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FoodShed Planet Kids--An Experiment That's Good Enough to Eat

Posted Oct 21 2008 12:13am

Okay, kids, here's a FoodShed Planet science experiment. Wait, first let me give you a little background. We have relatives who visit for several days every Thanksgiving. During that time, we have the Annual Cookie Decorating Contest, which consists of three rounds of secret voting until the finalists are voted on, in order of preference from first to third places, with first garnering five points, second getting three points and third getting one point. The cookie with the most points at the end of this round wins. And the honor of winning is the most prized trophy of the year--the winner's name on the Annual Cookie Contest Rolling Pin.

At the start of the voting, there is no way to predict the winner. Sometimes it's the most creative cookie. Sometimes the most charming. Sometimes, really, we all fall in love with the most pathetic little thing. But my younger daughter nailed the pattern that has become most evident.

"I'm not going to worrry about making the most beautiful or perfect cookie," she said before the contest. "Because that's never the one that wins."

Ah, all well and good. However, I recently found cookies from two years ago --forgotten, on a plate, tucked away. And they were hard as rocks but completely preserved. Not a change in color. No rot. Exactly how they looked when they had been made.

"Wow," we all said, peering at them. "That is truly disgusting. Can you believe we ate cookies like this? Can you only imagine how many preservatives must be in them?"

And so, this year, I made completely organic cookies. From the batter to the frosting. And that's where the FoodShed Planet Kids experiment comes in--an experiment that's good enough to eat. Or is it? Let's find out. I am going to leave a couple of this year's cookies out and see what happens. Will they rot? If so, how quickly? I invite you to try this experiment yourself. Bake two batches of cookies--one organic, and one the slice-and-bake Pillsbury ones or some other non-organic boxed cookie mix. And see what happens over time.

I've heard that Twinkies and those Smuckers Crustables will last forever. As for our annual cookie contest, I think I'd rather just the memories live on. Along with the proud winners' names on the coveted Rolling Pin, of course!
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