Everyday Science

Science in Kitchen

Here we address to reasoning questions arising in the minds of children on the basis of their day to day observations by giving their scientific answers. Some questions which children asked over the years regarding science in our kitchen are given below :

Why is it suggested that the cooking gas stove should be turned to ‘sim’ position as soon as the pressure cooker gives the first whistle ?

Whistle in the cooker indicates that the food material in the cooker has started boiling. You may be knowing that the water boils at a definite temperature (=100⁰C for pure water) which remains constant till whole of the water is not boiled off as steam.

Why do we have tears in our eyes while cutting onions?

You might have experienced that while cutting onion, there is burning and tearing in our eyes. In fact when you cut an onion, the cells are broken and it releases certain vapours. In this process the enzymes that were kept separate, get mixed with the sulfuric acids present in it, which produces a volatile

While cooking vegetables if salt is added in the beginning itself it takes lesser time for cooking, why ?

It is important to mention here that the impurities dissolved in water elevate its boiling point. Hence, when salt is added to vegetables in the beginning, the salted water boils at a higher temperature.

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Ideas have become far more important to us than action - ideas so cleverly expressed in books by the intellectuals in every field. The more cunning, the more subtle, those ideas are the more we worship them and the books that contain them. We are those books, we are those ideas, so heavily conditioned are we by them. We are forever discussing ideas and ideals and dialectically offering opinions. Every religion has its dogma, its formula, its own scaffold to reach the gods, and when inquiring into the beginning of thought we are questioning the importance of this whole edifice of ideas. We have separated ideas from action because ideas are always of the past and action is always the present - that is, living is always the present. We are afraid of living and therefore the past, as ideas, has become so important to us.
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