United States – Once upon a time salt and black pepper were such expensive spices, they were traded as currency, but not anymore.
As a matter of fact I think you can rightly call them POOR MAN’S SPICES, since packets from fast food places can be found discarded in purses, drawers, and even the garbage. Considering people steal salt and pepper shakers from restaurants, one could say these spices are now available for free to people who have nothing else available to flavor their food.
Growing up in POOR AMERICA I can tell you there were plenty of pasta sauces and stews that lacked spice but there was salt and pepper on the table with every meal.
During the spice heyday Europe sent explorers to search for it, while Rome and India were using black pepper for cooking, in rituals, perfumes, and even as medicine! In fact, there’s archeological evidence of its use 2000 years ago and Cooking with the Bible: Biblical Food, Feasts, and Lore traces black pepper to SANSKRIT writings that date to 1000 BCE.
But is black pepper REALLY good for us? Should it be in the “moderation” category instead of daily use?
The knowledge of pepper’s utilizable component PIPERINE, something that affects the pancreas and can negatively influence digestive and gastrointestinal functioning, has been around for ages and still is known today. The substance is carcinogenic and easily misused, with one public message board user telling anyone who can read, “Piperine (found in black pepper) can be oxidized to piperonal (3,4-methylenedioxybenzaldehyde), which can be converted to MDMA.”
I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if this overlooked substance is a FACTOR in the genotoxicity process that dictates why some people develop cancer and others do not.
While I was trying to do my own half-assed research on this substance that WE ALL CONSUME, it hit me, if the carcinogenic black pepper IS the culprit, shouldn’t India have higher rates of cancer, since BLACK PEPPER is native and used by their people for a longer duration of time?
But they don’t: their rates are substantially lower.
After much more reading, about poisonous farming mistakes and other topics like the bacterial process used for turning peppercorns white, I have decided that we have known for a long time that black pepper is actually dangerous for us and could even be used as a form of poison if not processed correctly.
BUT NOT AS FRIGHTENING as the conspiracy theory growing in my head.
VIETNAM is the largest supplier of black pepper.
Forgive me for thinking the whole world holds onto grudges LIKE I DO, but after things like the My Lai travesty. Agent orange causing health problems in 3 million, PLUS birth defects in more than 150,000 Vietnamese children. Even the statistic of the war killing more than 1.1 million Vietnamese people…
Imagine a country with a dislike for America with the opportunity to poison us, especially the poor people who historically produce our nation’s soldiers: with something as simple and widespread as black pepper.
Hopefully I’m just a “hypervigilant” weirdo here with an asinine thought, but I also hope that everything is as highly regulated and tested as other food items are.
DISCLAIMER: THE AUTHOR FINDS THAT ALL CATEGORICAL GROUPS OF PEOPLE HAVE BOTH BAD AND GOOD IN THEM SO THIS WRITING IS IN NO WAY SUPPOSED TO POINT THE FINGER AT ONE ENTIRE GROUP, BUT RATHER THE REVENGE-DRIVEN SECTION OF A GROUP.