So, have you heard of the #TealPumpkinProject?


This year, we’ll have 3 bowls of treats for Halloween.  We’ll have the traditional chocolate gooey goodness, a bowl of peanut/tree-nut free treats, and a bowl entirely made up of non-food party favor-ish goodies.

Why?  Why not?  I was able to pick up a bunch of party favors at the Dollar Tree, and my wife Bethany got some Halloween themed stuff from Target.  The no-nuts candy wasn’t a big deal either, all we had to do was read the label… which we’re used to.  Even the extra bowl was only $1.  It wasn’t a whole lot of effort or money.

Even painting a foam pumpkin teal for use for years to come wasn’t a big deal, or printing the posters from the FARE website.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that.  This is a movement.  It started with some of the most kick-ass people on the planet, food allergy moms in Tennessee.

FARE | The Teal Pumpkin Project

My point, I guess, is that it isn’t a lot of effort but it can be a big huge gigantic deal for a kid.  What’s a big deal?  To feel included on a holiday where you’re hyper aware that you’re different.  To know that this piece of candy doesn’t contain nuts or wasn’t “processed in a facility that may also use peanuts or tree nuts.”  To know that if you’re allergic to dairy or chocolate or just about everything that everyone else can eat or isn’t one of the top 8, but this little trinket or toy (or 2 or 3 if you’re at our house) is all yours.  To know that you don’t have to go home & “trade up” for safe candy on this one.  To know that your parents didn’t have to drop off a safe treat with all the neighbors ahead of time, and that someone else “gets” it.

I always liked getting those Little Hugs drinks (which may be a safe treat), but some people would complain about the weight.  That would have been gone by the time I got back to the road when I was a kid.  Then again, times have changed.  When I was a kid, we had to play the “guess who you are” game.  If I asked a kid his name now, the next ring of the doorbell would probably be the local police.  Also, kids… always let your parents check your candy for razor blades or syringes.

Like I said, we read labels.  Luckily shellfish is generally easy form me to avoid in packaged foods, slightly less so in restaurants.  Our little girl Molly can’t do eggs.  Well, she can do eggs baked into things, but has to avoid straight up eggs, mayonnaise, some mustards, custard, and we just noticed… Mallow Cups?  (I hate them, they are the devil’s candy.  The wife loves them though… even though it tastes like someone replaced the inside of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup with sunscreen.)  Will we have to avoid meringue too?  Who knows?  Hopefully she outgrow her allergy, I’ll never get over mine without some kind of cure.

There are many others out there going through the same thing.  We can stick together, and support each other.  We can ask those without any food allergies to support us too.  Spreading awareness is the key to keeping us all safe.  So, take a few minutes to learn about the #TealPumpkinProject.  Use the hashtag on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc.), get a pumpkin and paint it teal, and/or print out the fliers.  Get some safe treats.

Teal Pumpkin Project - Ideas for non-food treats.

Biliruben Is the Secret


Well, someone at the Penn State Food Science department has a sense of humor.  Ha ha ha.  Have you followed my attempt to contact Galliker’s, the Yahoo! Answers question, posing the question to Turner’s, and Turner’s final suggestion?  OK, then you’re caught up… and you can read this.  I emailed the following to a bunch of people there, and as of yet have only received one reply.  Here’s the email:

from: ERiC AiXeLsyD  <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
to: foodsci@psu.edu
cc: ca3@psu.edu, xd11@psu.edu, jdf10@psu.edu, tsd3@psu.edu, sep14@psu.edu, jmw5@psu.edu, jxc16@psu.edu, moconnor@psu.edu, emills@psu.edu
date: Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 11:03 PM
subject: Blue + Brown = …Green?
mailed-by: gmail.com

Salutations Savvy Sustenance Science Scholar Staff!

I write to you today with something that has had me perplexed for quite a while.  It was recently suggested to me that you would be the the ones with the most knowledge and best skill set to deal with my query.  I of course, thought that this was a splendid idea… which is why I’m (obviously I guess) writing to you now.

