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Food fables

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by BelleDuJour, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    I'vebeen thinking lately of everything I've been told about food. As a child my dear old grandma tols me warm bread would give me indigestion, I had to eat bread and butter at every meal or else I'd also get indigestion, and that raw pastry would give me worms. She also believed salt was fattening in the calorific sense of the word.
    Even as a child I questioned her 'wisdom' (must have been the budding scientist in me!) but I'm sure loads of you also have food fables to tell.
    So here's the place to tell all and make us smile!
    What fables were you told about food?
  2. Eating crusts would make your hair curl
    That's the only one I can remember at the moment.......*goes off to think*
  3. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    There were the usual....eating carrots will make you see in the dark...eating grape pips will make vines grow in ypour stomach....et.c
    Eating the crusts of bread would 'put hairs on your chest'! Despite the fact that I was a girl and not overly keen on having a hairy chest, this was recited by birthdad as some sort of reason to eat the crusts!
    Ons single potato eye can kill - you have to get the whole thing out and scrape round the hole to remove all the poison! This was playground .common knowledge'.
  4. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Swimming within an hour of eating will give you cramp. Every child gets told this as they attempt to dash off into the sea or pool shortly after their sandwiches or fish and chips. Total myth. I suspect it was originally concocted by parents on the beach or around a swimming pool who wanted a snooze after lunch, rather than have to keep an eye on the kiddies.
  5. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    I used to get told that eating lambs eyeballs would make me intelligent.
  6. If I ate the skin of the rice pudding I would marry a prince. Well I like the skin anyway, but.....

    And the carots thing (Ministry of Misinformation trying to hide the existance of radar) actually has some truth to it. Carrots are a source of retinol (Vitamin A) which has protective properties for the eyes, including preventon of nightblindness!

    My fave scary one is the salt myth. Did you know that there is actualy a study that shows that low salt intake is linked to high cardiac disease? Low salt level increases triglycerides (fatty acids).... at best a major new meta analysis shows no evidence at all that a low salt diet is beneficial!
  7. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Yep. Know all about that one. There's more than 'some truth in it'. It IS true. Vitamin A is needed for the production if visual purple, the pigment in the retina responsible for detecting low levels of light. Without visual purple (also known as rhodopsin) you have a disease called night blindness and cannot see in low light levels. Of course, carrots are not the only source of vitamin A but they do contain lots of it!
  8. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    If we had been sick/poorly, my uncle (a GP) taught his little sister (my mother) to give us meringues: the egg white/sugar mix predated Isotropic druinks I think!
  9. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Interesting. I've long considered whether salt is the devil it's made out to be. My thoughts are that only people with high BP need to worry about salt intake.
    Some friends of ours are so irritatingly self-righteous about not using salt and smugly proclaim their non-use of it at every opportunity. They even say 'salt' in the same tone one might use to mention genital herpes. When we eat there I often ask for salt (of course, having tasted the food first - I'm not that rude or ignorant!), and the look I usually get would suggest to an observer that I had just offered to poo in the corner of the room.
    People often wonder why food in good restaurants tastes so much better than many people's home-cooked food. I think one reason for this is that good chefs know how to use salt, and will use a fair whack of it - as an ingredient, not just as a condiment
  10. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Yes. Salt should be used as an ingredient first, a condiment second.
    I always cook with salt. Not too much. Not too little. Just enough.
  11. When I sent my OH on a Raymond Blanc course, he was told that restaurant food tasted so good because it contained salt and butter.
  12. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    and black pepper - of course!
    I spent my 3rd year of UNi in Italy and Switzerland/France.
    In one, pepper is good for your love life, in the other it is good for your liver - now I just have to remember which way round these attributes are!
  13. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    OK - I've googled it:
    France = liver
    Italy = love life
  14. This made me laugh! I was always told the same when I was a child, however, when I worked as a medical receptionist, the doctor said that he had yet to treat a child who had stomach cramps after eating and swimming, and that also he'd never seen a child with it's eye poked out with a stick!

    (Sorry... that was the typical Scottish warning, as a child.... 'Don't run around with that stick... you'll fall and poke your eye out!)
  15. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Saw an interesting one on TV the other night. Sifting flour. What does everyone automatically do when baking a sponge cake? They sift the flour. Why? Makes the cake lighter? Easier to mix everything in so it's lump free?
    Total myth. Proven to make no difference whatsoever.
    Thought to be a hangover from when prople bought their flour from a large open sack at the grocers'. Sifting it was probably a good idea, to get rid of grit, weevils, small shards of millstone etc.!
  16. cinnamonsquare

    cinnamonsquare Occasional commenter

    Ooh, Nick that's interesting! Could be a great timesaver, but may be a very hard habit for me to break...
  17. I haven't sifted for years, but I still have to give the flour a good stir....... it really is a hard habit to break!
  18. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    I have seen a child jump into a swimming pool, then immediately vomit up recently swallowed spaghetti hoops... not good. Really not good.
  19. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    I think vomiting is a distinct possibility if jumping around in water after eating...not cramp though, which was what was threatened as likely to happen.
    I was also frightened with the 'you'll choke on your own vomit' line as well. Highly improbable, really - if you were sick in a pool or in the sea, instinct would make you spit it out, even if underwater. Chances of choking very slim! You're only likely to ever choke on vomit if you're unconscious!
  20. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    So what about...
    If you swallow chewing gum it will tie itself in knots and strangle your intestines.
    If you eat 'pop rocks' (popping candy) and then drinl coke it will explode in you and kill you.
    Urban Myths?....Or is there a grain of truth?

    I remember the cola and aspirin combination was supposed to give a nigh-on illegal high (and yes, we all tried it!) ...and I know that if you used the 'original' coke recipe there were grounds for the belief.

    And a whole cornucopia of diet related myths!
    Cabbage Soup supposedly having 'magic' fat burning properties.
    Grapefruits could apparantly burn away fat too.
    It takes more calories to eat celery than the celery actually contains so in theory if you eat enough celery it negates a Mars bar! (Nice try....but doesn't the calorific value of a food actually already include the energy needed to eat/metabolise said food?)


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