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'Love' Isn’t a Real Food Ingredient, According to the FDA

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The Nashoba Brook Bakery in West Concord, Massachusetts, claims to add a generous helping of love to every batch of granola it makes. Until recently this was evident in the label's list of ingredients, but now customers will just have to take their word for it. As Bloomberg reports, the business is under fire from the FDA for including “love” as a key component on nutrition labels.

In September, the federal agency wrote to the bakery’s owners warning them to remove any “intervening material” from their ingredients lists. “Your Nashoba Granola label lists ingredient ‘Love,’” the letter reads. “Ingredients required to be declared on the label or labeling of food must be listed by their common or usual name. ‘Love’ is not a common or usual name of an ingredient.”

Nashoba’s Chief Executive Office John Gates told Bloomberg that the notice gave him an Orwellian vibe. “Situations like that where the government is telling you you can’t list ‘love’ as an ingredient, because it might be deceptive, just feels so silly,” he said.

Making sure each word on a food package has a clear meaning is one of the trickier responsibilities that falls to the FDA. Considering that the agency struggles to define terms like “natural” and “sandwich,” banning “love” was likely a no-brainer.

But the metaphysical ingredient on the packaging wasn’t the only issue the FDA took with the bakery. They also found that Nashoba, which provides goods to about 120 stores in New England, was preparing food in “insanitary conditions.” According to the FDA, the cleanliness concerns take precedent over the word “love” on the label. The bakery plans to respond to all of the group’s notes in a timely manner, but still disagrees with the request to do away with their granola’s sentimental ingredient.

[h/t Bloomberg]

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Don't Have Space For a Christmas Tree? Decorate a Pineapple Instead
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Christmas trees aren't for everyone. Some people can't fit a fir inside their cramped abodes, while others are turned off by the expense, or by the idea of bugs hitchhiking their way inside. Fake trees are always an option, but a new trend sweeping Instagram—pineapples as mini-Christmas "trees"—might convince you to forego the forest vibe for a more tropical aesthetic.

As Thrillist reports, the pineapple-as-Christmas-tree idea appears to have originated on Pinterest before it, uh, ripened into a social media sensation. Transforming a pineapple into a Halloween “pumpkin” requires carving and tea lights, but to make the fruit festive for Christmas all one needs are lights, ornaments, swaths of garland, and any other tiny tchotchkes that remind you of the holidays. The final result is a tabletop decoration that's equal parts Blue Hawaii and Miracle on 34th Street.

In need of some decorating inspiration? Check out a variety of “Christmas tree” pineapples below.

[h/t Thrillist]

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A Pitless Avocado Wants to Keep You Safe From the Dreaded 'Avocado Hand'
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The humble avocado is a deceptively dangerous fruit. Some emergency room doctors have recently reported an uptick in a certain kind of injury—“avocado hand,” a knife injury caused by clumsily trying to get the pit out of an avocado with a knife. There are ways to safely pit an avocado (including the ones likely taught in your local knife skills class, or simply using a spoon), but there’s also another option. You could just buy one that doesn’t have a pit at all, as The Telegraph reports.

British retailer Marks & Spencer has started selling cocktail avocados, a skinny, almost zucchini-like type of avocado that doesn’t have a seed inside. Grown in Spain, they’re hard to find in stores (Marks & Spencer seems to be the only place in the UK to have them), and are only available during the month of December.

The avocados aren’t genetically modified, according to The Independent. They grow naturally from an unpollinated avocado blossom, and their growth is stunted by the lack of seed. Though you may not be able to find them in your local grocery, these “avocaditos” can grow wherever regular-sized Fuerte avocados grow, including Mexico and California, and some specialty producers already sell them in the U.S. Despite the elongated shape, they taste pretty much like any other avocado. But you don’t really need a knife to eat them, since the skin is edible, too.

If you insist on taking your life in your hand and pitting your own full-sized avocado, click here to let us guide you through the process. No one wants to go to the ER over a salad topping, no matter how delicious. Safety first!

[h/t The Telegraph]

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