Let’s see… What, pray tell, can we utilize to clean our drains out, clean our ovens, make soap, and …wait…are you ready??… preserve your foods?! Which foods? Why that would be foods such as mandarin oranges, pretzels, green olives, and lutefisk (a Norwegian dish).
Think I sound crazy yet? Well, here’s what sounds crazy… LYE – which is a corrosive alkaline substance, commonly called sodium hydroxide – is used in oven cleaner, drain opener, and, yes, you guessed it, some common foods that we eat such as mandarin oranges and pretzels. How’s that oriental salad sound now? Not so good, huh? I found out this tidbit of information quite a few years ago and gave up consuming or purchasing pretzels, mandarin oranges, and green olives. I don’t need to worry about lutefisk since I don’t eat it. Now, next time we comment on how pretty those mandarin oranges are or how tasty those pretzels are, you might pass along to your friends that there is a reason for it – and it ain’t a good one. Why do companies do this? Well, I suppose there are only certain inexpensive ways to cure foods and lye is one of them. So, next time you happen to be in a restaurant and a nice presentation of salad is set in front of you, if those perky little mandarin oranges are in there, pick them out and leave them on the side of your plate. You might be interested in the fact that those mandarin oranges will certainly not be brown by the time you are done with your salad. Guess why yet?? You betcha, it’s all about the lye!