Fact #78 – January 29th, 2023
Twizzlers are often marketed as licorice candy, and one of the most famous brands at that. But would it surprise you if you found out that most Twizzlers flavors actually contain no licorice at all? Only the original black flavor contains actual licorice extract. The more popular flavors, strawberry and cherry, contain no licorice at all. This, according to the FDA, makes most Twizzlers not licorice, rather “licorice-type candy”.
Fact #77 – January 12th, 2023
Ancient Egyptians thought onions were very powerful and could please the gods in the afterlife. They thought onions were sacred and priests would worship them like gods. They also thought the layers of an onion symbolized the layers of the universe and eternal life. They would often leave onions in tombs as gifts for the dead and even put them in the eyes of mummies to help them in the afterlife. Next time you see an onion, remember that they were royalty in Ancient Egypt!
Fact #76 – January 1st, 2023
The popularity of cocktails in the United States skyrocketed during the Prohibition era of the 1920s, when the sale and consumption of alcohol was prohibited. Despite this, people were still determined to find ways to drink and started making their own mixed drinks at home using whatever ingredients they had on hand. As a result, many new and creative cocktail recipes were developed. To this day, cocktails stay an important part of the alcohol industry.
Fact #75 – December 28th, 2022
The first chain of hamburger restaurants in the United States was White Castle, which opened in Wichita, Kansas in 1921. White Castle became famous for its small, square hamburgers made with fresh beef and cooked on a grill. It was also one of the first fast food chains to use mass production techniques and an assembly line in the kitchen to serve burgers quickly and efficiently. White Castle is still in business today and has over 400 locations in the United States.
Fact #74 – December 24th, 2022
Cutin is a natural wax found on the surface of apples that protects the fruit from moisture loss and pests. Carnauba wax, derived from the leaves of a Brazilian palm tree, is often applied to apples for additional protection and shine. Cutin is produced by the apple and is pale yellow and flexible, while carnauba wax is plant-based and can range in color from pale yellow to brown and is more brittle. The wax that is applied to apples, whether it is carnauba wax or another type, does not contribute any nutritional value to the fruit. It is simply a protective coating that is applied to the surface of the apple to help preserve its freshness and appearance.
Fact #73 – December 18th, 2022
One of the oldest known recipes is for beer, which was inscribed on a clay tablet in ancient Mesopotamia, now modern-day Iraq. This recipe, written in cuneiform, an ancient writing system, is thought to be more than 4,000 years old and calls for barley, water, and spices. It is believed that the people of ancient Mesopotamia consumed beer as a regular part of their diet.
Fact #72 – December 8th, 2022
Bananas are commonly known as fruits. The yellow thing you peel and eat is a fruit because it contains the seeds of the plant, which fits the basic definition of a fruit. But bananas have been cultivated for a long time, and the seeds have gotten smaller and smaller. It’s actually an herb distantly related to ginger. Next time you have a debate on whether a tomato is a vegetable or a fruit, make sure to bring up whether a banana is a fruit or an herb!
Fact #71 – November 16th, 2022
Cheese is a really complex food item. It starts out as milk, but it is left out to essentially rot in the presence of bacteria and mold until it reaches the preferred shade, scent, or shape. The French might tell you to wait until the cheese is firm but soft, while the Italians might tell you to wait until there are distinguishable layers in the cheese. Milk is mostly made from carbohydrates and proteins, but cheese is mostly made from lipids (fats). No matter what your preferred cheese is, the 4,000-year old food has caused many riots and wars, mostly because of taxes on food. That’s how influential cheese is.
Fact #70 – November 6th, 2022
In most places, birthdays are celebrated by eating cake. However, in South Korea, birthdays are celebrated by drinking a special type of seaweed soup called miyeokguk. After Korean mothers give birth, they eat this seaweed soup to revitalize themselves and return to their original health. Traditionally, this soup is drank three times a day for the first 100 days after giving birth. The length of 100 days is symbolic because if a baby lives past that, they should be healthy enough to live a long and prosperous life. This soup is drank on the birthdays to honor the sacrifices that their mothers made for them.
