What perfect timing!
Today I was thinking about how sad it is that so many Autumn-inspired recipes call for canned pumpkin when fresh pumpkins are SO abundant this season. In my opinion, canned pumpkin should only be used when you are seriously craving pumpkin pie in the Summer. Other than that, you can make your own pureed pumpkin using pumpkins in their prime. Homemade pumpkin puree is smooth, just like it came out of a can, but without the BPA and with minimal waste! Baking the pumpkins will also help to heat the house and will make it smell great too. Luckily, one of the blogs I read posted (just today!) an entry on how to make your own pumpkin puree. Check it out: http://www.nourishingmeals.com/2010/10/how-to-make-homemade-pumpkin-puree.html
Now for some science...
Measuring Blood Glucose:
When you eat glucose, it goes through the metabolic pathway of glycolysis in order to be converted into pyruvate, which is eventually converted into usable energy (in the form of ATP). When there is glucose in the blood, it is constantly being taken-up into cells and enters the glycolytic pathway just described. When you have blood drawn in order to have your blood glucose levels checked (diabetics have to have this done), the blood sample will obviously contain blood, but it will also contain cells that are eager to break-down this glucose. Glucose will constantly be metabolized into pyruvate, so in order to measure the actual blood glucose levels, glucose must be prevented from being metabolized. Therefore when blood is drawn, it is immediately plunged into a solution containing fluoride. Fluoride inhibits one of the enzymes (the enzyme enolase) in the glycolytic pathway, so when blood comes in contact with it, glycolysis will be inhibited, stabilizing blood glucose levels so that the nurse/lab technician/doctor can get an accurate blood glucose value.