50 Fun Facts about Food

You may not really think about food facts when eating your favorite dish, but we do!

Whether they’re healthy or not, some of those foods hold interesting facts about them you wouldn’t have expected or thought about.

Here are the reasons why crackers have holes in them, as well as the origin of American cheese – it’s not from the US.

The top 100 random facts about food will enlighten and amaze you, regardless of your taste. So without further ado, here are the top 100 random facts about food!

1. Most supermarket wasabi is really horseradish.

vasabi

It is difficult to make real wasabi and it is expensive.

Most of the wasabi available for sale is colored horseradish with flavorings.

2. One Burgers from fast-food restaurants may contain meat from more than 100 different cows.

burger

Ground beef used for burgers, both in fast food establishments and grocery stores, is composed of muscle tissues.

3. The most expensive pizza in the world costs $12,000 dollars.

It is called the ‘Louis XIII’.

pizza

Pizza cooking 72 hours. You can pick three types of caviar such as Oscietra Royal Prestige, Kaspia Oscietra Royal Classic from the Iranian coast, and Kaspia Beluga as the topping. Pizza comes with the finest lobster from Norway and seven types of cheese.

4. Fruit-flavored snacks shine thanks to car wax.

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Yes, carnauba wax, the same wax used on cars, is also used to make gummy candy shiny.

5. Pound cake got its name from its recipe.

Pound cake

The first recipe of pound cake called for one pound of butter, one pound of eggs, and one pound of sugar.

That’s a huge cake!

6. It’s for a reason that crackers have holes in them.

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Those docking holes allow steam to escape during the cooking process, preventing air bubbles from forming and ruining the whole cracker.

7. Nutmeg is a hallucinogen.

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Nutmeg contains myristicin, a natural compound that has mind-altering effects if ingested in large doses.

8. Salmon raised in farms is dyed pink.

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Wild salmon are pink (or pinkish-orange, depending on geography) for the same reason flamingos are pink: their diets, which are heavy in krill and shrimp. But farm-raised salmon are fed a diet that renders them gray.

Salmon farmers must add enough carotenoids to their diets; often by way of very natural ingredients such as ground crustaceans and there are also carotenoid additives that are derived from algae.

Without the added carotenoids in their food, the farmed fish would be white and we would not want to buy them, as that’s not the color we expect salmon to be.

9. White chocolate isn’t chocolate.

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Actually, it isn’t even chocolate because it does not contain cocoa particles. It is just cocoa butter mixed with sugar, often with a little vanilla added for flavoring.

10. Ketchup used to be used as a medicine.

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In the 1830s, tomato ketchup was sold as a medicine, claiming to cure ailments like diarrhea, indigestion, and jaundice. The idea was proposed by Dr. John Cook Bennett, who later sold the recipe in form of ‘tomato pills’

11. Some shredded cheeses and cereals contain cellulose (wood pulp).

cheese

It’s a derivative of wood pulp or plant fibers used to stop clumping and help cheese fall freely through the lid’s holes.

11. Green, yellow, and red bell peppers are not actually the same vegetable.

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Not all of these vegetables come from the same plant. Red peppers, yellow peppers, orange peppers, and green peppers are all unique plants with their own seeds, even though some green peppers are unripe red peppers.

12. The red food dye for Skittles is made from boiled beetles.

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A common red dye for food is carminic acid, which is made from crushed bodies of a beetle called Dactylopius coccus.

You can find this acid in maraschino cherries, strawberry and raspberry flavored candy, and lipstick.

13. Crackers are worse than sugar for your teeth.

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It’s acid, not sugar, that causes tooth decay!

When crackers stick to your teeth, they become breeding grounds for bacteria.

14. Peppers don’t really burn your mouth.

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 In fact, when you eat spicy food, you’re not burning your tongue at all—you’re a victim of a neurological response. That mouth-on fire effect is caused by capsaicin: a colorless, odorless substance that is concentrated in the tissue of chili pepper.

15. American cheese is not American.

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In fact, processed cheese was invented in Switzerland, not an American country.

It was created by Waltz Gerber and Fritz Stettler in 1911 to prolong the shelf-life before it was shipped overseas.

16. Smuggled into space was a corned beef sandwich.

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On a six-hour mission, an astronaut snuck a sandwich onto his spacecraft.

After he took the sandwich out in zero-gravity, it started breaking apart and he had to put it back before crumbs compromised the spaceship.

17. Some music can make you drink faster.

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It’s probably no secret to bar owners, but a French study shows that turning up the volume on the music can speed up the drinking at the bar.

Loud music can make you drink more, in less time, in a bar.

