Do you know what's really in that red velvet cupcake you love so much? How often do you stop and think about the food you eat or where it comes from? The truth is, probably not often. Who can blame you? Whether you're shopping for your favorite ingredients, cooking up a feast for some friends, or preparing a delicious treat, the foods you see every day have a story you've never heard of. But now is the time to change that! If you're ready to find out once and for all what's really in your favorite food, read on.
Figs Are Potentially Full of Dead Bugs
Did you know that figs are weirdly not considered a fruit? Apparently, they are flowers that wasps pollinate! What's more, there is a strange story behind them. There are female and male figs, and female wasps will crawl into male figs that people usually don't eat. Then they will lay their eggs there, and eventually, the wasps fly out. But if a wasp accidentally crawls into a female fig, which people do eat, it will die and not be able to reproduce. So what happens to the dead wasp?
Well, if you're lucky, the dead wasp might be in the next fig you take a bite of! It sounds creepy, but you probably have never noticed, even if it has happened.
Your Shredded Cheese Is Full of Paper
Shredded cheese always makes any meal instantly tastier. However, it turns out that there is a less-than-desirable ingredient in it. The word cellulose can be found in the ingredient list of grated Parmesan or shredded cheese, and most don't know off the tops of their heads what that means. Cellulose is a fiber that is mainly used in clothes and paper! Therefore, every time you eat cheese, you are consuming wood pulp, which is what cellulose is mainly made of.
Sounds iffy, but researchers say it is entirely digestible and safe to eat. It's supposed to help keep the cheese from clumping together - but it doesn't sound very appetizing!
Brown Sugar Isn't What You Think It Is
Hate to break it to you, but there is no such thing as pure brown sugar! It's a shocker; who could've known it was just a marketing scheme all this time? Well, white and brown sugar are essentially the same thing. Brown sugar is just white sugar with the presence of molasses. So contrary to popular belief, both types of sugar have a similar nutritional value. But if you prefer brown sugar, don't let this stop you!
Next time you order a coffee and think to opt for brown sugar instead of white to feel healthier, remember the difference in health benefits is pretty minor.
This Fancy Ingredient Was Once Exclusively Fed to Prisoners
Nowadays, lobster is seen as a luxurious and fancy food. Few get to dine out on a lobster dinner because it usually carries a hefty price tag. But before it was associated with fine dining, lobster had a very different story. It used to be the primary meat source for prisoners and servants. This is because lobster farming was so common that it was the cheapest meat anyone could find.
However, today, if you go to a nice restaurant, lobster would most likely be the most expensive item on the menu! It's weird how times have changed.
This Is Why Coriander Tastes Like Soap to Some People
Coriander is a popular and well-used herb. It can be added to any dish to elevate it and add a yummy herby flavor. Well, at least for some. If you have the receptor-gene OR6A2, coriander will taste exactly like soap to you! Yup, that's right. Some people bite this tiny green leaf and shudder from the taste. Apparently, with this gene, coriander will smell and taste pungent and pretty much unbearable. It's in our DNA!
While unbearable to some, coriander is one of the oldest herbs to be eaten. So clearly, the majority of the population does not carry this gene, or perhaps, they suffer through it.
Humans and Bananas Have the Same DNA
Bananas are healthy and a good source of fiber and potassium, but there is a little-known secret about them. Sure, they're a favorite breakfast fruit and a part of cuisines worldwide. But that's not the only thing that connects people around the globe and bananas. Well, you'd be surprised to learn that humans actually share similar DNA with the fruit, of all things. Apparently, a banana shares sixty percent of its DNA with humans!
So next time you grab a banana for breakfast, you might look at it a little differently - it's basically a distant cousin!
Mcdonalds Fries Were Once Cooked in This Surprising Ingredient
Mcdonald's fries are delicious and salty, and people around the world can't get enough of them. But did you know that they were actually cooked in beef fat until 1990? In a grand gesture to make their fries appear healthier, Mcdonald's decided to switch from frying them in beef fat to vegetable oil. Not only would this apparently make them better for you, but it could also now appeal to a vegetarian and vegan audience. But up until that point, they were not vegan-friendly at all.
Fortunately, if you purchase fries today at any Mcdonald's, there shouldn't be a trace of beef fat. Yikes!
You Actually Don't Need to Eat an Orange for Vitamin C
Usually, when someone needs some Vitamin C, they tend to eat an orange. But there is a different fruit packed with way more Vitamin C than people know. They happen to be bell peppers! First off, yes, bell peppers are fruits, not vegetables. And second, they have two to three times more Vitamin C than a single orange. All color bell peppers are good for you, but one color, in particular, is a game changer.
