Even before the Internet, people had crazy conspiracy theories about food. But it’s pretty ironic that will all the available technology and information available, some people still want to believe whatever nonsense they hear…especially if it’s about food. LifeHacker has the breakdown on some of the worst factual offenders…and here they are:
- Myth: Chocolate milk is made to hide blood from sick cows.
- Fact: Why is chocolate milk brown? How about CHOCOLATE FLAVORING!
- Myth: Milk is full of “pus cells”
- Fact: As proof, PETA (and vegetarians or vegans in general) points to a government regulation that they say allows a certain number of “pus cells” per liter. The grain of truth? The FDA sets a limit of 750,000 somatic cells per milliliter of milk (or 750 million per liter). Somatic cells are not pus cells – somatic cells include milk-producing cells and immune cells. The very same somatic cells that are present in human breast milk. One other thing – while cows with mastitis (an udder infection) can have more of these cells in their milk than healthy cows, milk from mastitis pos cows isn’t sold for human consumption…because it spoils more quickly, and more importantly, it just tastes bad.
- Myth: KFC isn’t really chicken
- Fact: This one really took rise in the 90s when Kentucky Fried Chicken rebranded to just “KFC” (with health conscious peeps who don’t want to admit they’re eating fried food in mind). Then came the rumor that KFC’s drumsticks came from a lab-grown mutant creature with six legs and no head that’s fed a nutrient slurry. Not even close to being true – and really? Consider that no one’s been able to create lab-made meat products that pass the taste test for a decent price. Example: A large Popcorn Nuggets will cost you about $4…but a six-piece order of Beyond Meat wing? Double that.
- Myth: Taco Bell’s meat isn’t meat
- Fact: The same kinds of things people say about McDonald’s burgers have also been said about Taco Bell’s seasoned ground beef. And while it’s true that textured vegetable protein (TVP) may be a part of the mix, it’s still mostly meat. But there’s also soybean oil in the sauce, which is thickened with oat flour and nutritional yeast.
- Myth: Fast food is so full of chemicals it doesn’t rot
- Fact: Did you forget how actual food works? The Quechua people have been making jerky from llama meat for thousands of years, but apply the same concept by drying out a McDonald’s patty and people want to blame chemicals and preservatives – not fat and sodium content – as the reason we should be eating the stuff. Total fake news, kids.
- Myth: Fast food burgers are full of eyeballs and worms
- Fact: One urban legend holds that the burgers are purchased from a supplier named “100% Beef” which happens to sell burger-like objects made from stuff that ain’t mean. Sorry to disappoint you, but the worst offense here is that ground beef is often made from less-marketable cuts of meat, but not eyeballs. Plus, meat suppliers (that includes worm meat sellers) make A LOT more money selling their goodies to science labs. And one other thing? Worm meat isn’t produced at anywhere near the scale of beef and is far more expensive.
- Myth: Jell-O is made from hooves
- Fact: Gelatin which comes from animals? YES. Hooves, no. Gelatin is made from collagen, and collagen is a major protein component of connective tissue. While ooves may contain some collagen, but they are mainly keratin. Gelatin is made from skins and bones, usually of pigs and cows. If that’s still gross to you, so be it…be we’ll be happy to handle that uneaten Jell-O for you.
- Myth: Taco Bell’s beans aren’t beans! KFC’s potatoes aren’t potatoes!
- Fact: The potatoes are mashed and dehydrated at the factory and reconstituted before serving. Taco Bell’s refried beans? Yes, they arrive at the store as dehydrated pellets, before given some water and life. But you can buy boxed mashed potatoes and instant refried beans at the grocery store, too – so yeah…totally food, just packaged for transport.