18. In ancient civilizations of Mexico and South America, chocolate was used as a currency.

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When the Aztecs started dominating Mesoamerica, they also ate cocoa beans, which they couldn’t grow.

To exchange money, they had to rely on the Mayans and trade cocoa beans with them as a system of money.

19. McDonald’s sells 2.5 billion hamburgers every year

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That means that roughly 1 out of every 3 people on Earth will eat a McDonald’s hamburger in a calendar year, although there are also many people out there who do more than their fair part in making that number a reality.

This burger data roughly breaks down as 4,500 burgers every minute, 270,000 every hour, 6.48 million every day.

20. Peanuts can be found in dynamite.

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Peanut oil is used to make nitroglycerin, which is a main component of nitroglycerin.

21. Hot chocolate is older than you think

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The Mayan and Aztec cultures were the first to make “hot chocolate.” This precursor to hot chocolate was used for religious ceremonies, including coming-of-age celebrations and weddings.

22. Carrots Are Different Colors

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Carrots can be white, yellow, red, magenta, and purple.

Although most carrots are orange, it turns out that it wasn’t always that way. The original carrots were purple and yellow.

23. Gelatin isn’t vegetarian

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Gelatin is a protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones with water. It is usually obtained from cows or pigs.

24. There’s a reason lemons float

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 They float because they have a similar density to water!

25. Cranberries will bounce if they’re fresh

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The most interesting property of cranberries is their ability to bounce. If you drop a fresh, ripe whole cranberry it will bounce. Old or damaged berries won’t bounce.

26. Tea bags were invented by accident

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Thomas Sullivan would send samples of the product in silk bags and people started to throw them into the teapot. And, that’s how tea bags came to be. The rest is history.

27. Vanilla flavoring has some scary ingredients

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Artificial vanilla contains castoreum, which is a product that comes from a gland in a beaver’s butt.

28. Pretzels were once a symbol of love

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During the 17th century,  pretzels came to symbolize undying love. According to lore, in 1614, a Swiss royal couple used a pretzel in their wedding to seal their bond, and some historians believe this is where the saying “tying the knot” came from.

29. Cotton candy was created by a dentist

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William James Morrison, a dentist, and inventor from Nashville, Tennessee, is widely credited with the invention of the first cotton candy machine – a device that cuts out much of the manual labor previously associated with spun sugar. In 1897 he and his friend, confectioner John C.

30. Potatoes were grown in space

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Potatoes were the first vegetables ever planted in space. They were first brought into space in October 1995 while aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia in its Microgravity Astroculture Laboratory.

31. Potatoes can absorb and reflect Wi-fi signals.

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When Boeing wanted to test out its wireless signal on new planes in 2012, they placed giant piles of potatoes on seats. Because of their high water content and chemical makeup, potatoes absorb and reflect radio and wireless signals just like humans do.

32. Every banana you eat is a clone.

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Even though there are 1,000 varieties of bananas all over the world, the common yellow fruits you see in the supermarket are all genetic clones of the Cavendish variety. The Cavendish was mass-produced, according to The Economist, because it does not have seeds — a desirable trait for consumers — and it survives longer than its banana cousins. 

Since the Cavendish does not have any seeds, they must be cloned by farmers in order to continue production. Recently, agricultural scientists have been worried that the lack of genetic diversity could soon leave the banana vulnerable to threats and extinction. 

33. Natural, properly preserved honey will not expire

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Because of the sugar content and low pH of honey, as well as the bees’ honey-making process, organisms that can spoil food won’t survive in honey. But honey has to be natural and sealed properly to enjoy its long lifespan.

34. If you microwave grapes, they will explode.

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As the microwaves continue to heat the grapes, the hot spots get even hotter and the electrolytes surrounding them become supercharged, forming plasma – an ionized or electrically charged gas – which bursts in a fireball.

35. Strawberries are not berries.

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A strawberry is actually multiple fruits that consist of many tiny individual fruits embedded in a fleshy receptacle. The brownish or whitish specks, which are commonly considered seeds, are the true fruits, called achenes, and each of them surrounds a tiny seed.

36. Margherita pizza gets its name from Queen.

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Margherita pizza gets its name from Queen Margherita of Savoy, who was the Queen consort of Umberto I. It was once during her visit to Naples that the dish came into being. The story goes that the Queen was tired of eating French food all the time, as it was the cuisine of choice among the European royalty

37. Cauliflower has a many colors.

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Colored Cauliflower is available in green, purple, and orange varieties. Although it may look different than the popular white cauliflower, the taste is just the same: mild, sweet, and nutty. The orange and purple cauliflower are higher in antioxidants than regular white cauliflower.

