Fruit Jerky Experiment
Image by flickr4jazz
Since tomorrow, 17 March, is St. Patrick’s Day, Jersey Shore decided to make some “fruit jerky.”
“What better way to celebrate St. Patrick than with dried tomatoes and some other fruits?” said Aggie Ring. “And!!! I pity the poor fool who doesn’t know that a tomato is a fruit.”
“But…” I said. “We’ve never done anything like this before. What if we rip a hole in the fabric of the space-time continuum and destroy the galaxy?”
“Look. If it doesn’t come out well, we can just rehydrate them in some vodka.” said Aggie Ring.
“Oh, Tito’s!” I pleaded.
We went to the grocers. Aggie Ring wanted some really fleshy heirloom tomatoes but they didn’t have any. Aggie Ring made a command decision to go with Roma tomatoes. They’re fairly fleshy. You can’t make dehydrated tomatoes out of salad tomatoes according to the documentation we’ve found. They are great on salads, but not for drying out and maintaining flavor.
A couple of pineapples were picked out that seemed very fresh. In a moment of Aggie Ring lunacy, he picked out some honeydew melon. After letting out his trademark “Evil Aggie Ring™” laugh, Aggie Ring said, “I’ve always been a fool for a good honeydew melon.”
It turned out to be easier to prepare the fruits than any of the beef, pork, or poultry we’ve made jerky from in the past. Wash, peal, slice and throw into the “big ass” dehydrator. No need to marinade.
Aggie Ring cut of the tops of the Roma tomatoes where they had connected to the stem and sliced them vertically down the middle. This way, they form a “pool” or perhaps “jacuzzi” is a better word for the mass of the tomato fruit to form in while the moisture is being pulled out of them. You don’t want the “good stuff” to drip through all of the trays.
The pineapple and honeydew were cut into small pieces and also placed on trays in the dehydrator.
“Well,” said Aggie Ring. “My work here is done. See you guys in about 10 hours.”
I hope this all works out. If not, I’ll have to bring in Texas Aggie Ring’s Austin, Texas buddy “Tito” to see what can be done to get some life back into the fruits.
by K. B. R.
High school science fair projects can be on any number of topics, depending upon the science course being taken. In the high school years students are allowed to take more advanced biology, chemistry, Earth Science and in some cases, rudimentary physics and astronomy courses. With this diversity, projects can be designed that even are cross disciplinary, like combining physics and astronomy to design a project that could answer problems faced by space travelers, for example. A few ideas for high school level science projects follow:
Experts are saying that global warming could be the cause of the disappearance of many of the world’s fields of glaciers in the next 50 years. What evidence is there that these changes are already occurring? Why is there a debate among scientists that global warming may or not be occurring? Do you think this debate may be financially or politically motivated? What effects will global warming have on the planet if it is happening? How do scientists that do not believe in global warming explain the discrepancies? Show both sides of the argument so that the average American can be better educated on how it affects everyone’s daily life, especially if something isn’t done soon.
High school science fair projects involving “going green” are highly popular. Biodiesal fuels seem to be the next answer when it comes to finding a solution to the current oil crisis. What constitutes a “biofuel”? How is it manufactured and from what? Are these sources considered renewable? If so, why? How does the use of a biofuel affect CO2 emissions? Are biofuels as efficient as the fossil-fuels now being used? What adaptations are needed for a vehicle to utilize a biofuel?
President Obama signed legislation in June of 2009 that will be providing incentives through the Department of Energy to businesses and individual homeowners that install small solar or wind-powered generators. He is hoping that these smaller generators will hook into the local utility grids to provide more wattage that can be purchased by other users. What exactly constitutes a solar generator? What constitutes a wind generator? How will these benefit the local power utility? Are there regions of the country that would be better suited to one type of generation system over the other? How would the individual installing the small system determine this? Is the savings to energy consumers projected between the years 2012 and 2042 realistic? Why or why not?
There is a huge debate raging over the use of genetically modified foods. What constitutes an engineered food? What are some of the dangers that some scientists believe that genetically altered foods could pose? Why do some farmers fear the planting of genetically altered crops near those that are not? Do you feel this concern is justified or not? If so, what can be done about it? Provide a sheet that can be presented to the average citizen to educate them on the subject, and who to contact to voice objections to.
For more high school science fair projectsand step-by-step instructions, visit http://www.easy-kids-science-experiments.com. Be sure to check out the site for tons of simple science projects elementary science experiments, middle school, and high school science.
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