Questions About – Blue Headlights, Price Of Decaf Coffee, Color Of Bread Ties

Ask LIz: 5/15/09

Blue Headlights Legal
Q: Are the blue headlights we see on some cars legal?

A: We took your question to the D.C. Police. The police say the blue headlights are not legal. US, Canadian, European and Japanese regulations all call for "white" light. However white light often contains tints of blue, yellow, green, orange or red.

So police often have to determine a "white" standard to enforce the law. The blue lights have become so popular that some police agencies have purchased in-field beam color testers to determine if headlights are "legally" white.

Price of Decaf Coffee
Q: Why is decaf coffee is so much more expensive than regular coffee?

A: We went to several sources to get your answer. Coffee must be at least 97-percent caffeine free to qualify as decaf, and that takes complicated processing. Coffee beans must be softened to extract caffeine. And water alone will strip away too much flavor, so other substances are used. One is ethyl acetate, a substance found in many fruits. Sometimes CO2 is used as the solvent. But no matter which process is used, it's an additional expense that's passed on to the consumer.

Color Of Bread Ties
Q: if the color of the twisty ties on grocery store bread indicates freshness?

A: We contacted Safeway to get the answer. The answer is the color of the twisty ties has no significance. Years ago many retailers and vendors used a color coding system for selling bakery goods. But today the stores put sell by dates on the bags which is what consumers should use to determine freshness.

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