Lecture 1: Food Folklore & Myths Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Lecture 1: Food Folklore & Myths Deck (15):

Red tide

-MYTH = Never eat shellfish in a month that doesn't contain an "R" (May-August)
-TRUTH = Warm weather causes algal blooms
-Dinoflagellates produce toxins that concentrate in shellfish (leads to shellfish poisoning)



-MYTH = Honey in baby formula is a safe natural sweetener
-TRUTH = Not recommended for infants
-Botulinum spores are found in honey
-Adults who eat botulinum spores are almost never affected
-When infants swallow the spores, the spores can germinate in their immature gastrointestinal tracts (SIDS = sudden infant death syndrome)


Cutting onions

-MYTH = only certain people fry when cutting onions
-FALSE = everyone cries when cutting onions
-When cut, onion cells release gasses called lachrymators
-Lachrymators combine with water to form sulfuric acid
-The eyes produce tears to wash the acid out


Refined sugars

-MYTH = refined sugars are poisonous to the body
-Sugar (carbohydrates) is the cause of the obesity epidemic in the U.S.
-Sugar causes insulin resistance (diabetes) in the U.S.
-FALSE = sugars are not poisonous at normal doses
-Not the cause of obesity, but may be a contributing factor



-MYTH = you can get high on nutmeg
-Nutmeg contains small amounts of a hallucinogen compound called myristicin in the essential oil
-TRUTH = nutmeg does have psychoactive properties at doses much higher than used in cooking



-MYTH = garlic will protect you from disease and keep away vampires
-Garlic was worshipped by the ancient Egyptians
-TRUTH = garlic is a good source of vitamins and minerals
-Garlic has a potent antimicrobial ingredient (allicin) that is protective in cardiovascular disease and canacer


Brown eggs vs. white eggs

-MYTH = brown eggs are more nutritious than white eggs and that makes them more expensive
-FALSE = white eggs are laid by chix with white earlobes and brown eggs are laid by chix with brown earlobes


Radioactive food

-MYTH = irradiated foods contain residual radioactivity
-FALSE = Ionizing radiation kills bacteria, viruses, microorganisms, and insects that would otherwise cause foodborne disease


Brown rice vs. white rice

-MYTH = brown rice is more nutritious than white polished rice
-TRUTH = brown rice contains the bran and germ layers rich in nutrients (vitamins, fiber, protein)
-White rice is milled and polished so these layers and nutrients are removed


Kosher salt

-MYTH = kosher salt has been blessed by a Jewish rabbi
-FALSE = kosher salt contains no additives and has a much larger grain than than regular table salt and is used to prepare Kosher meats


Pasteurized milk

-MYTH = pasteurized milk destroys all the vitamins, calcium, phosphorous and enzymes
-FALSE = pasteurization is the process of heating food for the purpose of killing harmful organisms such as bacteria, viruses, yeasts, etc.


Green potatoes

-MYTH = green potatoes can be poisonous
-TRUTH = when potatoes are exposed to sunlight, they produce poisonous compounds called alkaloids
-Solution = store potatoes in the dark, and cut away any green areas


Cooking on a BBQ grill

-MYTH = cooking on a BBQ grill causes the formation of carcinogens
-TRUTH = no clear evidence BBQ meat causes cancer, but populations that consume high levels of grilled meats have higher rates of stomach cancer



-MYTH = chocolate is a healthy food
-FALSE = chocolate contains lots of fat and sugar
-Chocolate does contain antioxidants, but these compounds aren't absorbed well from chocolate, and most chocolates have very low levels of them


Gin and tonic

-MYTH = drinking gin and tonic prevents malaria
-TRUTH = quinine interferes with the growth and reproduction of malaria-causing parasites
-Gin used by British colonists in tropical countries to make the ingestion of quinine (tonic) more palatable