Fact #69 – October 19th, 2022
Tea is among the most popular drinks ever made. There are so many varieties from each and every corner of the world. Different cultures have their own purposes, which use different leaves, and brewing methods, which offer different results. Throughout the world, a majority of tea consumption is through hot tea, the original variant. However, 80% of the tea drank in the United States is iced or sweet tea!
Fact #68 – October 13th, 2022
Enzymes are proteins inside your body that break apart and digest (almost) everything that you consume. Most enzymes in your body are suited to the temperature and pH level where they exist. When you have a raised temperature from a fever, your enzymes denature (distort) and you are not able to digest food quickly. This is why doctors tell you to eat foods that are easy to digest when you are sick, your digestive capabilities are not at their 100%.
Fact #67 – September 18th, 2022
Many animals are killed each year, mostly for human consumption. But how many? An article posted a few weeks ago stated that over 50 billion (9 zeroes) land animals are killed each year! This does not account for fish, which are killed in such quantity that the number can only be approximated from the total weight of all fish killed. Estimates come in at over 2 trillion (combining wild and farmed) fish killed and consumed per year!
Fact #66 – September 14th, 2022
Today’s theme of facts is space! Did you know that the first food ever eaten in space was pureed meat and chocolate sauce? Weird combination, right? Well actually, chocolate is put on meat products all the time. They go well together because they share compounds with each other, although I’m sure they taste better when they aren’t in sauce form. And the first crop planted in space? Potatoes! They are a quick source of energy, being many composed of starch, which is a chain of sugars. If you ever throw a space-themed party, include these foods to make it historically accurate!
Fact #65 – August 24th, 2022
Who knew cilantro would be so controversial? Half the world knows cilantro as a refreshing herb that doesn’t really taste like anything. The other half has a stronger opinion, stating that it tastes like soap. How does this plant taste like a cleansing product? Well, aldehyde chemicals are very subtle, and only people with a certain gene can taste them. These chemicals are found in cilantro AND soap. If you have the gene to pick up the aldehyde chemicals, your brain will be able to draw the connection between the two, so whenever you eat or smell cilantro, it’s like eating or smelling a bar of soap.
Fact #64 – August 21st, 2022
Did you know that your tongue can pick up six different flavors? Each food has at least one of these flavors, and the balances can have different effects on you. The flavors are sweet, savory, sour, spicy, and umami. Sweet flavors are influenced by sugar levels, and savory flavors by salt. Sourness can be induced by citric flavors, while spiciness can come from capsaicin. Finally, umami is the taste that comes from seafood, meats, cheeses, soy products, mushrooms, tomatoes, kimchi, and green tea. It is the most complex taste. Sometimes, the flavor of ‘bitter’ is included, but for most tongues, it is similar to sour.
Fact #63 – August 14th, 2022
Frank Epperson is known as the 11-year-old who accidentally created the popsicle in 1905. He had left a cup of soda with a stirring stick out in the freezing night, and by the time he woke up and noticed, it had been frozen into the earliest popsicle. But then, he continued his innovation and froze fruit juice around vanilla ice cream. He had invented the creamsicle!
Fact #62 – July 14th, 2022
It’s a known fact that foods expire as time goes on. Milk expires quickly, bread expires after a decent amount of time, but there is one food that never expires. This food is honey! Honey does not expire because expiry is a process which cannot occur on honey. For expiry to occur, there need to be bacterias and microscopic organisms that may form mold. Honey has a low pH, so the organisms wouldn’t be able to survive long enough to have an impact on the longevity of honey’s life.
Fact #61 – July 13th, 2022
Out of all the ways to cook a steak, ironically, the most common ways to cook it leave it mostly uncooked. Blue rare, rare, medium rare, and even medium, leave the insides of the slab of meat red and bright. Why is it okay to leave steak raw but not chicken? Well, the reason why we cook food in general is to get rid of disease and bacteria that may be on the food. In chicken, the bacteria can get inside the meat and contaminate the entire piece of meat. On steaks, the bacteria is only able to touch the surface of the meat, which means that only the surface needs to be cooked. In the methods mentioned earlier, the surface is fully cooked, which makes it okay to consume!