38. The lima bean is deadly.

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Raw lima beans contain a compound called linamarin, which turns into cyanide when consumed.

39. Popcorn from South Africa isn’t popcorn.

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In South Africa, it’s more common for what they call popcorn, to be roasted termites and ants.

40. Not all wine is vegan.

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Karen MacNeil, the wine professional, explains that non-vegan ingredients are introduced to wine during fining—a process that “helps remove excess tannin…making the wine softer and less bitter, and improving its balance.” Fining also clarifies wine, resulting in a color that lets light shine through. Per MacNeil, casein (milk protein), albumin (egg white), isinglass (fish bladder), and gelatin are among the most common fining agents used, and none of them are vegan-friendly because they are all animal-derived. 

41. Sweet drinks can cause dementia.

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Sugar- and artificially-sweetened beverage intake have been linked to cardiometabolic risk factors, which increase the risk of cerebrovascular disease and dementia.

Studies have shown that people who drink one or more artificially sweetened drinks per day were almost three times more likely to develop dementia.

42. Eggs that are bad will float.

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You can test the freshness of your eggs by putting them in a glass of cold water. The fresher the egg, the faster it will fall to the bottom!

The eggs that float should be thrown out.

43. Coffee is number one source of antioxidants for Americans

coffee

It’s no secret Americans drink a lot of coffee, but it’s the primary source of antioxidants. In fact, coffee doesn’t contain that many antioxidants – we just drink so much of it!

44. The invention of popsicles was accidental.

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It was in 1905. The 11-year-old kid left a mixture of soda and water outside in a cup overnight. It froze, and he ate it in the morning.

He decided to call this invention of his “Eppsicles”.

But, later on, his kids really thought “Pop sicles” would sound better, because Soda Pop!

45. In China, bird saliva is considered a delicacy.

birds

Bird’s nest soup is an expensive delicacy in China made from rare bird nests, which are made from the saliva of small swiftlets.

46. Bad breath can be treated with coffee beans.

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If you chew on roasted coffee beans, you will be able to prevent bad breath caused by bacteria.

Drinking coffee helps too, just in a less effective way.

47. Mountain Dew contains orange juice.

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Many of the ingredients are used as a preservative, but two of the ingredients stand out: orange juice and Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO). Part of what gives Mountain Dew its tangy flavor is the addition of concentrated orange juice.

48. When you fly, food tastes different.

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As the plane gets higher, the air pressure drops while humidity levels plummet. The combination of dryness and low pressure reduces the sensitivity of your taste buds to sweet and salty foods by around 30%. Even the noise that jet engines produce can impact your tongue.

49. Shredded cheese contains wood pulp.

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Many of cheese products contain up to 9 percent cellulose. It’s a derivative of wood pulp or plant fibers used to stop clumping and help cheese fall freely through the lid’s holes.

50. Humans and bananas share about 40 to 60 percent of the same DNA.

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Our genes are made up of 3 billion building blocks, which are surprisingly similar.

We have 60% of our genes in common with bananas; however, the remaining 40% makes us different from bananas!

51. Dead wasps can be found in figs.

figs

Contrary to popular belief, ripe figs are not full of dead wasps and the “crunchy bits” in the fruit are only seeds. The fig actually produces an enzyme called ficain (also known as ficin) which digests the dead wasps and the fig absorbs the nutrients to create the ripe fruits and seeds.

52. Potatoes contain 80% water.

pota

Potato is a versatile, carbohydrate-rich food highly popular worldwide and prepared and served in a variety of ways. Freshly harvested, it contains about 80 percent water and 20 percent dry matter. About 60 to 80 percent of the dry matter is starch.

53. India is the world’s largest producer, consumer and exporter of chilies in the world.

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India is the world leader in chili production followed by China. Indian chili is considered to be world-famous for two important commercial qualities-color and pungency levels. Some varieties are famous for the red color because of the pigment. Other quality parameters of chili include length, width, and skin-thickness

54. Turkey is the country with the highest per capita consumption of tea.

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Turks consume around 3-5 cups of tea daily while this number increases to 10 cups during winter. The culture of drinking tea is indispensable for Turks as it is an occasion to sit and talk.

Tea-making in Turkey is different from the rest of the world as it has to be brewed for around 20 minutes.

Tea houses historically are places of socializing for people.

55. Finland is the biggest consumer of coffee globally on a per-person basis

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The average Finn drinks nearly four cups a day. Coffee is so popular in Finland that two 10-minute coffee breaks are legally mandated for Finnish workers.

 

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