Test Your Food Myths IQ!

Monday, December 06, 2010 | 0 comments »

By Joe Wilkes

True or False?
  1. True: Raw lima beans are poisonous. Lima beans contain cyanide compounds that can cause illness or even death if eaten uncooked. Cooking turns the cyanide into a harmless gas. Fortunately, most strains of lima beans available in the U.S. have been bred to contain super-low levels of cyanide. But if you're in another country and you begin craving raw lima beans, watch out!
  2. False: Swimming too soon after eating causes cramps. Although it has been repeated so often by paranoid poolside parents that it is presumed to be a medical fact, there is no substantiated evidence that swimming after eating causes the kinds of cramps that fearful moms and dads purport will cause drowning of the young 'uns. Of course, cramping is possible with any activity, but having food in your system is unlikely to make a difference.
  3. True: Honey does not spoil. Honey is "cured" by bees to the point that it has a very stable pH level and has an extraordinarily long shelf life. Honey has even been found in ancient Egyptian tombs, and it's still edible! In part, this is because honey's low moisture content prevents bacterial or fungal growth.
  4. True: Cashew shells are dangerous. You may have noticed that cashews, unlike peanuts, are never sold in their shells. This is because cashew shells are coated with a naturally occurring oil, which is extremely caustic to human skin. Contact with cashew shells can quickly cause burning and blistering. In fact, the oil is toxic enough to be included as a common ingredient in insecticides.
  5. False: Swallowed chewing gum takes years to pass through the body. This is another one probably concocted by worried parents who wanted to discourage their children from swallowing their gum—out of fear that their children would choke. While swallowed gum is a choking hazard, the notion that habitual gum swallowers are just a gumball or two away from a gruesome pink intestinal blockage is false. Depending on what the chewing gum is made of, it will either be dissolved by stomach acid or pass out whole through the digestive system. Yum!