Fact #60 – July 7th, 2022
Coffee is known to be one of the most popular sources of energy. In the morning, throughout the day, even a nice, warm cup in the evening. Coffee contains caffeine. Caffeine stimulates your brain and heart, while also increasing your blood pressure. The 100mg of caffeine does more work than the 2 calories. Apples are the complete opposite. Apples are also a great source of energy, and highly debated to be an even more efficient source than a cup of coffee. Apples have about 100 calories, and 20 grams of fructose sugar. This theoretically would provide more energy for your body. At the end of the day, apples are healthier than coffee, and a fruit should always be your first choice over a stimulant.
Fact #59 – June 12th, 2022
Ginger Ale and Ginger Beer are two soft drinks which are misleadingly named after alcoholic drinks. They are both unique drinks with quite different origin stories. Ginger ale was created in Ireland by a surgeon. Its base was made from ginger and sugar, but not enough ginger to cause fermentation. This means that even the original ginger ale was not alcoholic. Ginger beer, however, did originally contain alcohol, almost 11% of it, making it more alcoholic than most modern beers. When people found that carbonating it instead of fermenting it produced a healthier and more flavorful drink, everyone went for it!
Fact #58 – June 8th, 2022
Watermelons are an extremely popular fruit, among the most common of all tropical fruits. To celebrate the weather getting warmer in the Northern Hemisphere, here are a few facts about watermelon, one of the best summer treats! Watermelons contain 92% water, making it’s namesake appropriate. Watermelon rind is so dense that explorers often collected and stored water in emptied watermelons! Watermelon also plays a role in history, as a recipe for pickled watermelon rind was found in the first cookbook ever! Ancient Egyptains also drew many hieroglypics related to watermelons, and deeply engrained them into their culture.
Fact #57 – May 25th, 2022
I’m sure that we’ve all felt like going to sleep after consuming a large and hearty meal. This is because your digestive system is working so hard to break down all the food that your mouth gets dehydrated and you get sleepy. But what are the healthiest foods to have before sleeping? Well, if you want a food, then almonds, pistachios, and walnuts are beneficial before sleeping. If you want a drink, try chamomile tea, or any herb-based tea. These foods will keep your digestive system working but not in overdrive, while still giving you a sleepy sensation.
Fact #56 – May 18th, 2022
Some famous brands of sports and energy drinks advertise electrolytes. But what drink truly has the most electrolytes? Well, the natural juice from a coconut have been used as a source of electrolytes including potassium and sodium since ancient times. And it turns out, it is among the most highly concentrated drink in terms of electrolytes. Electrolytes help conduct the electric charge that runs through your body. This charge helps your nervous system function. Muscle contraction, pH balance, and hydration follow along.
Fact #55 – May 15th, 2022
Happy National Chocolate Chip Day! Did you know that chocolate chip cookies were made before chocolate chips were? This is because they were created for the purpose of going in the cookie, and were only separated as their own item later on. Chocolate chip cookies gained popularity in 1937, and Nestle started selling the actual chocolate chips in 1940.
Fact #54 – May 11th, 2022
Carnivorous and animal diets have become increasingly popular as people seek out more ways to get all the vitamins and nutrients they need with the least amount of calories. If you have ever seen a carnivorous or animal diet, you would know that beef liver shows up a lot in these contexts. What is so special about this? Well, the meat that forms the liver is extremely high in iron and vitamin B, making it one of the most highly concentrated parts of the cow based off of nutrients. Liver meat also helps your blood cells by keeping them healthy, which is important when people are consuming 5 times the recommended daily value of caffeine!
Fact #53 – May 1st, 2022
Milkshakes are an extremely common dessert nowadays. But before our modern age of technology, people who liked milkshakes had to mix them by hand, as former food processors weren’t equipped for a thick liquid like a milkshake. In 1922, Steven Poplawski created a specialized blender made just for milkshakes. From there, milkshakes evolved into the next level. They became more delicate, aerated, and convenient. These qualities helped milkshakes rise to the #6 spot in the most popular desserts in America.