Green bell peppers are usually harvested early and, if not, have the opportunity to turn yellow, orange, and then red. Since red bell peppers are on the vine the longest, they are the most nutritious and vitamin C packed!
If Your Egg Floats, Beware
Now pay attention; this tip could be a lifesaver! If you've had a carton of eggs for a while and are unsure if they are still good to eat, here's a secret hack you can easily do at home and immediately know. That way, you prevent anyone from eating a rotten egg and getting sick! All you have to do is place your eggs in a bowl or cup of water. Do they float or sink?
If your eggs sink to the bottom, they passed the test; they’re still fresh and ready to eat! If they float to the top of the water, then you better throw them away because those eggs have already gone bad.
The Secret Ingredient Is Crushed Bugs
Red velvet cake is a classic. The pigmented red cake with cream cheese frosting has been around for decades. However, most people don't know how the cake turns so red. With red food dye, of course, but what is even in food dye? Well, sorry to break it to you if this is your favorite cake flavor. The main ingredient in red food dye is carmine. And there might be some creepy crawlers in carmine.
Carmine is also known as cochineal extract, which happens to be a natural food dye that is made from crushed cochineal bugs. They are little insects found in cactus...and your favorite red velvet cake!
This Spice Can Make You Hallucinate
Nutmeg is a popular spice used all around the world. It's used in cooking and is especially perfect for baking. However, not many people know that consuming too much of this seemingly harmless spice can actually get you very high. This is because nutmeg contains a compound called myristicin. This compound causes harsh side effects, including intense hallucinations if too much is ingested. So should you be worried the next time you drink a nice pumpkin spice latte?
Next time better be careful when adding nutmeg to your cooking or drinks! It would be a shame to bake a cake and suddenly become overwhelmed with the side effects of too much nutmeg.
Fruit Snacks Are Covered in This Unsavory Ingredient
Fruit snacks had to be every kid's favorite yummy, go-to snack. But is anyone really aware of what fruit snacks are actually made of? Apparently not, because if people were, they probably would think twice next time they popped a gummy into their mouth. Fruit snacks are made with corn syrup which is generally bad for you, and gelatin which is known to be crushed animal bones and cartilage. And as if that wasn't enough, there is another ingredient that sure isn't great for you.
The other concerning ingredient is carnauba wax. This is derived from palm tree leaves and can be found in car wax, surfboard wax, dental floss, and shoe polish. Sounds yummy right?
Your Favorite Berry Isn't Actually a Berry
The various categories of food are weird. You know tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocados are fruits, not vegetables. And shockingly, strawberries are not even considered berries at all. How could that be possible, though? Well, technically, all of those seeds in a strawberry are considered the actual fruit. It isn't very clear and goes against everything ever taught about strawberries. So maybe this one is just tucked away for now, and everyone can continue to live in their strawberry ignorance is bliss.
Don't worry if you want to continue to say strawberries are your favorite berry, go ahead. Odds are not many people know the truth!
Do You Really Want to Know What's in Your Jell-O?
At first glance, Jell-O seems like a harmless snack. In fact, it's given to people who have a hard time chewing and young children. It comes in different colors and is a fun jiggly texture like no other food. It is usually flavored like different fruits and served cold. But what even is Jell-O? What is it made of? You must know before you read on, make sure you are prepared to ruin your view of Jell-O completely.
Well, the infamous Jell-O is mainly made of gelatin. And what is gelatin? It's made from boiling animal parts, including skin, bones, and cartilage, and then turned into powder. Yum?
That's Not Actually Wasabi You Are Eating
Sushi is delicious and usually served with a small side of wasabi. It's known to be highly spicy and potent; even the tiniest bit of it could turn your whole mouth on fire if you're not used to the heat it packs. However, wasabi is rarely authentic at most places you can find it. This is because wasabi is quite rare and expensive, making it hard to mass produce. But if it's not real Japanese horseradish, then what are you really eating?
Most places that serve wasabi are not actually serving wasabi at all. Instead, it is regular horseradish with green food dye.
Why You Should Suffer Through the Bad Breath
Garlic has a bad reputation. It's known to cause really bad breath and can be used to ward off vampires, but on the contrary, it is one of the best superfoods. Eating garlic frequently is supposed to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure! It's jam-packed with antioxidants and nutrients, which may be surprising to some people. Just eating one clove a day can give you 2% of your vitamin B6 for the day.
Who would've guessed all these benefits could come from this tiny little pungent bulb? Though garlic is usually cooked in dishes like pasta or meat, just try taking a bite out of it next time!
Is It a Fruit or a Nut or Both?
Can you guess what this bizarre-looking fruit is? Well, it is essentially an apple, but not just any regular apple. The kind that cashews sprout from! Who had any idea the little nut grows on this thing? They actually grow in a tree, and you can even pick and eat the apples too. They are usually very bitter, so they are best used in cooking things like chutneys, juices, or jams.