Do you like “blue flavored” drinks and Popsicles?  I do.  I enjoy them quite a lot, actually.  Whether it’s the seemingly fictional blue raspberry, some sort of punch, Faygo’s Jazzin’ Blues Berry, or “Bug Juice”… I just seem to gravitate to blue colored drinks.  As of late, I’ve noticed an interesting side-effect of said blue flavored drink consumption:  For some reason, it tends to turn my feces a quite disturbing shade of green.

First, I wrote to Gallagher’s and my missive went unanswered.  Perhaps they did not find the humor in my inquiry.  Perhaps they were upset that I mentioned rival dairy, Turner’s, as having a better Iced Tea.  Perhaps they were offended that I offered to provide photos as evidence of my brightly-hued chartreuse bowel movement upon request.

Second, I posted a question to the Yahoo! Answers community, and wasn’t exactly satisfied with the answer.  I understand the general concept that what you eat determines the contents of your waste, but want a deeper explanation.  Why does the blue dye turn out so green?  Why doesn’t it come out blue?  What is going on in there?  What exactly isn’t digesting?  Does that much blue dye really need to be there?  Are my insides dyed blue or green after it comes out?  Is it harmful?  Are my intestines playing some sort of practical joke on my eyes?

In a tertiary attempt to unravel the mystery at hand, I contacted the good people at Turner Dairy Farms, and was met with a couple of responses, each unfortunately unable to answer my original question… but courteous and accommodating nonetheless.  It was a Mr. Yon & his Quality Control Manager at Turner’s who directed my attention to your esteemed department as the group that would successfully be able to provide a satisfactory explanation of the process behind the green from my behind.

I would really appreciate any insight that you may have on the situation.  Have studies been done about this phenomenon?  Has anyone ever asked you about such things before?  I have so many questions, and you’re the  education experts!  I really appreciate your taking the time to read my email, and thank you in advance for your assistance!

The Emerald Excreter,
-ERiC AiXeLsyD

Perhaps it was too goofy for all the other stuffy scientists?  Maybe they’re scared of the Emerald Excreter!

At any rate, I got an amusing an informative answer (finally):

from: EDWARD MILLS <ewm3@psu.edu>
to: ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
date: Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 2:07 PM
subject: Re: Blue + Brown = …Green?
mailed-by: psu.edu

Eric,
Interesting question with possibly a very simple explanation.  The human eye sees green when blue and yellow light are reflected simultaneously from a surface.  Blue food dye reflects blue light.  Find a yellow dye to go with it and you could account for the observed green.

I would speculate that the blue food dye is passing through your GIT largely unchanged and is not absorbed across the gut wall. One of the more common pigments of normal stool in biliruben a yellow pigment (derived from hemoglobin or myoglobin breakdown).  Put the two together and the resulting stool might appear green.

Have a great day!
Ed Mills
814-865-2394

Win!  I did have a great day Mr. Mills, thanks to your easy to understand explanation.  Finally, the great mystery is solved!

No Prior Knowledge


Following the green poop issue that went from the terribly unfunny Galliker’s to Yahoo! Answers to Turner’s Dairy?  Well, if so, I have an answer and a suggestion from our new friend Nicholas and his Quality Control Director…

from Nicholas Yon <Nicholas@turnerdairy.net>
to ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
date Wed, Aug 11, 2010
subject RE: Galliker’s vs. Turner’s?

Eric-

Unfortunately, our Quality Control Director has no prior knowledge of your coloration situation and could not find any further information beyond if the body cannot digest or absorb something it will pass through the body possibly causing a color change.  He indicated that you may want to contact the Penn State Food Science Department.  Thanks again, sorry I could not be of more assistance.

P.S. Yes I get to drive the TeaBird from time to time.  I haven’t had it out this summer yet though.

Nicholas

I think I have to write to Penn State Food Science Department now.  I wonder if they have a sense of humor?

Turner’s is much more awesome than Galliker’s. I’m just sayin’.


Not only does Turner’s produce better Iced Tea, but they’re infinitely more awesome as a company.  As evidence, I give you the following email exchange.  You might want to catch up by reading my previous exchange with Turner’s and an attempted exchange with Galliker’s.