Fact #52 – April 20th, 2022
Did you know that olive oil and corn oil are tied for the most calorie dense foods? 16.8 fluid ounces (one pound) of each oil comes in at 4,010 calories! This means that if someone were to consume 2,000 calories (daily recommendation) of olive oil, it would be just over 1 cup. Knowing which foods are calorie dense and which aren’t can play a big role in your diet, so make sure to research the foods that you eat!
PS: When choosing between olive and corn oil, sway towards olive oil, as it has additional health benefits and is considered as one of the healthiest oils.
Fact #51 – April 3rd, 2022
Happy Chocolate Mousse Day! Mousse is a French dish, and a simple dessert for aspiring chefs. Did you know that savory mousses came before the sweet chocolatey ones we know and love today? This is because the practice of making dishes from foam or cream originated from before the time chocolate was even introduced to France!
Fact #50 – March 30th, 2022
Have you ever wondered what exactly white chocolate is? Whether it actually is chocolate? Well, that depends on your definition of chocolate. White chocolate is made from cocoa butter, a fat derived from the cacao plant. There are also many additives, such as palm oil, sweeteners, and fillers to give the chocolate more body. If your definition of chocolate is “a food product made from roasted and ground cacao pods”, then unfortunately, white chocolate is not chocolate. But if your definition is more loose, simply “a food product made from parts of the cacao plant”, then yes, white chocolate is chocolate!
Fact #49 – March 20th, 2022
When you consume any form of sugar, then your body retrieves all the glucose that is possible to obtain. It then uses this glucose to power your cells. But if there is excess glucose, it is then stored as a substance called glycogen. Glycogen builds up in the liver and in muscles. What is special about glycogen? Well, the moment your body needs energy again, the glycogen breaks apart and fuels your cells!
Fact #48 – March 12th, 2022
To celebrate National Girl Scout Day, I would like to inform you about the least unhealthy Girl Scout cookies! This cookie has 120 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 110 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of sugar, and one gram of protein. It is infamous for it’s extremely plain flavor, but some people love it because of that characteristic. If you weren’t able to tell from the image, the least unhealthy Girl Scout cookies are Trefoils!
Fact #47 – March 8th, 2022
Lobsters and crabs are known for being the most famous crustaceans. They both have meat which is quite famous among seafood. Lobster meat is known to be chewy, tough, and salty. Crab meat is soft, delicate, and sweet. Both of these meats are enjoyed with different toppings and sides, but they are both still iconic among seafood.
Fact #46 – February 18th, 2022
The last full week of February marks the week known as “National Chip Week”, or “National French Fry Week” to most. Did you know that Belgians have been frying frenched potatoes since the 17th century? This means that they’ve been making French Fries for 200 years longer than they’ve been an independent country!
Fact #45 – February 14th, 2022
Happy Valentine’s Day! During the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, people spend $524,000,000 in the US alone! This puts Valentine’s day ahead of Halloween with $383,000,000, but behind Christmas at $776,000,000 and Easter at $935,000,000. Whether you’re single or you have a partner to celebrate with, chocolates are a staple of Valentine’s Day.
Fact #44 – February 8th, 2022
When someone thinks of carrots, good eyesight always comes to mind. The general public believes that carrots do help your vision, but are they correct? The reason why carrots go side-by-side with good eyesight and healthy eyes is that they are high in a nutrient called beta carotene. When your body receives this nutrient, it converts it into vitamin A, which is crucial for eye health. At the end of the day, any healthy food that is high in vitamin A can be good for your eyes. Carrots are just one of the foods that have more vitamin A and others.
