Have you ever thought about how your favorite foods are grown? Did you know that humans eat nearly 2,000 pounds of food a year? Or did you know that arachibutyrophobia is the fear of getting things stuck to your mouth like peanut butter? There are so many cool and interesting facts about food out there!
Here are 70 crazy interesting facts about food that you probably had no idea about!
You’ll never look at food the same way again.
1. Fruit salad trees grow different fruits on the same tree.
They are a real thing, although, the fruits do all have to belong to the same family. For example, you can get a tree with six different types of citrus fruits on one tree, or one with yellow, green, and red apples all on the same branch.
2. Food tastes different on airplanes because it dulls our sense of taste.
Airplane food isn’t known for being incredibly delicious. Part of that may be because when flying at altitude in a pressurized cabin, our sense of taste and smell is drastically reduced. It can be as much as 30% less sensation for sweet and salty foods.
3. Hawaiian pizza is from Canada.
Everyone loves the classic pineapple and ham Hawaiian-style pizza. What most people don’t know is that it has nothing to do with Hawaii at all. The topping combination first became popular at a pizza restaurant in Ontario in the 1960s.
4. The filling in Kit Kats is made with crumbs from broken Kit Kat bars.
The bars that don’t make the cut get crushed up and placed in between the wafers. So in other words, Kit Kats are actually stuffed with more Kit Kats. No wonder they taste so good!
5. German chocolate cake isn’t actually from Germany.
The name was derived from a man named Sam German. In 1852, he created a chocolate company. His dark baking chocolate bar was used in the cake recipe.
6. Every year, 4% of the world’s cheese is stolen.
Cheese is the most frequently stolen food item in retail stores. Thieves always go for the cheese first. It means that around 1 in every 25 packs of cheese in the grocery aisle goes mysteriously missing.
7. ‘Take 5’ candy bars use Reese’s Peanut Butter as the filling.
Mixed in with the peanuts, chocolate, caramel, and pretzels of the Take 5 is a creamy Reese’s peanut butter. It makes sense. After all, they are both produced by The Hershey Company.
8. There are enough varieties of apples to eat a different one every day for twenty years.
There are around 7500 varieties of apples in total. Divide that number by 365 and you get 20.55 years. You can go for two full decades without ever eating the same variety of apple twice.
9. Red wine causes more drowsiness than other types of alcohol.
A study was done to see if different alcohols affected people’s emotions differently. Out of all of the choices, red wine made people the sleepiest. Spirits, white wine, and beer didn’t have the same effect.
10. Glass Gem corn has rainbow kernels that look like little beads of glass.
It seems like it could easily be fake, but corn with multi-colored kernels is actually a real thing. It’s called Glass Gem corn. The beautiful colors were created by mixing several Native American varieties of corn.
11. It isn’t necessary to wash chicken before cooking.
Many people think that you should always wash it first. However, professional germ experts say that washing the raw chicken may actually cause you more problems. It can spread the raw juice onto other kitchen items without actually removing the bacteria from the original piece of chicken. Cooking it will do the trick.
12. McDonald’s used to cook their fries in beef fat.
The fries were cooked this way up until just a few decades ago. The company ultimately changed its recipe in 1990 in an attempt to make the dish healthier. It was a response to groups who were lobbying against fat and cholesterol in fast food products. Not to mention – this wasn’t good for vegetarians!
13. Diamonds can be made from peanut butter.
The high-carbon content of peanut butter makes it a great substance for use in laboratory-created diamonds. A scientist on a German TV station proved that it was possible a few years ago.
14. Asparagus grows on stalks in the dirt.
It doesn’t grow on vines or trees. Asparagus simply pops up right out of the ground. There are fields upon fields of this stuff out there.
15. The only difference between peaches and nectarines is the skin.
They are essentially the same genetically. However, there is one gene that causes the skin to be fuzzy in peaches and smooth in nectarines. It is either switched on or off.
16. Coconut water is a potential blood plasma alternative.
The water, not milk, from inside coconuts isn’t just for drinking and cooking anymore. In crisis situations, people have often used it as a replacement for blood plasma. There are numerous examples of it being injected intravenously throughout history.
17. Cranberries are harvested from marshes.
They don’t grow on trees as most people imagine. Instead, cranberries grow in vast marshes of knee-deep water. In order to pick them, you have to wade into the middle of it all.
18. Mountain Dew is mostly orange juice.
It’s supposed to be lemon-lime, or something like that, right? That’s what many people suspect. However, upon closer inspection of the ingredients, you’ll see that the third ingredient listed is concentrated orange juice, right behind high fructose corn syrup, and carbonated water.
