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Flax Time

January 24, 1991|CHARLES PERRY

There may be a flax in your future. Flaxseed is edible--people looked on flax as a food plant long before they made linen out of its fibers. Currently most flaxseed in this country is pressed for linseed oil, but plant geneticists in North Dakota have come up with a strain of high-yielding, bread-quality flax resistant to North American plant diseases. One of the attractions of flaxseed is that it's richer than soybeans in the omega-3 fatty acids considered beneficial to the circulatory system. "Omega" flaxseed bread may reach the market in two years.

The Throw Dough Show

Everybody likes to watch a pizza maker tossing dough in the air; it's like watching a Japanese chef play with knives. In the interest of keeping diners entertained, scientists have developed an inedible polymer that looks and handles just like pizza dough but never dries out, so a pizza parlor can toss it over and over in place of real dough. Throw Dough, as it is called, was given the ultimate accolade last week in New Orleans when it was allowed for use in the free-style improvisational pizza tossing event at Pizza Expo '91.

Go Long, Jean-Pierre!

The American Culinary Classic is a sort of cooking Olympics--in one event, chefs are given a surprise "market basket" to prepare a meal from. The next one takes place in Chicago on May 18-22; teams are said to be "already in training and holding scrimmage sessions."

Next Stage: Lipoducktion

Duck is a fatty meat, but duckling processors, like beef and pork growers, have been breeding for lower fat in recent years. Concord Duckling boasts that 100 grams (3 1/2 ounces) of its duck meat (skinned) now contains 27 grams of protein but only 7 grams of fat (1.49 grams of that being saturated). With these new lean, mean ducks, though, we're not sure what we think about the Concord product Duck Bites.

Tots Lose Buying Clout

In 1990 you could buy microwave snacks for kids younger than 3 (Gerber Graduates), but it was not really a boom year for kiddie food--41% fewer new baby foods were introduced than in 1989. For comparison, there were 27% more new pet foods.

And Would It Pollute the Watch Spring?

One of the big novelties last Christmas was the Water Watch, which has an exotic battery that runs on water (or, as one vendor noted, beer). So here's the question: If you had any of that Perrier water with the benzene in it that was pulled off the market last spring, would your watch run faster or slower?

The Sound of One Hand Zapping

Between 65% and 70% of Japanese homes have microwave ovens, though frozen and microwaveable foods are rare in Japanese markets.

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