Posted in Psychology & Medicine

Fried Rice Syndrome

Food poisoning is most often caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus, which produces a toxin that stays on food even when it is properly prepared. The body senses the toxin and promptly tries to rid itself of the toxins, resulting in heavy vomiting 1-2 hours after eating the spoiled food.

Many different germs can cause food poisoning, among which one of the most interesting is Bacillus cereus. B. cereus is found on many different foods, but it is commonly associated with a type of food poisoning called fried rice syndrome. It creates spores that can survive if food is not improperly cooked (as in not hot enough or cooked for long enough), as the temperatures are not high enough.

Unlike infections such as gastroenteritis where the bacteria are killed by heat during cooking, spores are quite resistant to short periods of reheating, such as microwaving. This means that if the spores were not killed when the rice was first cooked, it stays around even after refrigeration and reheating. The bacteria grow from the spore and start producing a toxin called cereulide. One to five hours later, the person who eats this tainted rice develops severe vomiting and nausea.

Fortunately, like most food poisonings, fried rice syndrome is easily treated with supportive management. The body does most of the work by decontaminating itself through vomiting. The important part is staying hydrated by keeping up with fluid loss. Most food poisoning cases resolve on their own within 24 (miserable) hours.

Posted in Simple Pleasures of Life

Simple Pleasures of Life #13

Cooking without a recipe.

I love cooking. My mum is a super-pro cook and one of my happiest memories of childhood was eating homemade meals (still is). Cooking in general is fun because you get the instant reward of eating it, but what’s even more fun is that you can do whatever the hell you want… within acceptable limits. Cooking by a recipe can be fun, but going by feel and changing around stuff is even better! And best of all, you can make your own recipes.

What I find the most fun regarding cooking is that you can get creative with various ingredients and see how it turns out. It could be you’re making something from scratch, or trying to recreate a meal you had somewhere else. I mean seriously, it’s like Lego that you can EAT. How much better can it get? Sometimes I look at the limited supply of food in my fridge and take it as a challenge.

For example, you can go from easy things like fried rice where you can pretty much dice up whatever and toss it in a pan:

…to more complex things like sweet & sour chicken, which I always have fun experimenting with (it’s really not that complicated tbh…):

But of course nothing beats the joy of making…