These funny-looking apples are mostly grown in India and the Ivory Coast, and they can only be harvested once a year, which is why cashews are relatively expensive.
Why You Should Always Check the Color of Your Egg Yolk
There is a reason why your egg yolks are different colors. It's not a sheer coincidence; it actually means something! The color of the yolk can tell you what kind of diet the hen is eating. If the egg yolk is brighter, it is likely the hen eats a lot of corn and alfalfa. Although, as of more recently, food additives can also make the yolk appear this way. And if it's duller, it's more likely the hen wasn't fed additives.
Next time you cook breakfast, pay close attention to the eggs you crack open. The color of the yolk can definitely lead you to some fascinating insights.
Would You Drink Potato Juice?
Potatoes have to be one of the most versatile food items ever. They're cheap and easy to cook, which makes them accessible to most people. They can be turned into so many delicious things with endless possibilities, like fries, mashed or baked potatoes, or even roasted to perfection. But what if you could also drink potatoes? It might seem strange at first, but there's a reason potato juice is a thing.
Potatoes are, in fact, eighty percent water, so technically, they could be juiced! Either way, these carby beauties are perfect for your next meal...or smoothie.
Quail Eggs Are Better Than Chicken Eggs
Eggs from chickens are so last year. Now quail eggs are the latest trend. Have you ever tried them? Quail eggs are apparently full of much more vitamins, nutrients, and protein than chicken eggs. However, they are much smaller than an egg from a hen. They're also way more expensive and complicated to buy because they're not just easily accessible in your local market. So there are some pros and cons to switching over.
However, if you find yourself in a situation where quail eggs are available, don't pass up the opportunity! Who knows? Maybe you'll find your next favorite food.
Bananas Are the Result of a Genetic Accident
Ah, bananas are a great snack and one of the most popular fruit! They're delicious and the perfect fruit for the go. But did you know that bananas aren't even capable of reproducing? All bananas are actually just clones of one another! That means one disease could wipe out the entire banana species. What the world look like without the yummy yellow fruit? It would be a weird, lonesome fruit world.
Now you better cherish bananas while they're around because they could be completely wiped out at any moment! So eat all the bananas you can while they're still here.
Your Favorite Soda Is Actually Not All Chemicals
Soda is generally known not to be that great for your health. There are a ton of additives in this carbonated drink that isn't great to consume regularly. But did you know there's a seemingly harmless ingredient in Mountain Dew that mostly goes unnoticed by most people who drink it? Besides all of the artificial colors, preservatives, and tons of high-fructose corn syrup added to this soda, there is actually orange juice in it!
Maybe this might even make you feel better about drinking the soda! You can just tell people it's primarily orange juice, and where is the harm in that?
Avoid Egg Yolks for This Reason
Eggs are usually the main focus and best part of breakfast. But unfortunately, for those who have high cholesterol, this tasty meal quickly turns into a bad idea. This is because eggs, specifically egg yolk, are packed with the most sodium, fat, and cholesterol. So egg yolks might be off the table, but is there an alternative? The answer is, yes, egg whites! This way, you don't have to give up your favorite part of breakfast entirely.
Therefore, if you are someone watching your diet, it is best to stick to the whites instead.
Contrary to What Most People Think, Tomatoes Do Not Originate in Italy
Tomatoes are one of the most common fruits today. You can find them in any supermarket, restaurant, or even a gas station store. Despite popular beliefs, tomatoes were not invented in Italy, though they are popular in Italian cuisine. The tomato, which is indeed a fruit, was first traced back to Mesoamerica. Today this is the region of Mexico and South America. Now, whenever you eat a delicious slice of tomato, you can think about and know exactly where it came from.
Tomatoes are usually a hot topic of conversation. Most people either hate them or love them, and there is no in-between.
Would You Eat This?
Mushrooms, for most people, are an acquired taste. But they are one of the most interesting, fun veggies you can add to any dish to spruce it up. And this mushroom, in particular, is the fluffiest, hugest one you'll ever see. It's a puffball mushroom found in Europe and North America. They don't have a strong flavor like some other mushrooms, so they're easy to cook with and absorb the taste of whatever you cook them in.
If you were ever on the fence about whether you liked mushrooms or wanted to try them, this is the perfect fit for you. Who knows, it might become your new favorite food.
This Must Be Why Pineapples Were Once Considered a Luxury
Did you know pineapples were once considered a delicacy? It could cost someone thousands of dollars to buy a single pineapple. Each pineapple can take two to three years to grow fully and be ready for consumption. That is a really long time to wait for a single piece of fruit! The process is very tedious and clearly time-consuming, which may explain why they were worth loads at one point in time.
