Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Consulting The Cabbage

Cabbage is an excellent source of Vitamin C. It also contains significant amounts of glutamine, which is an amino acid that has anti-inflammatory properties. I usually stir fry sliced cabbage with shitake mushrooms and season it with oyster sauce, a bit of sugar and a sprinkling of salt over medium heat.

Now what else could the cabbage be possibly good for if not for consumption? Hold that thought because we've found ourselves some answers!

A team of researchers led by Professor Adrian Cheok, Director of the Mixed Reality Lab at the National University of Singapore, has discovered that the humble red cabbage has the ability to indicate pollution levels and even signal the rate of deforestation.

Incredible you say? Research on what's been called Babbage Cabbage has been ongoing for two years and it's been discovered that the colour changing properties of the red cabbage has been most useful. The colour changes when there's a change in pH levels (a measure of acidity and alkalinity) of the solution that the vegetable absorbs. Adrian says the cabbage can turn purple or green and tones in between. Does that include blue I wonder? I'd really love to see a blue cabbage - and please don't suffocate it!

When asked how he chose the cabbage out of all the vegetables he could have picked for the research, he said he was reminded of a science experiment he did back in school that involved the cabbage when he was a kid in Adelaide, Australia.

Babbage Cabbage has a promising future, given the world's growing interest in environmental issues. And living vegetables don't lie when presenting ecological information crucial for environmentalists and policy makers.

Click here to read up on other revolutionary and mind-boggling projects undertaken by Adrian and his team at the Mixed Reality Lab.

So the next time you want to know just how polluted the environment is, consult the cabbage!

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