Fact #43 – February 6th, 2022
When you imagine a chef, you imagine a person wearing a long white apron with an iconic folded hat. Have you ever wondered why this hat has gone so hand in hand with the idea of a chef over history? Well, there are 100 folds in an official chef’s hat. This represents the supposed 100 ways to cook an egg, which is the most basic food in many cultures. Any good chef has to be able to make a good egg dish. A few of these 100 ways include boiled, scrambled (soft or hard), poached, baked, basted, fried, shirred, coddled, and pickled. Some of these may be familiar, some not so familiar. Eggs are one of the most versatile basic ingredients that should be in any chef’s artillery, and it is a healthy food that fills you up.
Fact #42 – February 1, 2022
Bagels are among the most famous breakfast foods on the East Coast of the United States. Bagels have a unique texture, dense, yet still enjoyable. Many families have their own recipes, but the original plain bagel was first baked in a Jewish community in Poland. Bagels are more complex than an average loaf of bread, as they require careful attention through their multiple stages of cooking. They need to be boiled before they are baked. This helps the crust form better and more evenly. Something to remember, bagels to fill you up more than bread. They have more calories and carbohydrates on average.
Fact #41 – January 25th, 2022
McDonald’s uses canola oil for all of it’s frying needs. Contrary to popular belief, canola oil is not on the unhealthy side of oils. It is low in saturated fat, high in unsaturated fat, and an interesting compound called phytosterol. The plant which canola oil is derived from is called the rapeseed flower, and this flower has a protective membrane around it. This membrane contains phytosterols, and these compounds can help reinforce your blood and defend against foods with high-cholesterol. Now, just because canola is not unhealthy, that doesn’t mean that it is healthy. Canola oil has very low amounts of vitamins and minerals. For nutrition, stick to olive oil, avocado oil, and sunflower oil.
Fact #40 – January 17th, 2022
White bread is unhealthy. In almost every way possible. To begin with, white bread has low nutritional value. There are barely any vitamins and minerals. Next, it digests very quickly. This means that it doesn’t fill you up for a long time. This also means that your blood absorbs the food too fast for your enzymes to break it down all the way. This means that almost all of the sugar in the bread gets absorbed by your blood. This quick digestion time will also make you want to reach out for another food, and binge eating is unhealthy. A final con to eating white bread still has to do with digestion. Since it digests so quickly, you might need to go to the bathroom pretty soon after consuming white bread. But if you didn’t consume any fiber with the meal that contained the white bread, good luck. Buy bread that is coated in grains, and make sure you buy whole wheat bread from now on.
Fact #39 – January 13th, 2022
While baking food, the items “Baking Soda”, and “Baking Powder” have been used more and more often over the last few decades. After realizing that baking soda is also a powder, it begs the question; What is the difference between baking soda and baking powder? Baking soda is a non-acidic compound derived from sodium bicarbonate. Baking powder is a compound which is made from the non-acidic baking soda and an added amount of dry acid, usually sodium aluminum sulfate. They both work the same way, the heat from the oven causes a chemical reaction with the compounds, which causes them to release carbon dioxide and puff up the item which is being baked. It creates air pockets which are then filled in with expanding batter. In a way, baking soda is the parent of baking powder. You use the former for recipes that do not require acidic flavors and the textures which might be introduced by the lack of acidity in the baking agent. But the latter gets a bit toned down by the acid. The texture of the food might change, along with the flavor. In a recipe where both agents are transposable, use a ratio of 1:3, because the power of one teaspoon of baking soda is equivalent to that of a tablespoon of baking powder.
Fact #38 – January 11th, 2022
Eating vegetables raw have many benefits. You get the maximum amount of vitamins and antioxidants. The negatives include less carotenoids, which means less color, and longer time to digest. Steaming and boiling the vegetables can improve the color by a lot. They also put less stress on your intestines. Steaming has more benefits than boiling, as flavor retention has been proven to be better. Along with a very obvious better texture. Boiling foods can result in a slimy layer forming around them, which is not appealing. Whichever way you choose to cook your vegetables, make sure that the cooking style is good for your body and your needs.