The next time you see a pineapple at a grocery store or eat some of this delicious tropical fruit, consider just how far it has come!
You'll Never Guess What This Beauty Is
Have you ever seen an ear of corn that looked like this? A farmer from Oklahoma wanted to find a way to grow the most unique corn ever. He had an idea and ran with it. He tried time and time again to selectively breed the corn so it would be multicolored when fully grown and ripe. No one knew this would be possible and still produce regular edible corn.
After trials and tribulations, he succeeded and created the coolest-looking corn ever that resembles marbles or glass beads.
The Same Food Will Taste Different in the Air Than It Would on Land
Everyone has different taste buds and preferences for food. But when you fly on an airplane, the way you perceive your food completely changes! The high altitude and pressure on your body can make you physically taste food differently than you would have if you ate it on land. As well as the cabin air drying out your nasal passages, you suddenly have the perfect combination for dulled-out taste buds.
Therefore it's very possible that you could think a snack is way too salty while flying in the air, but once you land, it tastes perfectly fine.
A Superfood That Was Once Hated by All
Once upon a time, kale was used for decoration in restaurants. Pizza Hut used to be America's biggest purchaser of this veggie and used mounds of it to place pizzas on top of it just for show. But people quickly realized kale wasn't to be ignored but instead celebrated for the superfood it is. Now, you can find it in any green juice, smoothie, or health food shop around the country because the nutritional benefits are out of this world.
Kale contains antioxidants and is an excellent source of vitamins A and C. It tastes good and is good for you, kale pizza party, anyone?
The Portuguese Introduced These Mangoes to India
Mangoes are another staple of Indian cuisine. They are especially popular in desserts and have been used for thousands of years. However, the mangoes that are mostly eaten today are actually a completely different variety than what was native to India! In fact, when Portuguese colonists when to India, they introduced a new species. They're called Alphonso mangoes because of a local Portuguese ruler at the time named Alphonso de Albuquerque. Even though they weren't native to the land, these are the most popular mango grown and used today.
Mangoes are a delicious, nutrient-dense fruit that anyone would love. With a one-of-a-kind flavor and unique color and texture, you should definitely add this to your next grocery haul.
Can You Tell the Difference Between a Peach and Nectarine
Peaches and nectarines are refreshing, juicy, and perfect as an afternoon snack on a hot sunny day. In fact, don't be surprised if you mistake one for the other. They are essentially the same fruit despite their outer layer. The only actual difference in their genetic makeup is the skin! Peaches are fuzzy, whereas nectarines are smooth and firm. Essentially they are fruits that are cousins. And they're both packed with vitamins that are good for you.
Don't let the sweetness of these fruits fool you! Although they are sugary, they are still healthy and a great source of fiber.
Honey Actually Changes Color for This Surprising Reason
If you're a honey lover, this one is for you. Honey seems to never change and has a shelf life that lasts forever. But do you know why? Your honey is likely processed! The truth is that real and natural honey actually changes colors all year. The honey could look completely different if produced in the summer compared to the fall. It all depends on the season, which flowers were pollinated, and the bees.
Most people know honey for its flavor, which can also vary! Depending on the color, your honey will give you a different taste.
Kidney Beans Weren't Native to India
Rajma Chawal is a vegetarian dish made of red kidney beans in a thick gravy with many spices and is usually served with rice. It's regularly eaten in parts of the world like India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and parts of Pakistan. But kidney beans aren't native to these lands, so how did this become such a typical local dish? These beans were actually brought to India from Portugal, and the method of making them is a traditional Mexican cooking technique.
Next time you chow down on some delicious South Asian food, you can share that most of its influences came from Portugal or Mexico!
You'll Never Look at Your Jar of Peanut Butter the Same
Who doesn't love some good old-fashioned peanut butter? From kids to adults to dogs, it's a versatile spread that you can cook and bake with endlessly. Whether in cookies, sandwiches, or even smeared on an apple, it instantly makes any snack way better. It's obvious that peanut butter is for consumption, but what if it was used for something else that has nothing to do with cooking? You can guess, but you probably never heard of it.
Scientists have experimented and discovered ways to make diamonds out of no other than peanut butter! So next time you're in the market for a new and unique ring, keep this odd fact in mind.
Chocolate Was Once Used as Currency
Today, chocolate is still seen as a delicacy, maybe not in the same way it was once, but it's definitely valuable. It can be given as a gift or even a treat to cheer someone up because it generally carries only positive connotations. However, back in the day, it was actually a means of trading and bartering. In fact, cacao beans were used as currency by the Mayan people. It was so worthy it could be exchanged for things like tobacco, textiles, and spices.
Some people even got creative and used the cacao beans to make hot chocolate or chocolate bars and then traded them for food or clothes!