Saturday, October 30, 2010

Five Minute Reseach Project

     Many people receive email and take the information contained within at face value.  Perhaps this is because we trust the person who sent the message to tell us the truth, or maybe it is because it came from the Internet, so it must be true. The reality is that often these messages are either false or contain an amalgamation of truth and fallacy, which changes the validity of the content altogether. My mission as the Slayer of B. S. is to spend five minutes validating or debunking the content of some of these messages sent via email. What follows is an example of my research.


A student at HBHS had pancakes this week and it almost became fatal. His
Mom (registered nurse) made him pancakes, dropped him off at school and
headed to play tennis. She never takes her cell phone on the court but
did this time and her son called to say he was having trouble breathing.
She told him to go to the nurse immediately and proceeded to call school
and alert the nurse. The nurse called the paramedics and they were there
in 3 minutes and worked on the boy all the way to the hospital. He came
so close to dying. Evidently this is more common then I ever knew. Check
the expiration dates on packages like pancakes and cake mixes that have
yeast which over time develop spores. 

WARNING ABOUT Pancake Mix (and other boxed mixes)

(maybe you already know this, I DID NOT !!) Talk about frightening. ...

Throw away ALL OUTDATED pancake mix you have in your home, PLEASE! If
you don't believe me, read this article and then follow the 'Link' below
to SNOPES. Sorry to be the Grim Reaper of bad news, but I would rather
have you ALIVE, besides a $2.00 box of pancake mix is NOT worth your

P. S. You might want to tell this to your children, grandchildren,
nephews, nieces and anyone else who keeps pancake mix in the cupboard.


From Snopes:  cause of death due to anaphylaxic shock reaction to
molds. I recently made a batch of pancakes for my healthy
14-year-old son, using a mix that was in our pantry. He said that they
tasted ' f unny,' but ate them anyway. About 10 minutes later, he began
having difficulty breathing and his lips began turning purple. I gave
him his allergy pill, had him sit on the sofa and told him to relax. He
was wheezing while inhaling and exhaling. My husband, a volunteer
Firefighter and EMT, heated up some water, and we had my son lean over
the water so the steam could clear his chest and sinuses. Soon, his
breathing became more regular and his lips returned to a more normal
color. We checked the date on the box of pancake mix and, to my dismay,
found it was very outdated. As a reference librarian at an academic
institution, I have the ability to search through many research
databases. I did just that, and found an article the next day that
mentioned a 19-year-old male DYING after eating pancakes made with
outdated mix. Apparently, the mold that forms in old pancake mix can be

When we told our friends about my son's close c all, we were surprised at
the number of people who mentioned that they should check their own
pancake mix since they don't use it often, or they had purchased it some
time ago. With so many people shopping at warehouse-type stores and
buying large sizes of pancake mix, I hope your readers will take the
time to check the expiration date on their boxes. Also, beware of
outdated Bisquick, cake, brownie and cookie mixes.


OK. I went ahead and read the ENTIRE Snopes article from the link pasted in the email. While there is truth to the scenario, the vintage pancake mix is really only effective as a poison for those who have allergies to mold. In other words, a yeast monster seeking to prey upon irresponsible shoppers will not grow in the cupboard from ancient pancake mix as the email would have us believe. So change the alert level back to green and pass me the syrup, it's breakfast time.