I have a son and for the longest time I could not get him to eat beetroot. I pleaded with him, tried to cajole him, con him, bribe him….but nothing seemed to work. One day, I was hit by this sudden brainwave and I told him that if he ate beetroots, his poop would turn red! He devoured the entire batch of beetroots and after a successful and pretty hilarious view of his red streaked creation, he kept demanding for more.
I then realised that although people do enjoy food, there are the odd bits that keep us more engaged or rather attached to certain products. Although most of the trivia listed here may not help in any facet of your life, they are weird and funny which means they embody all the characteristics that define me.
Incidentally, an excess of beetroot consumption can turn your pee red too so don’t be alarmed.
So without much ado, I present to you some of the coolest facts about food:
The Gauls and the Iberians (which technically are modern day French and Spaniards) used beer foam to ferment their bread. That was probably the first recorded case of a brilliant time which involved a pitcher of beer and fresh baked bread.
A fast food burger may contain meat from a hundred different animals
People once used chocolate as currency
Bread was a very important commodity in the ancient world and the punishment for bakers who cheated their customers on weight ranged from death to having his ear lopped off and nailed to the door of his establishment. Bakers wanting to avoid travelling to the afterlife in the near future ensured that they packed thirteen rolls for each dozen bought and that is how the term ‘baker’s dozen’ came into being.
In the mid 19th century, ketchup was sold as a medicine.
The first recorded recipe for a soup dates back to 6000 BC and requires hippopotamus and sparrow. We have come a long way since then and we have Campbell and Knorr to thank for that.
The world’s oldest chocolates that are still around in an edible state date back to 1902. In 15th century France, chocolate could only be consumed by members of the royal court.
Roast camel which is available in many parts of the world where (ahem!) camels are eaten, is the largest single item on any menu in the world.
You can use peanuts to make dynamite!
……and orange juice can be used to make napalm!!!! (I found this out whilst reading Fight Club)
Coconut water can be used to substitute blood plasma
Nutmeg when eaten in large amounts can be hallucinogenic
70 million people around the world suffer from food poisoning each year and 1 in every 10 of those sufferers will die from it. So, stay away from that grime covered food vendor around the corner.
The world has more than six hundred pasta shapes!
Carrots were originally purple. A Dutch botanist created the current colour to honour the ruling House of Orange.
The colour orange came from the name of the fruit and not the other way around
Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside and pears ripen from the inside out
Apples have 25 per cent air and that’s why they float in water.
What is weirder still is that apples, white onions and potatoes have the same taste. If you close your eyes, pinch your nose shut and take a bite of each, you won’t be able to tell the difference.
Honey is the only food that never goes bad. In fact, jars of honey dating back several thousands of years have been unearthed in Egyptian pyramids and have been just fine.
Lemons contain more sugar than strawberries.
Bird’s nest soup is one of the most expensive soup indulges and uses the nest of the cave swiftlet, a bird as its main ingredient. The nest is made entirely of the saliva of this feathered creature.
No matter where you get it from, the entire meat supply is contaminated with mad cow disease and prevention is the only cure.
The symmetry loving Japanese have developed a special variety of watermelon which is square. The most expensive one sold earned the owner $6,000 in an auction.
The quinine in tonic water makes it glow a bright blue under a black light. Another not-a-food-fact is that black light isn’t black.
A banana cluster is referred to as a hand! This also makes each individual banana a finger.
Ripe cranberries can bounce like a rubber ball.
Orthorexia Nervosa is a disorder associated with being obsessed with eating healthy food.
Mageirocophobia is the fear of cooking while arachibutyrophobia is the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth!
In ancient times, white bread was reserved for the rich and the poor had to content themselves with wholemeal and whole grain bread. Fast forward a couple of thousand years and the situation seems to have reversed itself.
The last fact is that this article took me twenty hours to research, three hours to collate information, one and half hour to type and took you just ten seconds to dismiss me as a crackpot!