19. It requires 450 gallons of water to make a 3.5-ounce chocolate bar.
The cocoa beans take an incredible amount of water to grow. The most ideal cocoa-growing locations are right around the equator of the earth. Your typical bar of chocolate needs 1700 liters to be produced in the end.
20. The name Spam is a combination of “spice” and “ham”.
It’s not just some random mystery meat. The primary ingredient of Spam is actually pork. The name was essentially meant to be a play on spiced ham.
21. Potatoes were once used to test Wi-Fi signals on planes.
Because of their chemistry and water content, potatoes absorb the signals in much the same way that humans do. Boeing actually placed sacks of potatoes in their plane seats to test out their wireless system.
22. European chocolate is legally required to taste better.
At least, by most people’s standards. European law specifies that all chocolate must have a certain percentage of milk fat that is higher than what is required in the USA. It gives it that rich flavor that we love.
23. Most wasabi is horseradish with green food coloring.
It’s likely that you’ve never actually tasted authentic wasabi. The stuff that most sushi restaurants use in the United States is a mix of horseradish, mustard, and food dye. Even in Japan, real wasabi is rare to find.
24. Monk fruit extract is about 250 times sweeter than sugar.
If you are looking for a natural sweetener that really packs a punch, look no further than monk fruit. Compared to sucrose (common sugar), the difference isn’t even close. You’ll only need a small pinch of the monk fruit extract.
25. Potatoes contain an extremely high percentage of water.
80% of a potato is water and the other measly 20% are solids. It’s weird to think about because we consider a potato to be a very solid product. However, all of that weight is mainly due to the massive water content.
26. Pineapple plants can take two to three years to produce one fruit.
There is a long process involved before that pineapple is ready to be harvested. If you were to grow it from seed, a pineapple plant will take an entire year before it is even ready to begin forming a fruit.
27. Most 100% orange juice isn’t actually 100% natural.
The extraction process causes a lot of the natural flavors to be lost. The companies then have to mix artificial flavors in with the juice to compensate. Therefore, even it is 100% juice, it might still be very fake.
28. Eating too much nutmeg can cause you to get high.
In large quantities, nutmeg can give you a buzz that lasts for multiple days. It contains an active compound called myristicin. However, due to its unpleasant side-effects, it’s not very popular.
29. Butter doesn’t really need to be refrigerated.
As long as you are going to use it relatively soon, there is no real need to store it in the fridge. Butter can be left out for up to ten days without any risk, as long as your room temperature doesn’t get above 68 degrees.
30. Eskimos use refrigerators to keep their food warm.
The old saying goes “you can’t sell ice to an Eskimo”. However, it turns out, you kind of can. In some areas, it gets so cold that communities actually need refrigerators to keep their food warm and prevent it from getting “freezer burnt” sitting outside.
31. The word “cookies” originates from the Dutch word “koekje”.
The actual meaning of the word in Dutch is “little cake”. If you think about it, that’s all a cookie really is. It’s a small cake served up in a portion size that’s only a bite or two.
32. Cashews grow on the ends of cashew apples.
The apple portion of the cashew plant is edible and is used in some juices and recipes. However, the plant is really only famous for the nut that grows on the end. They are plucked from the apple portion, then dried and cracked.
33. Ketchup was sold in a pill form as diarrhea medicine in the 1800s.
Originally, tomatoes were not only considered delicious but also medicinal. Back then, ketchup was purported to cure all sorts of illnesses and ailments. The condiment has really come a long way over time.
34. They don’t have fortune cookies in China.
The little cookies with the fortunes in them are a completely American invention. They are only really seen in American Chinese restaurants. If you served them in China, people would be very confused.
35. Cilantro and coriander are the same things.
If you’ve seen both names used in recipes before, we can understand your confusion. Cilantro is the American word for the spice. Whereas, the term coriander is used in the United Kingdom.
36. Parmesan cheese is essentially lactose-free.
Each serving of parmesan has less than one gram of lactose in it. For all intents and purposes, that is basically nothing. It is one of the most easily digestible cheeses.
37. Garlic applied to the skin can cause chemical burns.
It smells very pungent when cooked. However, some of those same chemicals also cause it to be caustic to the skin. A couple of crushed garlic cloves left to sit on the skin can cause second and third-degree burns in extreme cases.
38. There is more vitamin C in peppers than in oranges.
Oranges are the go-to choice when someone is lacking vitamin C. However, peppers are an even better source. A cup of chopped red bell pepper contains about three times as much vitamin C as one orange.
39. McDonald’s sells around 75 burgers per second.
On a global scale, the burgers are flying off the grill faster than we can count. There is a reason why McDonald’s has had so much success over the years. They specialize in speed.