Some interesting things you didn’t know about food

Aprox. 9 minutes reading time
  1. It was once believed that tomato juice has medicinal qualities that could cure, among other things, diarrhea.

In the early 1800s, tomatoes were believed to have medicinal qualities. Apparently, in the 1830s, an Ohio doctor claimed that tomatoes could treat diarrhea and indigestion and published recipes for a kind of ketchup, which he later turned into a concentrated pill.

  1. Some foods, such as coffee cream, glazes and powdered sugar, may contain titanium dioxide, which is also found in paint, plastic, and sunscreen.

Titanium dioxide is a food additive that can be found in a variety of foods and is often used to increase the intensity of white. For the same reason it can be found in paint, sunscreen and laundry detergent. While the FDA believes titanium dioxide does not pose a danger to the human body, research has found a link between the chemical and inflammatory bowel disease, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified it as “potentially carcinogenic.”

  1. Corn has an equal number of rows.

In general, maize has an equal number of rows, more precisely 16.

  1. Scientists can turn peanut butter into diamonds.

Scientists at the Geo Institut Bayerisches in Germany have discovered that peanut butter, being very rich in carbon, can be turned into diamonds. To do this, oxygen should be extracted from the carbon dioxide found in the peanut, and then a huge pressure must be put on the remaining carbon.

  1. White chocolate is not really chocolate.

Despite its name, white chocolate does not actually contain any of the classic components of chocolate. According to Bon Appetit, the product consists of a mixture of sugar, dairy products, vanilla, lecithin and cocoa butter.

  1. Jellies are covered with the same type of wax as cars.

Have you ever wondered how to get gummed candies? They are actually covered with carnauba wax, which is used on cars to make them shiny.

  1. The ancestor of ice cream on a stick is Popsicle, which was invented by an 11-year-old kid.

One evening in 1905, Frank Epperson was on the porch of his San Francisco home, playing with his food — as children do — using a small stick to mix a sweet powder into a cup. At dusk he entered the house completely forgetting that mixture. It was a very cold night for San Francisco and the drop in temperature froze the liquid in the cup. When Epperson returned to the porch in the morning, his fresh, fragrant water had turned into a sweet mini-glacier on a stick.

  1. The farmed salmon is white and then colored pink.

While wild salmon are naturally pink due to the large amount of shrimp in their diet, farmed salmon have a different diet. To get the same pleasant pink color, farmers add carotenoids (vegetable pigments) to fish food to mimic the natural hue of wild salmon.

  1. American pie is not American, actually.

Apple pie was invented in Medieval England, while the modern recipe for apple pie with that lattice crust was created and perfected by the Dutch.

  1. Potatoes can absorb and reflect Wi-Fi signals.

When Boeing wanted to test its wireless signal on new planes in 2012, they put huge piles of potatoes on their seats. Due to their high water content and chemicals, potatoes absorb and reflect radio and wireless signals, just like humans.

  1. The red food coloring used in Skittles is obtained from boiled beetles.

Carmine, also known as carminic acid, is a red food coloring that can be found in skittles, maraschino cherries, and even lipstick. Carminic acid is obtained from the crushed carcasses of a beetle known as Dactylopius coccus.

  1. Raw oysters are still alive when you eat them.

Raw oysters are still alive when you eat them. They deteriorate so quickly that cooks have to serve them very quickly – while they are still practically alive. Some varieties of such crustaceans can survive outside the water for up to two weeks, which is why oysters are stored under specially regulated conditions. Once they die, no better for consumption.

So YES: if you have a nice plate of fresh oysters in front of you, they are probably still alive while you chew them. Fortunately, oysters do not have a central nervous system, so they cannot feel pain.

  1. Every banana we eat is a clone.

Although there are over 1000 varieties of bananas worldwide, the bananas we find in the supermarket are the genetic clones of the Cavendish variety. According to The Economist, Cavendish was mass-produced because it has no seeds – a feature appreciated by consumers – and survives the longest. Because the Cavendish variety has no seeds, it must be cloned by farmers to continue production. Recently, agricultural scientists have been concerned that the lack of genetic diversity could soon leave the banana vulnerable to threats.

  1. In fact, bananas are berries, and strawberries are not.

Did I put you in the fog? Bananas – along with cucumbers and kiwis – are classified as berries, while strawberries, blackberries and raspberries are not. To be considered berries, they must come from a flower with an ovary and usually have more seeds, explains Stanford magazine. Raspberries, strawberries and blackberries do not fall into this category, because they come from a single flower with more than one ovary.

  1. Before being domesticated, chickens produced only about a dozen eggs a year.

Now I can produce hundreds. The most prolific hen was in Missouri in 1979, which laid 371 eggs a year, according to Guinness World Records.

  1. The Aztecs used dark chocolate as their currency.

It is well known that the Aztecs loved chocolate, and according to the International Cocoa Organization, they used cocoa beans as a currency. People under Aztec rule could use cocoa to pay their taxes.

  1. Honey has no shelf life, so it never spoils.

Natural honey has very low humidity and is very acidic: two powerful weapons of defense against spoilage. In such an environment as a sealed jar, the bacteria will die almost immediately, according to the Center for Honey and Pollination at the Robert Mondavi Institute at the University of California. This could explain why archaeologists have found honey pots thousands of years ago that still looked fresh. However, it is a myth that honey is the only food that will last forever: salt, sugar and raw rice also have eternal life.

  1. The carrots were originally purple.

According to the National Carrot Museum of Great Britain, the first carrots did not look at all like today. Initially, these vegetables were purple or white, with a thin root. The orange carrots we know and eat today are actually the result of a genetic mutation in the late 16th century.

  1. People have thought in the past that tomatoes are poisonous.

In eighteenth-century Europe, tomatoes were nicknamed the “poison apple” because it was believed that aristocrats often fell ill and died after eating tomatoes. They didn’t know that the explanation had to do with the choice of cutlery, not the tomatoes. The growing popularity of this vegetable, so popular now, is due to pizza, starting in the 19th century in Naples, Italy, which has slowly changed the harmful attitude towards tomatoes.

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