Fact #37 – January 10th, 2022
All edible plants can be separated into two categories. Plants that continue to ripen after taken off of the stem, and plants that can only ripen while still attached to their stem. A common example of the former are bananas. Bananas are infamous for turning brown so quickly after reaching their peak yellow color. An example for plants that do not ripen after being harvested are grapes. Grapes do not continue to ripen after being harvested, even though they are still connected by the stem. Their uniquely structured stem also helps maintain the quality of the grape, because most grapes can last up to 2 weeks after being harvested!
Fact #36 – January 6th, 2022
In the category of meat production, poultry is bird meat. Though it is made up of meat from all birds around the world, the three most common birds that make up the poultry industry are chickens, ducks, and turkey. Chicken has the most protein, followed closely by turkey and duck is a bit further away. In regards to fat content, chicken also tops the list. This time, it is followed closely by duck. Turkey has the least fat. Since all these birds have different nutrition facts and benefits, vary your diet. Try to switch up which poultries you are consuming.
Fact #35 – January 5th, 2022
Over time, bacteria have gotten a bad name for being repulsive, miniscule organisms which cause sickness and disease. But, as many cheesemakers would know, bacteria is simply a small organism. Different ones have different purposes, but most are not dangerous to be around, some are even fine to inhale, ingest, or absorb. Cheese is mostly bacteria, and people eat it all the time.
Fact #34 – January 3rd, 2022
The age-long battle between the convenient dried pastas and traditional homemade pastas might have finally come to an end. Many people think that the former option saves cooking time, but that is incorrect. Dried pasta takes up to 15 minutes to fully cook, as it needs to rehydrate and cook. Fresh pasta, which only needs to cook, takes about 3 minutes to cook. Preparation time might favor dried pasta, but with experience, any home chef can pop out 50 conchiglies in a minute! Overall, fresh pasta is a healthier option, and it might even be quicker, depending on how much experience the chef has.
Fact #33 – January 2nd, 2022
As many people know, different types of alcoholic beverages have been influencing our diets for centuries. Whether it is about the drink that you pair your meal with, or even the chosen drink that is used to cook the meal itself, drinks have always had a big effect on our food choices. When people add alcohol to their sauces or other foods, they usually try to evaporate some of the alcohol. This is so that the flavor of the drink remains, but it will not intoxicate anyone who consumes it. After cooking your sauce for only 15 minutes, 60% of the alcohol would have evaporated. Continue on for 15 more minutes, and you are up to 65%. The evaporation rate slows down, because it takes 3 hours to leave minimal traces of alcohol in your dish. These numbers may vary on alcohol strength and quantity.
Fact #32 – January 1st, 2022
Garlic is a very common vegetable, most commonly used for its unique flavor. I have to say, I am a huge fan of garlic. The reason why its flavor becomes more pungent when you start cutting it is because of a molecule called allicin. Allicin is a defensive procedure that garlic unleashes when its cells are damaged. Cutting it induces cell damage, causing more and more flavor to be released. Allicin can also be very beneficial for your heart.
Fact #31 – December 31st, 2021
Sous vide is a method of cooking meat which originated in France. The translation from French to English is under vacuum. Someone who wants to cook food by using sous vide would place the uncooked food in a plastic bag. This bag would then be vacuum sealed and boiled at a low temperature. It results in better coloring and even temperatures throughout the food. This method was developed by Bruno Goussalt, a French chef looking for ways to improve the texture of roast beef. Sous vide is normally used for fish fillets, chicken breasts, pork chops, steaks, lobster, eggs, and carrots.
Fact #30 – December 30th, 2021
Companies who produce poultry in bulk are infamous for plumping their chicken with water. This increases the weight of the meat. They sell 100 grams of chicken, when only 63 grams are actually chicken. 37% of common poultry is water.
Fact #29 – December 29th, 2021
I’m sure that you have heard that protein helps build muscle mass. Something that is not common knowledge is that protein helps build the muscle itself. Your body naturally repairs itself by using amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. After you consume protein, it breaks down into amino acids and rebuilds your muscle. It continues to rebuild, and then physical changes appear.
