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Author Topic: Why does my cooking sometimes smell like cat poo?  (Read 14679 times)

Offline John Chapman

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Recently Iíve got into the habit of eating packets of CO-OP own brand mixed Ďwinter vegetablesí. Specifically, these are bags of washed and chopped carrots, cauliflower and broccoli which I chuck in a jug with no water, place a saucer on top and bung in the microwave. They cook in their own steam and I tip them straight onto the plate with a splash of gravy.

The problem is that this makes the whole house smell like cat poo! These vegetables stink.

Recently, in an effort to get my Ď5 a dayí in one go I started adding some mushrooms and a chopped pepper to the vegetables before microwaving them. We all braced ourselves for an even worse smell but, surprisingly, this time the stench of cat poo didnít come. So my question is this:

Why do some vegetables, which donít smell unpleasant when raw, stink so much when cooked? And why would adding certain other vegetables deodorize the smelly ones?
 


 

Offline LeeE

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Why does my cooking sometimes smell like cat poo?
« Reply #1 on: 06/03/2009 00:12:49 »
Hmm... are you sure that you haven't got a cat whose response to the smell of vegetables being microwaved is to take a crap?
 

Offline John Chapman

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Why does my cooking sometimes smell like cat poo?
« Reply #2 on: 06/03/2009 00:30:29 »
To be perfectly honest that's the reaction most people have to my cooking.

But you must have noticed the smell of cooked cabbage or brussel sprouts? There's some sort of chemical reaction going on here such as some volatile compound which is being created as the vegetables are being cooked. Any ideas?
 

Offline LeeE

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Why does my cooking sometimes smell like cat poo?
« Reply #3 on: 06/03/2009 01:21:13 »
I don't ever notice cat poo when I steam or boil veggies, but then I don't microwave them and always use water or stock.
 

Offline Karsten

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Why does my cooking sometimes smell like cat poo?
« Reply #4 on: 06/03/2009 01:32:05 »
Oh yes, when I cook brussel sprouts or cabbage everyone else wants to leave the house.

Are you sure it is CO-OP brand, not PO-OP brand?
 

Offline Damo the Optics Monkey

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Why does my cooking sometimes smell like cat poo?
« Reply #5 on: 06/03/2009 01:33:23 »
Oh yes, when I cook brussel sprouts or cabbage everyone else wants to leave the house.

Are you sure it is CO-OP brand, not PO-OP brand?

LOL - it's all in the branding
 

Offline Bass

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Why does my cooking sometimes smell like cat poo?
« Reply #6 on: 06/03/2009 02:54:37 »
Begs an answer to the OBVIOUS question:

How much time do you spend smelling cat poo ???
 

Offline Don_1

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Why does my cooking sometimes smell like cat poo?
« Reply #7 on: 06/03/2009 07:09:14 »
Are you sure this bag of veggy contains only cauli, broc & carrot? Has someone 'spiked' your bag of veggies with, say a piece of, ermmm Cat poo?
 

Offline Karen W.

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Why does my cooking sometimes smell like cat poo?
« Reply #8 on: 06/03/2009 07:20:45 »
I can't help wonder if its not simply the container you are using to cook them in the microwave with....
Perhaps the container is not microwave safe in that maybe, it is breaking down in the cooking process?

That can cause some rather stinky cooking.
 

Offline rosalind dna

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Why does my cooking sometimes smell like cat poo?
« Reply #9 on: 06/03/2009 21:14:13 »
Perhaps it's chemicals in the plastic bag containing the vegetables with the water that might have started to go off then might smeall of cat's "poo"

Why not rinse the vegetables before you cook and eat them to remove any tasteless odours.

I have two cats and have never had that problem (yet)
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Why does my cooking sometimes smell like cat poo?
« Reply #10 on: 06/03/2009 21:27:14 »
But you must have noticed the smell of cooked cabbage or brussel sprouts? There's some sort of chemical reaction going on here such as some volatile compound which is being created as the vegetables are being cooked. Any ideas?
I've noticed this John Chapman! :)

--------
Although I am not sure about it smelling like cat poo!  [xx(]
 

Offline John Chapman

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Why does my cooking sometimes smell like cat poo?
« Reply #11 on: 06/03/2009 21:39:44 »
Hi Chem4Me

Brilliant. But as usual it's you and me (and in this case Karsten as well) against the rest of the scientific establishment. We are the vanguard of science. At the cutting edge of knowledge. They may poopoo us now but they'll be laughing on the otherside of their faces when we receive the Nobel Prize for recognition of shitty smelling vegetables. ;D
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Why does my cooking sometimes smell like cat poo?
« Reply #12 on: 06/03/2009 21:50:01 »
Quote
When cabbage is cooked, the sulphur that it contains actually multiplies! The longer itís cooked, the more it multiplies. It is this sulfer smell that causes some to wrinkle their nose.

