Some people believe that love is one of the most important things in the world. Meanwhile, others say that oxygen is more important to human beings than anything else. We however, can all agree that food is the fuel to human existence, since there is no life without it. Every day, we eat a variety of food items but have you ever given a second thought about the very fuel that provides you with sufficient energy? Here, we have gathered a series of interesting food facts that you should definitely know. Keep scrolling to educate yourself and impress friends at your next dinner conversation.
1. Many shredded cheeses and cereals contain cellulose (wood pulp).
At first, it might sound like it’s something dangerous but the truth is that the real offender is cellulose, not actual pieces of wood. Manufacturers add cellulose to foods like shredded cheese because it prevents clumping and it is even approved by the FDA. It’s often considered “wood pulp” because manufacturers grind up wood to extract cellulose from it. However, the amount of cellulose that can be added to a product cannot exceed more than 2-4%. This also does not mean that you can chow down on cheese with no worries. Experts suggest that it is in your best interest to buy cheese that has 2-4% cellulose. (source)
2. Foods such as ranch dressing or coffee creamer can contain titanium dioxide, which can also be found in products such as paint, plastic, and sunscreen.
Ranch dressing is a popular salad topper that was invented during the 1950’s. Since then, it has managed to gain fans nationwide. It is by far the most consumed dressing in the United States, with the average American consuming the product more than 38 times a year. Coffee on the other hand is one of the most popular beverages in the world and millions of cups of coffee creamers are consumed every single day. Although people fall in love with ranch dressing for its impeccable taste and white color, most people are not aware of the fact that ranch is not naturally white. Titanium dioxide is the chemical that provides ranch and other popular dressings the whitish color.
Titanium dioxide is used to make the food appear more appetizing. The same chemical is used in products such as paint, plastic and sunscreen. Apparently, the chemical is used to make white things appear whiter. While the FDA considers it safe, new studies show that the chemical is linked with inflammatory bowel diseases and the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified it as “possibly carcinogen to humans”. (source)
3. If potatoes are stored in poor conditions, like damp or bright spaces, or if they sit for too long, they start sprouting. If so, it’s best to throw them away. Also, potatoes are capable of absorbing and reflecting WiFi signals.
It’s not unusual for us to buy a huge bag of potatoes, use a few, and leave the rest sitting in the bag for a month before we remember they’re still there. In such cases, the potatoes can turn green and have little sprouts growing out of them. Potatoes contain two kinds of glycoalkaloids, both natural toxins, called solanine and chaconine. The highest concentration is found in the leaves, flowers, “eyes,” green skin, and sprouts. If sprouted potatoes with green skin is consumed, it could cause gastrointestinal problems like vomiting, abdominal pain, and other illness. While many believe that it is safe to peel off the skin, cut off the sprouts and consume it, it is best that you throw away sprouted potatoes. (source)
Potatoes are also capable of absorbing and reflecting WiFi signals. In 2012, when Boeing wanted to test out their wireless signal on new planes, they placed giant piles of potatoes on seats. The high water content and chemical makeup absorbs and reflects radio and wireless signals just like humans do. (source)
4. Fruit snacks and cars are coated in the same type of wax.
For millions of Americans, fruit chews have become a staple snack. The snack is especially popular among parents who are trying to provide a healthy alternative to candy, since they are low in calories and fat free. While fruit snacks are definitely low on the list of the worst offenders of processed foods, it’s still a processed food. In addition to the fruits and vitamins included in the snack, it is also coated with carnauba wax, which is made from the leaves of the palm tree. Carnauba wax provides the glossy sheen that you see in gummy bears. The same stuff is used in car polishes that give them the glossy finish after a good wash. Experts however, suggest that carnauba wax is safe, non-toxic and an inert ingredient since the melting point of carnauba wax is 180 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that when consumed by humans, it doesn’t melt but rather passes, unabsorbed, through our intestinal systems. (source)
5. You can determine an egg’s nutritional value by simply looking at the color of the yolk.
When we buy a carton of eggs, we sometimes find them to look similar but when we crack them open, they can have different colored yolks. Egg yolks come in different colors, from soft yellow to dark orange, even red. According to scientists, a richer-colored yolk means a healthier, more nutritious egg. This also means that the chickens were allowed to graze naturally, are well-nourished and have a high percentage of nutrients and healthy fats. Chickens raised in tightly packed cages and given feed or grain, produce lighter yellow yolks with lower nutritional content.
However, when you buy factory produced eggs and find reddish orange yolks, don’t be fooled by them, since factory farms are finding ways to synthetically dye the eggs to make the yolks appear rich-colored. When you buy eggs, look for cues such as Certified Humane “Pasture-Raised” on labels, which guarantees at least some outdoor space. The highest quality eggs however, comes from from your local farmers. (source 1, 2)
6. The Aztecs used chocolate as currency.
During the time of the Aztecs, cocoa beans were used to make chocolate and beverages, but according to the International Cocoa Organization, they also used cocoa beans as currency. The Aztecs also used cocoa to pay off taxes or to exchange for food or clothes. For instance, in order to buy a rabbit, people would give 10 cocoa beans and clothes cost around 50 cocoa beans. Like any well-trusted currency, cocoa beans were also the target of counterfeiting in various forms. According to the NBB Museum, forgers emptied the precious bean and then filled it up with mud to give it a weight equivalent to one cocoa bean. (source)
7. Scientists can turn peanut butter into diamonds.
Scientists at the Bayerisches Geoinstitut in Germany have discovered that peanut butter is rich in carbon, which means that it’s possible to turn them into diamonds. Dan Frost of the Bayerisches Geoinstitut first extracted oxygen from CO2, leaving behind carbon that, under intense pressure, turns into diamonds. So, in order to find diamonds, you don’t need to go digging. All you need is to extract oxygen and then subject the carbon-rich material to high pressures. (source)
8. Raw oysters are still alive when you eat them.
For millions, oysters are a delicacy, with more than 50 million oysters consumed annually. Did you however, know that there’s a big chance the raw oyster you are consuming can still be alive? Oysters deteriorate at an extremely fast rate. This means that restaurants and chefs have to serve them to customers as quickly as possible — while they’re still alive, basically. According to Insider, some varieties of the shellfish can survive out of the water for up to two weeks, so oysters have to be stored under special conditions. If oysters are not alive when you eat them, and a certain time passes, they are not safe to be consumed. Luckily, oysters don’t have central nervous systems, so they can’t feel pain. So, don’t feel bad. (source)
9. Green, yellow, and red bell peppers are not actually the same vegetable.
Many people assume that green, red, orange, and yellow bell peppers are all the same plant at different degrees of ripeness. It’s simply not true and in reality, they’re all different plants. While it is true that sometimes green peppers are simply unripe red ones, green, yellow, orange, and red peppers are all unique plants with their own seeds. (source)
10. Every banana you eat is a clone.
Believe it or not, there are more than 1,000 varieties of bananas throughout the world. The Cavendish however, is the most popular of them all since they have no seeds and consumers favor the trait. The variety of banana also lasts longer than others, which helps farmers and supermarkets keep the product for longer periods of time. Since the Cavendish does not have any seeds, it must be cloned by farmers in order to continue production. Scientists however, believe that this could be an issue in the future since the lack of genetic diversity could lead to extinction. (source)