Fact #28 – December 28th, 2021
People who live in the USA are often ridiculed for their obesity rates and caloric consumption. Though there are many factors that are overlooked, these jokes do have statistical evidence backing it up. Though the US is not the first on the list for countries with the highest obesity rates, it does top the list for highest caloric consumption per capita. The recommended caloric intake worldwide is 1800 kilocalories, while the US goes with an even 2000 kilocalories. But the average caloric consumption per capita is a whopping 3,800 calories! The US must be doing something right, because they have the highest caloric intake per capita but not the highest obesity rates. Dietary guidelines exist for a reason, and consuming up to twice the amount of calories is not healthy.
Fact #27 – December 27th, 2021
Brazil is responsible for 25% of all the coffee bean productions in the world. A surprising fact is that coffee beans are not native to Brazil. In fact, it is not native to any of the Americas, which is surprising when you realize that 5 out of 10 of the top coffee producers in the world are in the Americas. Coffee beans are native to Africa, and Arabica coffee comes from Ethiopia. Brazil is the most bio-diverse country in the world, but how many of those species are actually native to Brazil?
Fact #26 – December 26th, 2021
The average American consumes 152 pounds of sugar every year! For reference, the average weight for a woman in the UK is 152 pounds. This means that the average American consumes almost half a pound of sugar every day! The FDA recommends less than 20 pounds of sugar a year. This sugar mainly comes from soft drinks, cereals, and desserts.
Fact #25 – December 25th, 2021
Merry Christmas! I hope all of you put out a glass of milk and a plate of cookies for Santa last night! Not to put a dark twist on this, but the tradition had a rather negative start. During the Great Depression, some people felt empathy for Santa and how he had to work so hard every year to produce presents for everyone. Because of this, people wanted to leave warm cookies and milk so that he could be nourished during the trying times. Even now when the economy is booming, it is still tradition. Hopefully Santa has a balanced diet, otherwise he shouldn’t be eating billions of cookies once a day every year.
Fact #24 – December 23rd, 2021
Nutmeg has become famous for being used as a seasoning. Popular during the holidays, the taste of nutmeg has become one with the Christmas spirit. Nutmeg seeds are actually the seeds of an evergreen tree, and their unique flavor comes from being dried out for extensive periods of time. It used to be traded by the Dutch East India company centuries ago, being a valuable spice. Even though nutmeg is no longer a precious spice, it is still held dear in the hearts of many people all over the world.
Fact #23 – December 4th, 2021
Happy National Cookie Day! Cookies (or biscuits) have been a household treat since the early 1600s. They have spread worldwide and become more and more famous each day. Did you know that cookies first originated in Persia during the 7th century? The first cookies were not baked, and they were a lot less sweet than modern standards. They became popular among Persians as sugar was being used more often.
Fact #22 – December 3rd, 2021
It is scientifically proven that alcohol has a more severe impact on women than men. There are three reasons for this. The first two reasons are that men’s bodies have more water and fat, proportionately and totally. The final reason for this variability is due to an enzyme called “alcohol dehydrogenase”. This enzyme helps break down and dilute alcohol before it contaminates the bloodstream. Women have up to 5 times less of this enzyme than men do. Even though men have a higher tolerance to alcohol, there are other factors, and if this enzyme is overworked, then a man will also experience liver diseases or failure. Drink and eat responsibly!
Fact #21 – November 28th, 2021
Today is National French Toast Day! French Toast is normally a breakfast dish that consists of sliced bread coated in an egg and milk combination, then cooked on a pan, and finally covered in toppings. These toppings can range from a cup of raspberries to a handful of chocolate chips and chocolate syrup. The toppings are usually what contribute towards the negative nutrition information. Though French Toast has almost double the amount of fat that pancakes do, it still has a high amount of fiber and protein, along with a low amount of sodium. To celebrate, go out to your local diner and order a French Toast with extra fruits!
Fact #20 – November 27th, 2021
Fish are the most killed animal every year. Last year, it was estimated that over 2 trillion fish were killed. Fish is an extremely healthy meat. There is a high amount of protein with a low amount of fat. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids. Fish is rich in calcium and phosphorus, iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium. Vitamins B2 and D can also be found in it. Fish is also known to reduce risk of a heart attack. At the end of the day, fish is one of the healthiest protein options out there.
