Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Peanut allergies?

On the weekend, P and I were unpacking some wedding gifts that friends had very generously bought for us. I felt uneasy about the sheer amount of paper, cardboard, and styrofoam packing that seemed to be involved. I was beginning to feel that all the trees I planted with my years at Wilderness Reforestation could not account for the carbon that was associated with the life cycle of our wedding-gift-related packing materials.

Then Pat said, "these aren't so bad - they're biodegradable, see?!" - and stuck his tongue against one of the squishy white peanut-thingies. And it dissolved. Sort of.

I have to admit that I did a taste-test too. The taste is nothing to write home about. Actually, it's nothing at all. They do kind of 'melt'. I characterize the texture as vaguely distasteful. Especially after it's wet.

Well, then I was sort of wondering what I might have ingested.

Turns out I probably don't have to worry too much - these things are made mostly of starch. Yup, 95% cornstarch and 5% polyacrylonitrile, a synthetic polymer.

No news yet on the side effects of trace exposures to polyacrylonitrile.

1 comment:

Jordan said...

Polyacrylonitrile is used in medical implants so it can't be too bad...