A Fascinating Look At How Airline Food Is Made [WATCH]

There are many thoughts that go through your head when you’re traveling on a plane. How am I gonna kill 11 hours? Does the dude next to me snore? When’s the attendant coming with that drink cart, I need some ginger ale?

Have you ever wondered how the food served on your flight was made, though?

How It’s Made, the popular series from Science Channel, took a look at the process in creating airplane meals. Rather than simply cook different dishes and throw them into containers, many factors must be taken into account when cooking for airlines.

It’s said people’s perceptions of taste change when they’re at a higher altitude and pressure, so foods are seasoned depending on distance of travel. Foods are portioned out and ventilated in order to be re-heated in-flight. Separate meals must also be prepared for the pilot and co-pilot, in case one gets sick the other will not have eaten the same meal.

Definitely something to think about the next time you’re about to grub on your mile-high feast.

Check out the video to get an in-depth look at the fascinating process.


The Real Reason We All Love To Order Ginger Ale On Planes

No one is really sure why, but ever since ginger ale and airplanes have both been around, they’ve gone hand in hand. I can’t remember why I first ordered ginger ale on a plane as a kid, but since then, the only other drinks I order on planes now are packed to the brim with booze. Some people still have a fear of flying.

Redditor muki_mono began a revolution when she asked the world of Reddit for their thoughts. “I always see people drinking ginger ale on planes, but almost never off them. I drink the same thing on planes than I do on solid ground, and it’s not ginger ale, but I keep feeling like there’s something everyone else is in on and I’m not.”

It’s magic sky juice.

As you can imagine, the thread erupted with a barrage of epiphanies, explanations and assumptions, all entertaining or informative. One Redditor referred to ginger ale as “magic sky juice,” while another pondered on the relativity of ginger ale, simply stating, “it’s just sort of…tradition.”

Most people believed that it helps settle an upset stomach, and frankly, I tend to agree with them. It’s settled my stomach more than once, especially as a child. That being said, there were some people slightly more qualified than your average Redditor who have a different opinion.

Sherry Ross, M.D., from Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, believes that, “It’s not the ginger providing the relief. . . You’re buying into the power of suggestion. We’ve learned from our mothers and grandmothers, who brought us ginger ale and chicken-noodle soup when we were sick as kids, that ginger ale works. . .Those types of foods have powerful messaging to our brains and that alone makes us feel better.”

As it turns out, it’s not the ginger in ginger ale that makes us feel better, but rather it’s a combination of nostalgia and a placebo effect.

I’m still getting ginger ale on every plane I board ’til the day I die.


40+ Indian Pilots Were Discovered Flying Under The Influence

Drinking and flying is the obvious next step once you get tired of drinking and driving, right?

Quartz India has recently released a report outlining a serious problem emerging in Indian airports lately, but more specifically in the past year. According to the study, pilots have been struggling to keep their hands off the bottle before they take to the skies.

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 12.09.59 PM

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 12.10.47 PM

The Ministry of Civil Aviation provided data showing that in the last 3 years, 2015 was the worst in terms of pilots virtually showing up to work drunk. Considering how strict and severe (and rightly so) the punishments are for flying under the influence of alcohol, it’s a bit baffling that 43 different pilots would get caught doing it in the span of one year, with a frightening majority of them coming from IndiGo and Jet Airways, India’s first and second largest airline carriers.


After being caught the first time, the pilot will have his license suspended for 3 months, a punishment that, frankly, seems ridiculously lenient. After a second offense, the stakes are raised a bit higher, keeping the pilot out of the skies for three years, a long enough time to make one seriously ponder the important things in life.

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 12.08.22 PM

Finally, a third violation will lead to the revoking of the pilot’s license altogether, although getting to this point likely means the pilot has much more serious shit he should probably sift through before he even considers reapplying for his license.

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 12.08.35 PM

While these violations can affect a pilot’s standing in the aviation community, a second violation normally leads to termination from the company anyways, despite being allowed to hold on to your license until being reinstated.

Since 2013, 109 pilots have tested positive for alcohol during pre-flight evaluations. Of those 109, a staggering 63 pilots came from IndiGo and Jet Airways, a troubling number for any airline company. After the release of this information, IndiGo responded in typical corporate fashion by releasing a statement that barely touched the surface of the information that was presented to them, and “subtly” highlighted their areas of success in terms of aviation safety.

We have an education program for crew members, which highlights the issues on use of alcohol and drugs. The response to this program has been positive. Further, flight crew members before joining IndiGo undergo drug testing and during line operations the drug testing is carried out on a random basis. No crew has tested positive for any drug abuse during random checking.

This seems like a pretty important issue to manage, especially when considering the rapid growth of air travel in India and the country’s push to become the third largest country in terms of air travel. While currently only servicing 190 million passengers yearly, India is expected to be home to roughly 370 million flyers by 2020, an estimation based off of current population growth and increased affordability of plane tickets.

Despite the rigorous tests and procedures in place to prevent any inebriated flying, it’s frightening to think that this has happened 43 times in 2015, and still continues to happen today, 16 times so far in 2016 already. One aviation expert expressed his shock at the number of pilots that have been stopped in the last few years. “I am at a loss for words. This is completely unacceptable behavior and needs to be eliminated ruthlessly. Here, we are talking about someone who is responsible for human lives both in the aircraft and on the ground. A tiny error of judgement can cause irreparable damage.”

Until things settle down, it might be a good idea to start taking trains rather than short, domestic flights.



Photos: Daiji World, Wikipedia, Quartz India, The Fix


The Scientific Reason Why We Crave Bloody Marys While Flying


There’s actually a very specific reason why you tend to crave a Bloody Mary when flying on a plane. In a recent study conducted by Cornell University, it was discovered that the environment passengers are exposed to contributed to the desire.

According to the study, our taste buds are altered when we’re in an environment with loud noises and pressure. A taste for the sweet and “umami” becomes heightened and enhanced, says Robin Dando who works as an assistant professor of food science at Cornell.

Umami is a Japanese term that describes the sweet and savory taste of amino acids. Tomato juice, high in umami, can be found in Bloody Marys.

The study, “A Crossmodal Role for Audition in Taste Perception,” which Dando co-authored with Kimberly Yan, published in the online Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.

With the results of this study, airlines can now find a way to improve airline food for passengers. Y’know, if they care to.



Spider-Man Pancakes Pan

As a kid I never really got into superheroes, but if I had to choose one to be it would probably be Spiderman. Flying is cool and all but swinging would make me feel like tarzan which would be rad. This pan would have been perfect to have after watching all three Spiderman movies on tv the other day. It’s weird though the pan is non-stick and that isn’t very spidy-esk. (Thx IncredibleThings)