From me to Turner’s:

from ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
to Nicholas@turnerdairy.net
date Wed, Aug 4, 2010
subject Galliker’s vs. Turner’s?
mailed-by gmail.com

hide details Aug 4 (2 days ago)

Hello Titans of Tea!

Recently I wrote to Galliker’s about their Blue Raspberry Drink, and I happened to mention Turner’s Dairy.  They as of yet have not written me back.  Perhaps they were upset that I mentioned that your tea is superior and that you have a cool Tea-bird while they do not?  You can see the full email below.

At any rate, I’ve decided to stop consuming any Galliker’s products… even though I usually have to go out of my way to get Turner’s products.  (I wish more Giant Eagle stores would carry your stuff!)

The only foreseeable problem is that I like their Blue Raspberry flavored drink.  Do you guys have anything comparable?  If so, know where I can get it in Bridgeville, Heidelberg, or anywhere in the South Hills?

Also… the main point of the email below is the odd coloration after the blue dye consumption.  Do you have anything that’s a color that may balance it out?  Science is fun!  Do you guys have food scientists in your employ?  Perhaps this would be something for them to tackle.

Thank you for your time, and have a great day!

Make mine Turner’s,
-Eric

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Jul 26, 2010
Subject: Blue Raspberry Drink & interesting side-effects?
To: info@gallikers.com
Cc: stangeletti@gallikers.com

Hello Mighty Milk Moguls,

I’m writing today to tell you how much I enjoy your Blue Raspberry drink.  Man, it’s flavorful and gives me quite the sugar rush!  I do enjoy Galliker’s milk and juices, although your iced tea isn’t quite as good as Turner’s.  Your lime drink is also stellar… but typically we go for the blue.  I was wondering why you don’t have them all pictured/listed somewhere on the website when I looked to find a way to contact you.  It’s good to show everyone what you’ve got!  Turner Dairy has a photo of all of their products on their website, along with nutritional information.  I do enjoy the allergen information on the “Learn More” section of your site though… it’s something I take quite seriously as a person who suffers from a severe shellfish allergy.

The main reason that I’m writing to you today is to ask… why does your Blue Raspberry drink turn my poop into an odd shade of green?  It’s quite a disturbing site until I realize that I drank some of your juice in the last 24 hours or so.  Perhaps you ought to put a warning on the label?  I’d love to know the science behind it.  If you need photos, I can send them upon request.

Thank you for your time, and thanks in advance for the reply.  I can’t wait to hear from you!

It’s not easy being green,
-Eric

P.S. – Turner’s has a Tea-Bird, do you guys have the Galliker’s Gremlin or something cool like that?

Ridiculous, but after getting nothing from Galliker’s and pretty much a “you’re goofy” from the Yahoo! Answers community…  Why not? Well, it paid off. Nicholas  form Turner’s wrote back!

from Nicholas Yon <Nicholas@turnerdairy.net>
to ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
date Wed, Aug 4, 2010
subject RE: Galliker’s vs. Turner’s?

Eric-

Thank you for the email and kind words.  I hope the Brentwood Giant Eagle is still providing you with a viable (albeit it a somewhat far drive) option for procuring our Charlie’s Old Fashioned Buttermilk.  We do produce a “Blue Bug Juice” product which is a blue raspberry flavored beverage (picture attached).  Listed below is a location in Bridgeville that regularly carries said product as well as a number of additional Turner’s products.  As far as the blue coloration, I’ve forwarded your email to our Quality Control Director for his insight.  He’s on vacation this week and part of next so an answer will be forthcoming but may not be for a few weeks.  He may need to discuss this with some colleagues.  Thank you again for the email and for making our higher standard yours!  Have a great afternoon.

7-11 Bridgeville
850 Boyce Road
Bridgeville, PA

Nicholas Yon
Marketing Director
Turner Dairy Farms, Inc.

From Local Farms to Local Families!

The attached picture:

Blue Bug Thirs-T

Tuner's | Blue Bug Juice

I’m easily wowed by shiny things like pictures.  Pretty neat!  I’m going to have to pick up some of this bug juice.  I hope it’s made from real bugs!  (I’d love to… but can’t bring myself to write & ask that at this point.)

