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There's a great book, The Secret of Our Success, about many things including how humans have adapted to many environments and Manioc is a fascinating example in that. If you just soak Manioc until it no longer tastes bitter you'll still be slowly poisoning yourself with SCN–. You have to soak it for as long as your ancestors did if you want to live to old age. And somehow people figured this out and managed to avoid taking shortcuts despite not understanding the reasons for what they did. More precise copying between generations, in both genes and culture, allows the accumulation of more total complexity though change comes more slowly.



Reminds me of how I recently learned via the Internet that cooking kidney beans with a slow cooker could be hazardous.


Googled this as I never knew either. Basically red kidney beans need to be cooked at greater than 100c for 10min to remove a toxin. Not all slow cookers reach this temp, hence the issue.


This is only for dried beans, canned beans are pre-cooked.

I used to be really paranoid about canned kidney beans and getting poisoned for a long time. Then I discovered that the rule only applies to dried beans, and fresh I guess as well.


Today I learned. I guess it'll be the instant pot or stovetop for all dried beans from now on.


On the flip side it reminds me of this joke:

The new Jewish bride is making her first big dinner for her husband and tries her hand at her mother’s brisket recipe, cutting off the ends of the roast the way her mother always did. Hubby thinks the meat is delicious, but says, “Why do you cut off the ends — that’s the best part!” She answers, “That’s the way my mother always made it.”

The next week, they go to the old bubbie’s house, and she prepares the famous brisket recipe, again cutting off the ends. The young bride is sure she must be missing some vital information, so she askes her grandma why she cut off the ends. Grandma says, “Dahlink, that’s the only way it will fit in the pan!”




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