So I finally started classes. I went to all of them on Wednesday and it seems like it's going to be a busy yet manageable semester. I'm taking Food Commodities, Food Microbiology (the class which I think will be the biggest pain because of the group research project), Nutrient Metabolism (a class I think I'm really going to like), Sociology--Multicultural America, and Technical Writing. I'm also doing an aerobics class through BYU but not for credit because I'm sick of running every day. I went to it Wednesday and it made me sore! That's good except that the marathon's on Saturday and I really didn't want to be sore for it. I'm getting nervous. But it's okay, I'm sure we'll make it. I keep eating for some reason...I'm hoping that will stop afterward. Maybe I'm subconsciously carb-loading.
Part of the food commodities class involves a 3-5 hour field trip every Thursday. Today we went to the Lindon cannery and took a tour of the facilty and helped for an hour on the assembly line while they canned peaches. It was really quite fascinating to learn how they were actually processed after spending the last month testing peaches in my lab. One thing I found amusing, however, was the reason for their use of freestone peaches. Freestone peaches aren't meant for canning, but they are named as such because when you chop them in half the pit falls out easily. When you can them they turn mushy, stringy, and sometimes brownish. Clingstone peaches are the variety intended for canning. They have a better color and texture after heat processing. However, they are called clingstone peaches because the pit is secured onto the side of the peach and you have to cut around it to get it out. I had always assumed that the reason they used freestone peaches rather than clingstone was simply because they would have to buy a new machine to pit the latter. Yet it turns out they're actually buying that machine next year but are going to continue to only process freestone peaches. The reason? Because the "brethren" (or the apostles of the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints) like them better.
Another finding which amused me also involved peaches. Typically at work we test one can from every batch each cannery produces of any product. However, the Lindon cannery has been sending us two from each batch all summer. I assumed that there was a reason they were doing this; my boss told me it was probably because they had problems with their peaches in the past. This week, though, there was a lot to test: much more than we could get done. My boss didn't think we actually needed to test double the peaches from Lindon, so she called the head of Welfare Square. He said he didn't think we needed to either, so she called the Lindon cannery manager and asked why they had been sending two recently. He said that he didn't know, but the guy in charge of packing them just started packing two one day, so he decided that since the guy had already taken the effort to pack them he should go ahead and send them. Since he never talked to the guy, the guy kept packing two. So we've been doing doulble work for them all summer for NO REASON other than that some guy felt like putting two cans of peaches from each batch in every box rather than one. Go figure.