MadSci Network: Agricultural Sciences

Re: Will acidic soil taste 'sweet'?

Date: Wed Apr 29 00:13:08 1998
Posted By: Neala MacDonald, Grad Student, MSc in Zoology, University of Western Ontario
Area of science: Agricultural Sciences
ID: 893283410.Ag

This was a tough question - I had to ask our Chemistry wizard for some help 
with the following answer (hope it helps)...

"I wouldn't think so,(re; sweet soil) but then I have never eaten any kind 
of soil!  One of the characteristics of an acid is its sour taste.  You can 
test this for yourself by tasting a few safe acids such as lemon juice or 
vinegar.  Apple juice and orange juice are also acids but they taste sweet 
because they also contain fruit sugars.  Grape juice, another acid, can be 
used as an indicator solution to test for other acids.  It's colour will 
change if an acid or base (the opposite of an acid) is added to it.  To see 
the colour range, add vinegar as the acid and baking soda for the base.  
Now test other liquids (be sure they are safe to handle) - and your soil to 
see if they are acidic or basic.
Anita Elworthy
Let's Talk Science

c/o Neala MacDonald, University of Western Ontario

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