10 More Food Myths You Probably Believe

10 More Food Myths You Probably Believe

The Truth Never Tasted So Good

Missed Part 1? Click here.

1. The 5-Second Rule

Photo: Greg Williams via Wiki Commons

Photo: Greg Williams via Wiki Commons

We’ve all heard of it and chances are that we’ve all used it at one point or another when we dropped something really, really tasty on the floor. If we managed to grab it really fast (as in less than 5 seconds) it’s still good to eat, right? Well, not really. To be fair, I don’t think most people actually believe this notion, but rather use it as a way of justifying to themselves eating something off the floor. It can be tough to throw away that delicious slice of pizza just because of a silly mistake, especially when you’re hungry. However, there simply is no science to back up the 5-second rule. There are too many other factors at play that determine how safe something is to eat – the type of food and the type of surface it falls on are usually the most significant. Length of time spent on the floor has little consequence. If the surface is infested with bacteria, the food is contaminated instantly.

2. Haggis Is Scottish

Photo: Kim Traynor via Wiki Commons

Photo: Kim Traynor via Wiki Commons

Haggis is the quintessential traditional Scottish dish so people can be forgiven for thinking that the food comes from Scotland. It doesn’t, though. Earliest Scottish mentions of haggis come from 1747, but English references specifically talking about haggis go farther back more than 100 years. Moreover, there is an even older 15th century English cookbook called Liber Cure Cocorum which talks of something called hagese and describes a recipe remarkably similar to haggis.

3. Fortune Cookies Are Chinese

Photo: little*star via Flickr

Photo: little*star via Flickr

While we are going on about food that isn’t from where you think it is, let’s cover fortune cookies. A lot of disputes have taken place over who created the fortune cookie, but it is almost certain that it wasn’t the Chinese. Interestingly enough, it is actually the Japanese who are likely responsible. They have their own version of the cookies and those who introduced them into the United States based their designs off the traditional Japanese versions.

4. Pregnant Women Have to Eat for Two

pregnant woman

Being pregnant is not a particularly pleasant experience, but at least you get to gorge on everything you’ve ever wanted and indulge your every craving, right? Well, not really. I don’t want to take away the “eating for two” excuse, but there is no research that backs up that claim. While it is certainly true that women need to eat more, about 300 extra calories per day should be enough. This extra intake should also be in the form of healthy nutrients, not just junk food or empty calories. Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can actually be a bad thing but, at the same time, so can gaining too little weight.

5. Chewing Gum Stays in Your System for 7 Years

Photo: Lusheeta via Wiki Commons

Photo: Lusheeta via Wiki Commons

Your stomach is not the underside of a desk – chewing gum will not last that long. It does get processed slower than most other foodstuffs, but you should expect to pass it in a week or so. Some of the compounds in the gum like sweeteners get broken down, but most of it is composed out of natural or synthetic rubberlike materials that cannot be digested. They will, however, go through your system. They don’t get stuck to the sides which is, presumably, the reason for this myth’s existence. That being said, it’s not a good idea to swallow gum regularly. In large quantities it can cause blockages and might require surgical extraction. It is also possible for the gum to combine with other indigestible materials and cause all kinds of problems.

6. Milk Makes Asthma Worse

Photo: Londo1dw via Wiki Commons

Photo: Londo1dw via Wiki Commons

Just to set the record clear, this isn’t completely untrue. Some people with asthma can experience adverse reactions to milk and other dairy products. However, this is because they also have a food allergy or a chemical imbalance. In reality, very few asthmatics are affected by foods or drinks (less than 2.5%). So to say that milk is harmful to all people with asthma everywhere is incorrect. However, if you are one of them, you’ll want to be sure to know if this is a trigger for you or not, just to be on the safe side.

7. Bananas Grow on Trees

banana-plant-244839_640

We’ve all seen them. We know where bananas come from, but those large plants aren’t actually banana trees. They are actually classified as herbs – the largest perennial herbs in the world, in fact. They can grow up to 25 feet in length and produce massive leaves as well as giant berries which is the stuff that we are actually eating. Bonus Fact: Bananas do, indeed, grow upside down.

8. Twinkies Are Immortal

Photo: Larry D. Moore CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wiki Commons

Photo: Larry D. Moore CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wiki Commons

So in the event of nuclear annihilation, there will only be two things left in the world: cockroaches and Twinkies. Ok, that might be a little overdramatic, but you get the point – Twinkies supposedly have an infinite shelf life or, at the very least, an incredibly long shelf life. However, the real shelf life of Twinkies is somewhere around 25 days. It is still pretty impressive but nowhere near the myth.

9. Sushi Is Raw Fish

Photo: Alpha via Flickr

Photo: Alpha via Flickr

Sushi almost always contains raw seafood which is why most people believe that sushi is raw fish. But it actually refers to the rice used in the dish which is typically combined with raw seafood, but not necessarily. In other words, sushi could contain no fish whatsoever and it will still be sushi. The raw fish used for this dish is actually called sashimi and it can also be consumed on its own.

10. Coffee Sobers You Up

Woman drinking coffee

Drunk remedies are a dime a dozen and very few of them actually work. Drinking a hot cup of coffee is up there with the most common ones. After all, what better way than to reduce your impairment than with a nice injection of caffeine into the system? Actually, research suggests that coffee has no impact on how drunk you are and can actually make things worse. Without coffee, drunk people eventually get tired because alcohol acts as a sedative and they eventually go to bed (or at least become somewhat aware of how wasted they are). Drinking coffee alleviates you of that tired feeling because caffeine acts as a stimulant. You will become more alert and the coffee basically tricks your brain into thinking you’re a lot more sober than you actually are. You become more likely to do something really stupid (like getting behind the wheel) thinking that you’ve sobered up when, in reality, your brain is just as impaired as it was beforehand.