficulty pronouncing our food ingredients, perhaps we should avoid eating them altogether.
Thank you for reading my blog! :)