And… it’s awesome that this guy remembered me form before… because I totally sent the other email from my “real” email address… not this W(aL)D one.  Granted, it’s a thinly veiled alias, but dude had to be paying attention.  Kudos for that!  Ha ha ha.

I wrote back to them, of course…

from ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
to Nicholas Yon <Nicholas@turnerdairy.net>
date Fri, Aug 6, 2010
subject Re: Galliker’s vs. Turner’s?
mailed-by gmail.com

hide details 3:05 PM (54 minutes ago)

Thank you, Nicholas, for your quick and informative reply!

I will definitely be on the lookout for Blue Bug Juice!  when I was young and went to camp, we always called the drink “bug juice”.  Good times!  I like the product by name alone.  Ha ha ha.  I can swing through Bridgeville on my way home from work.  Thanks for the attached picture!

The Brentwood Giant Eagle is a great place for me to get Charlie’s Old Fasioned Buttermilk when the craving hits.  Plus, I can use going down that way as an excuse to eat at the Brentwood Express Rowdy BBQ stand.  Ever been there?  It’s ridiculously awesome barbecue.

I really look forward to hearing from your Quality Control Director.  I mean, I can make a guess as to the reason for my query, but I’d like an expert opinion.  An answer from a committee of his peers would even be better!

I find it hilarious that your “esteemed” competition obviously has no sense of humor as a company.  It must be boring to go through life with no appreciation for anything amusing.

I just need to make it a point to stop at Rite Aid more often to get my Turner’s iced tea fix… although I wish they’d carry a larger selection of products like the juices & lime tea.

Have a pleasant weekend!

-Eric

P.S. – Do you ever get to drive the Tea-Bird?  That would make for an exciting weekend!

Hopefully I’ll hear something from this mysterious Quality Control Director and his esteemed panel of colleagues.

Blue+Brown=Green?


I wrote to Galliker’s to ask a silly question about their Blue Raspberry drink.  Apparently they weren’t amused.  Maybe it was all the Turner’s references.  Maybe it was the offer of photos?  I guess I’ll never know exactly where the line was crossed.

I couldn’t let the email go unseen or unanswered, so I turned to the Yahoo! Answers community.

Here’s the original email:

From: ERiC AiXeLsyD  world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com
Date: Mon, Jul 26, 2010
Subject: Blue Raspberry Drink & interesting side-effects?
To: info@gallikers.com
Cc: stangeletti@gallikers.com

Hello Mighty Milk Moguls,

I’m writing today to tell you how much I enjoy your Blue Raspberry drink. Man, it’s flavorful and gives me quite the sugar rush! I do enjoy Galliker’s milk and juices, although your iced tea isn’t quite as good as Turner’s. Your lime drink is also stellar… but typically we go for the blue. I was wondering why you don’t have them all pictured/listed somewhere on the website when I looked to find a way to contact you. It’s good to show everyone what you’ve got! Turner Dairy has a photo of all of their products on their website, along with nutritional information. I do enjoy the allergen information on the “Learn More” section of your site though… it’s something I take quite seriously as a person who suffers from a severe shellfish allergy.

The main reason that I’m writing to you today is to ask… why does your Blue Raspberry drink turn my poop into an odd shade of green? It’s quite a disturbing site until I realize that I drank some of your juice in the last 24 hours or so. Perhaps you ought to put a warning on the label? I’d love to know the science behind it. If you need photos, I can send them upon request.

Thank you for your time, and thanks in advance for the reply. I can’t wait to hear from you!

It’s not easy being green,
-Eric

P.S. – Turner’s has a Tea-Bird, do you guys have the Galliker’s Gremlin or something cool like that?

And, here’s the link to Yahoo! Answers: How does blue + brown = green?

Some people sure are wound tightly.  I did get an honest genuine answer though, thanks to a Salt and Peppy.  Of course, Dave was also there to encourage.

Also… if you search “Galliker’s Blue Raspberry” in Googlemy question is the first thing to pop up.  That’s before the Galliker’s web page.

Google Search: Galliker's Blue Raspberry

Google Search: Galliker's Blue Raspberry

I win.