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Here are today’s five food finds about comfort food: 

Comfort food is traditionally defined as a food that is sentimental to the consumer.


The term comfort food has been traced back to at least 1966, when Palm Beach Post used it in a story.


Psychological studies have turned up evidence that the comfort foods we crave are actually artifacts from our pasts.


A 2005 Cornell University survey of 277 men and women found that females tend to seek comfort in sweet and sugary foods like ice cream, while males prefer savory comfort foods like steak and soup.


A recent study published in Health Psychology suggests that comfort foods don’t actually make us feel any better. 


Today’s Food History on this day in…

  • 1624 Gaspard Bauhin died. A Swiss botanist, he developed a binomial (2 name) system of plant classification. He published ‘Pinax Theatri Botanici’, which was a compilation that included over 6,000 species that had appeared in works from Theophrastus, Dioscorides and many later herbals.
  • 1822 Elizabeth Cabot Agassiz was born. An American naturalist, cofounder with her husband (Louis Agassiz), of the Anderson school of Natural History. She was also the first president of Radclife College.
  • 1854 Aaron Allen patented a folding chair. Setting up for banquets becomes a whole lot easier.
  • 1855 Clinton Hart Merriam was born. A biologist, he studied the effects of using birds to control agricultural pests. He also helped found the National Geographic Society.
  • 1870 Alexandre Dumas died. French author (‘The Three Musketeers’, etc.) was also well known as a gourmet, and author of ‘Grande Dictionnaire de la cuisine,’ which he finished a just a few weeks before his death in 1870. It was published in 1872.
  • 1876 D.C. Stillson patented the Stillson wrench, the first practical pipe wrench. This was the right handed pipe wrench, I don’t know when the left handed pipe wrench was invented.
  • 1933 Utah and Nevada voted for the 21st Amendment, which repealed the 18th Amendment and ended prohibition, ‘the noble experiment.’ Cheers!
  • 1935 Ernest Brundin and Frank Lyon set up the first commercial scale hydroponic plant culture system. A patent was issued to them on December 1, 1936.
  • 1974 The BBC broadcast the last episode of ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus.’
  • 2006 New York became the first U.S. city to ban artificial trans fats in restaurant food when the Board of Health voted to ban them today.  NYC restaurants will have until July to stop using frying oils with artery clogging trans fats, and will have to eliminate trans fats from all foods by July 2008.

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