http://www.successful-diet-cabbage-soup.com/cabbage-cooking.html
 

Offline John Chapman

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Why does my cooking sometimes smell like cat poo?
« Reply #13 on: 06/03/2009 21:55:41 »
Wahay! The nobel prize is in the bag!
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Why does my cooking sometimes smell like cat poo?
« Reply #14 on: 06/03/2009 21:59:11 »
Indeed it is Sir! :)
 

Offline DrN

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Why does my cooking sometimes smell like cat poo?
« Reply #15 on: 06/03/2009 22:45:31 »
Have you checked the microwave? Perhaps some old food has splattered on the roof and gone off? Or in the gaps where the plate sits and rotates?

Are you not supposed to add a small amount of water when microwave steaming though - I usually put in a tablespoon or so, just to get the steam going, otherwise there's not much steam just from the veggies alone. perhaps thats a cause - poo is, after all, whats left after all the water and nutrients have been taken from food, mixed in with a good dose of bacteria I admit. But lack of water is known to make things smell - think of bad breath from a dry mouth.
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Why does my cooking sometimes smell like cat poo?
« Reply #16 on: 06/03/2009 23:19:13 »
Please don't try and steal the Nobel prize away fishytails. :)
 

Offline John Chapman

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Why does my cooking sometimes smell like cat poo?
« Reply #17 on: 07/03/2009 09:14:30 »
Some interesting points, there, fishytails. But I think 'no' on each count. I remember a similar smell at most Christmases from the sprouts bubbling away on the cooker hob, even as a child.

Would it be possible to have bacteria living in a microwave? Surely the microwave radiation would eventually sterilize any living thing within it. I know you get 'dead spots' in ovens caused by the interaction of standing waves but presumably these are small or the oven would not work?

BTW, cooking without water works surprisingly well. They are always extremely moist and I generally tip away about a tablesoon of water from the bottom of the jug when finished.

 

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Why does my cooking sometimes smell like cat poo?
« Reply #18 on: 07/03/2009 13:11:36 »
Quote
Would it be possible to have bacteria living in a microwave? Surely the microwave radiation would eventually sterilize any living thing within it. I know you get 'dead spots' in ovens caused by the interaction of standing waves but presumably these are small or the oven would not work?
The Electric Field Strength right next to the walls is almost zero! But you don't put the food there. I imagine the bacteria love it there - it may never get very hot unless it's a combination oven.
 

Offline DrN

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Why does my cooking sometimes smell like cat poo?
« Reply #19 on: 07/03/2009 13:49:36 »
But food that was splattered there (technical term) would therefore not get zapped (another technical term).

So, if that can be discounted ... perhaps your cat has poo that smells of vegetables?  :D
 

Offline John Chapman

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Why does my cooking sometimes smell like cat poo?
« Reply #20 on: 07/03/2009 21:07:44 »
Thanks fishytails

So now that you've established that my microwave oven is rancid with rotten old food, what about the second part of my question:

Why does adding other vegetables to the mix (and I have recently found that it's the peppers that do it) deodorise the smelly veg?
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Why does my cooking sometimes smell like cat poo?
« Reply #21 on: 07/03/2009 21:52:40 »
It neutralises the sulphur compounds?
 

Offline John Chapman

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Why does my cooking sometimes smell like cat poo?
« Reply #22 on: 07/03/2009 21:54:22 »
Aha! That sounds interesting. How's that work, then?
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Why does my cooking sometimes smell like cat poo?
« Reply #23 on: 07/03/2009 22:05:26 »
Well, do you believe this?

Quote
A piece of charcoal in the pot will neutralize the odor given out by the cabbage, boiled in the ordinary way.

http://chestofbooks.com/food/recipes/Clayton-Quaker-Cook-Book/Vegetables.html
 

Offline John Chapman

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Why does my cooking sometimes smell like cat poo?
« Reply #24 on: 07/03/2009 22:35:23 »
Charcoal in the pot with the vegetables? Wow. I'd like to try that.

I once had the mechanism of the deodorizing power of charcoal pegged as a question for this forum. But I'd forgotten all about it. So...

How's that work, then? And can the mechanism transfer to peppers?

Any ideas, Chem?
 

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Why does my cooking sometimes smell like cat poo?
« Reply #24 on: 07/03/2009 22:35:23 »

 

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