Food myths everyone assumes are true

Do you believe everything you're told? When it comes to myths, we don't tend to question them. Maybe we should. The origin of certain foods seems obvious. Where do you think we get fortune cookies from? If you believe they are from China, you're wrong. Have you heard the origin story about the earl and the sandwich? We all have. That's another myth that has no historical basis. What about veggie sausages? Do you think they were developed to chatter for vegetarians? Some of the myths and some of the assumptions we make about food are correct. Let's start with one you haven't been told but probably assume yourself.

Eating fat makes you fat

Does eating fat on a cut of meat make you fat? It makes sense that the grizzly rind would help you pile on the pounds, but researchers have gone as far as to suggest that low-fat diets don't seem to reduce your weight. The risk of disease doesn't decrease either. The refined carbs you eat in place of the fat might be causing the issue. So, eating fat doesn't make you fat.

Fortune cookies

It's safe to assume that fortune cookies come from China, but they don't. Some stories say an American invented fortune cookies. The story we've read is that David Jung (head of Los Angeles's Hong Kong Noodle Company) invented them in 1918. Other stories suggest they were first sold in Kyoto, Japan. They were called Fortune Crackers at that time, and they were flavoured with sesame and miso. It's likely Chinese immigrants in the US adopted the practice from the Japanese during World War Two when Japanese-Americans were forced into internment camps, and their restaurants were closed.


You've probably heard the story about the Earl of Sandwich being too lazy to eat properly, so he was served a piece of meat between two slices of bread. That's not the story we've heard. It comes from a Jewish meal served 3,000 years ago called the Seder that was made from matzo, bitter herbs, and lamb. It was stacked like a sandwich, but it wasn't called a sandwich. It was given the Hebrew name korech.

Veggie sausages

Food shortages are the reason veggie sausages were created. Think about it? Where was the market for vegetarian food until very recently, yet we've had veggie sausages for a century now? The first was created during the early days of World War One. A German inventor in Cologne came up with them. His name was Konrad Adenauer, and he took ingredients they had plenty of (barley, corn, ground rice, flour and soya) and came up with the Kolner wurst. Apparently, it didn't catch on because there wasn't a lot of flavour.

Spice up your meat

Have you heard stories that spices were used in the past to help disguise the taste of slowly rotting meat? That's not true at all. Let's consider how valuable spices were and then think about this again. Why would you waste valuable spices on rotting meat? You wouldn't, and people centuries ago didn't. We likely have Jack Cecil Drummondwas an adviser to the British Ministry of Food in the 1930s and 1940s, and his book The Englishman's Food to blame for this myth. The author misunderstood some information about how meat was handled in the middle-ages and repeated it in his book.

Johnny Appleseed

This one's a bit more obscure, but you might have heard of Johnny Appleseed. According to legend, he went west ahead of other pioneers and planted apple trees that other settlers could eat from as they migrated across the United States of America. That's a nice story, but it's not true. The less romantic version is that the US government wanted to convince people to head out west, so they offered lucrative deals in which settlers were given 100 acres as long as they developed the land. They each had to plant 50 apple trees.

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