Cotton-Candy Flavored Grapes: A Sign Our Species Is Doomed?

At our recent summer dinners, my daughter and I fight over cotton-candy flavored grapes, seeing who can grab and eat the most from the bowl of mixed fruit. The winner is the one who grabs the last from the bowl.

Grape-fight Royale.

But then I got to thinking, which is always a dangerous thing in my case, why make grapes taste like cotton candy?

Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, burp, yum, burp.

Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, burp, yum, burp.

Grapes already taste great by themselves. It’s not like you need to convince most people to eat grapes – it’s not a hard sell, though I’m sure there are grape haters out there. But if I had to guess, I’d say grape lovers outnumber broccoli lovers.

So, why improve the taste of a smooth, green fruit that Mother Nature made ready to eat as is? That’s not to say she didn’t make broccoli ready to eat and full of healthy ingredients. She just gave the good taste to grapes, not broccoli.

It makes me wonder if these wonderful flavor-injected grapes aren’t a sign of something greater, something wrong with our world.

Like global warming and the end of our species.


cotton candy grapes 2

As in . . . the world is melting while we’re all marveling over how great cotton-candy grapes taste, and saying, wow, how did they make grapes taste like cotton candy? and, Aren’t these impressive? and the person who came up with this should get a medal . . . and meanwhile the world is heating up and a bunch of scientists are jumping up and down screaming, “the planet is in trouble and we’re hosed if we don’t act now,” but no one hears them because we’re all gorging on these amazing grapes.

Okay, so I’m pressing some boundaries here, but these grapes are telling me something about the way we live. Or, maybe, they’re just fruit improved by humans. I don’t know. But there is something about them that bothers me.

And until I figure it out, I’m going to eat as many as I can.

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Broccoli, Wasabi. Wasabi, Broccoli. Cabbage, Wasabi. Wasabi, Cabbage.

[This is not a medical advice site. But webmd.com is, and where you should go for medical information, please. This is a “guy wearing a bag on his head thinking McGriddles cure everything” site. Can you say “nutty biscuit buns”?  I knew you could. And you liked saying those words, didn’t you?]

I’ve written about my love of broccoli and cabbage and how they’ve benefited my digestion. Gots to have my daily dose of Isothiocyanates or papa turns into a grouchy bathroom bear. But is it the Isothiocyanates or just the benefit of eating more vegetables that helps my gut?

Here’s what I do know: I used to have stomach problems, or the mystery ailment known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which is a terrible name and one doctors use for stomach problems they can’t’ figure out. (In a Foghorn Leghorn voice: Yes, sir, yes, sir, that there’s something irritating and in your bowels. That’s right. And it’s a Syndrome. I am, I say, I am gonna call it Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Catchy sounding, ain’t it?)

Then, I started eating broccoli and cabbage and voila, much better and stable. And fewer visits to the stomach doctor. So, I’ve continued to this day. Sometimes,  I’ll eat something different like bad deli meat and things go sideways, but I recover much faster with the power of my gut pals, Mr. Broccoli and Mr. Cabbage, which were the original names of the characters in Reservoir Dogs by Quinton Tarantino, but got changed after the Vegetable Growers of America complained it showed broccoli and cabbage as ruthless killers and no one would want to eat them anymore.

Cough, cough. Bullshit.

Boys, give her some space before she gives you an ass-kicking you'll never forget

And now the boys have a new pal: Ms. Wasabi. Yep, I’ve added her to the mix and she packs a punch like Uma Thurman’s character in Kill Bill. I eat it to the point my eyes water and my nose burns. Occasionally,  I can’t breathe for a second and have to grab the table. Oh, Ms. Wasabi, why do you hurt me so?

Today, I dipped peanut-butter pretzel crackers in it. I’ve also mixed it in tea, which I don’t recommend, as it gets lumpy and doesn’t taste very good and just plain looks bad in the teacup.Think layer of barf.

The strange part is that my breathing seems pretty good this week. Really good. Wasabi? It does have horseradish in it, which is in the Isothiocyanate family. Very interesting. It makes for quite the ITC cocktail with Mr. B and Mr. C. Or, it could be my imagination. And, as many of us know, sometimes that’s all it takes to make a positive difference.

Stay healthy.

