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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

How gum works

By Marshall Brain

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) The average American munches more than a pound of gum every year. So let's imagine for a moment that you are chewing a piece right now. You can chew and chew and chew and it never disappears. Have you ever wondered what it actually is that you are chewing? What is it that we put in our mouths when we chew a stick of gum?

The original chewing gum is a natural product. It is made from a rubbery compound called chicle that comes from the sapodilla tree. If you are an adventurous sort of person, you could fly down to Guatemala or Mexico, hike into the rainforest, find a sapodilla tree and cut into the bark. A rubbery sap would ooze out, and this is the base for natural chewing gum. In the same way that you could chew on a rubber band all day long without it disappearing, you can chew on chicle all day long. Chicle is a natural rubber.

In the late 1800s, people discovered that you can flavor chicle. You take a chunk of chicle, heat it up a bit to melt it, and then start mixing sugar and flavors into it. Peppermint extract is one common flavor. You can actually buy kits today that contain a bar of chicle rubber, a bag of powdered sugar and some flavoring. You heat up the chicle in the microwave oven and knead the sugar and flavor in to make your own gum. The whole process takes about half an hour.

A typical piece of chewing gum is more than half sugar. This is easy to prove if you have a scale that can measure grams. You take a piece of gum and weigh it. Then you chew it for 5 or 10 minutes until all the sweetness is gone. If you dry it off and weigh it again, the piece of gum will weigh half as much (or less) as it did to begin with. What is left is the rubbery gum base. Most people think this is totally gross, but you could actually save old gum and re-flavor it if you wanted to. It's totally re-usable. Like rubber bands or rubber tires, chicle lasts a long time.

If you think about chicle, though, it is a pretty interesting type of rubber. What makes it so interesting, and what makes it perfect for chewing, is that it is very temperature-sensitive. If you freeze chicle with ice, it gets hard. At room temperature it is still stiff - you can break it. At body heat it is soft and very stretchy. In boiling water it gets syrupy. It is one of those happy accidents that chicle is the perfect consistency for chewing at the natural body temperature of human beings.

This rubber has been used in lots of different ways. Wrigley's Juicy Fruit gum got its start in 1893. Dentyne gum appeared in 1899. The name is a combination of "Dental" and "hygiene". The idea was to create a cinnamony gum to keep your breath fresh and your teeth clean. This, of course, predated the idea that sugar rots your teeth. Then in 1928 the big break came - bubble gum, invented by a man named Walter Deimer and sold as Double Bubble gum.

The only problem with chicle is that there isn't enough of it to go around. There aren't nearly enough sapodilla trees to supply the world with gum base. So, starting around World War II, science stepped in to solve the problem. Today just about every piece of chewing gum on the market contains an artificial gum base instead of chicle. The gum base is just like any other plastic or synthetic rubber in use today. It starts with some sort of petroleum product that gets modified through a series of chemical reactions. The goal is to create a tasteless, artificial rubber that has the same kind of temperature profile and consistency as natural chicle.

So why do people like gum so much? We've been chewing it for more than 100 years and Americans spend something like $2 billion a year buying gum. What is it about this stuff that is so appealing? It turns out that moving our jaws up and down actually makes people feel better. Since WWI the army has been giving gum to soldiers because it seems to ease stress. Truck drivers find that chewing gum can help them stay awake and be more alert. Studies in the last few years have shown that chewing gum may help memory recall. Before your next big test or assignment, you might want to pop a stick of gum in your mouth just in case!

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Previously:


How caffeine works
How Daylight Saving Time works
How a cruise missile works
How snow making works

© 2007, How Stuff Works Inc. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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