[Note: The original title of this post was “Isothiocyanate Threesome.” But after reading Lizi’s excellent post about search engines and key words, I thought it best to change it.]

Genie in a Bottle? No, Broccoli in a Bottle

Thanks to a twitter friend who told me about vegetable tablets, I discovered my dream supplement – broccoli in a bottle.

Found these little goodies at a health food store today and started taking them with real broccoli tonight.

Soon, I will fill large vats with broccoli and stamp them like grapes into a green paste, which I shall rub all over my body.  Then the Isothiocyanates will overwhelm my cf and I’ll be cured.  Nice.

“Say hello to my little friends – broccoli and coleslaw”

If you read my earlier post on broccoli, then you know I’ve been shoveling in tons of the stuff.  I also added cole slaw for the cabbage and occasionally cauliflower.  Soon, I will find broccoli sprouts and start eating those, too.

All in the name of searching out sharktank.org’s mysterious Isothiocyanates.  That’s why I’m eating cruciferous vegetables.

I won’t repeat my earlier post.  But here’s the latest. After 40 plus years of taking enzymes, first the powdered form with applesauce when I was a child and now capsules, I can’t find the correct dosage. I’m constipated a lot and my digestion and the results of it have been smaller and perfect.

Last week on a business trip, I forgot to refill my enzymes for dinner and had only three for a large meal.  I thought I would pay the price, but all was fine.

I don’t get it and don’t know if it has anything to do with the Isothiocyanates.  I’m not used to this level of good digestion over such a long period of time.

I’ll be calling my CF Center this week to discuss enzyme dosages.  It’s been a long time since I had that conversation.

I heart Broccoli and Sharktank.org – CF fighters

I have learned to love broccoli.  It hasn’t been easy and it still tastes better with honey. Yet, I eat it everyday – everyday.  Not a piece or two or three, but a bowlful at dinner each night.  I feel like a horse chewing it up.

Why have I gone on this broccoli bender?

Two months ago I read an article that broccoli might combat the effects of CF.  As someone who has tried many alternative therapies to calm the cf beast (I knew about ibuprofen before the docs did), this one seemed like a no-brainer.  So, my wife started serving up bowls full of it because I wanted as much of the mystery chemical as possible.

This is what happened or didn’t happen . . .

After years of bad, unpredictable digestion and IBS, my digestion became perfect.  Yes, perfect. Not almost good or near perfect. It became perfect for months. I expected the opposite – that the amount of broccoli I was eating would be the equivalent of a bottle of Liquid Plumber on my system.

But I was wrong. Something else happened.

I started noticing that I could reduce my enzymes by 1 or 2 or 3 capsules per meal.  And, I gained weight, which I don’t need to do.  But the pounds came against my will.

Now it’s important to know that this happened before I knew about sharktank.org’s excellent research into Benzyl Isothiocyanate (BITC), which is similar to the AITC in broccoli.  The reason why it’s important to know is that my CF Clinic started missing me during the great broccoli experiment and was worried.  I remember saying to them at a recent appointment these exact words “there was a period of a few weeks when I felt normal, like I didn’t have CF.”

Enter the most excellent Sharktank.  When they experimented with oral BITC, they said the positive benefits worked for a while on the lungs, but then localized to improving the digestive aspects of cf (something about the liver filtering out BITC. Check out their site for precise info).  Now they are looking at using a trans-dermal patch or something similar to deliver the BITC.

So, here is my question? Was it broccoli or the AITC?  Or both?  I continue eating the nasty cruciferous vegetable and my digestion is great.  I’ve also thrown in cabbage, which has BITC and all is fine.

Could it just have been a run of good health or my imagination?  Absolutely either one.  Not exactly a scientific experiment was it?  Had I know about sharktank at the time I would be more inclined to say I was under the influence of positive thinking. But I hadn’t read their research at that point.  One day I had IBS; the next day I didn’t.

I try never to recommend any therapies for fear of hurting someone.  But broccoli?  It seems like low hanging fruit (or vegetable) for those of us fighting for any edge we can get.  You may want to discuss it with your CF team and get their opinion.  In the meantime, I await the continued research of sharktank.org with respect, caution and hope.

p.s. If you want more information, please check out sharktank.org and the following page I found on the Internet (be sure you scan to the bottom for a list of foods:  http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/isothio/