Fact #19 – November 25th, 2021
Happy Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is an American holiday that has been celebrated for centuries. It is a holiday to celebrate all that you are thankful for. Most people celebrate by eating a lot of food, and honestly you can’t blame them. A common dessert served with Thanksgiving meals is pumpkin pie. But several pumpkin pies that are marketed to contain pumpkin as a filling don’t actually have pumpkins as filling! It is butternut squash! The reason why this substitution is made is because the type of pumpkin that is used for pies is called “sugar pumpkin”, and it is not widely available or cheap to buy. So while you’re eating your pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving, make it yourself for the true pumpkin!
Fact #18 – November 8th, 2021
The amount of farmland in the entire world is is over 18.5 million square miles, and almost 49 million square kilometers. This is 38% of land area on Earth, and 50% of all habitable land on earth. To break it down even more, 77% of this agricultural land is taken up by livestock and pastures, while only 23% of it is used for crops. The amount of farmland on the planet Earth takes up more land than the largest continent, Asia.
Fact #17 – November 7th, 2021
Today is National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day, and there are many health benefits to eating Bittersweet Chocolate. To celebrate, here are a few facts about it. 40% of almonds grown end up in some sort of chocolate. Bittersweet chocolate is defined as chocolate with over 70% concentration of cacao. Eating bittersweet chocolate can lead to lower blood pressure, lower risk of heart attack, and it helps with your blood flow by proving antioxidants and nutrients.
Fact #16 – November 6th, 2021
Tofu is a common meat substitute for people with dietary restrictions. It contains a lot of protein, calcium, and it is low on carbohydrates. If you compare a serving of chicken breast, 3 ounces, to 3 ounces of tofu, then you can see the drastic difference between meats and meat substitutes. The serving of chicken would have 21 grams of protein and 3.5 grams of fat. The tofu would have 8 grams of protein and 4 grams of fat. Though tofu seems like a worse choice, there are other qualities that set it apart, which are factors that are not based on the numbers. Tofu is a healthy choice, and it is a better choice for vegans than most fake meats. Tofu is a good choice, and comparing it to real meats is not fair game.
Fact #15 – November 3rd, 2021
Out of all the countries in the world, there is one whose top selling soft drink is NOT a Coca-Cola product. This country is Scotland. Scotland’s top selling soft drink is a fruit flavored soda called Irn-Bru (Iron-Brew). However, this drink only dominates Scotland; top selling drinks worldwide include Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Red Bull, Pepsi, Fanta, Sprite, Gatorade, Dr. Pepper, and Mountain Dew.
Fact #14 – November 2nd, 2021
McDonald’s has more customers in one day than the entire population of the United Kingdom. McDonald’s has over 68 million customers a day, with the United Kingdom only taking claim to 4 million of those customers. Out of the United Kingdom’s population of 67 million, 6% of the UK go to McDonald’s every day.
Fact #13 – October 31st, 2021
Happy Halloween! To celebrate Halloween, today’s fact is about candy! Did you know that Smarties contain the least amount of calories per ounce. With a serving size of 7 grams (one roll), it has 25 calories and 6 grams of sugar. Though it seems unhealthy due to 85% of the candy being pure sugar, the low-calorie and zero-fat components make it a better option than other candies.
Fact #12 – August 19th, 2021
The appendix is located in your lower abdomen, and it coils around your colon. Over the millenias, humans have evolved and the appendix has become a useless organ, famous for causing appendicitis. But what was its original purpose? By looking at the structure of the appendix, and diets that humans used to follow, scientists have deducted that its purpose used to be for digesting tree bark. Since a humans diet was mostly herbivourous, it would make sense that that would consume tree bark. If you have read my blog on the types of sugars, you will know that xylose is a sugar that appears in tree bark.
Fact #11 – August 12th, 2021
Did you know that there are multiple types of sugars? The 4 main types of sugars are glucose, sucrose, lactose, and fructose. Sucrose is the most simple one to go over. It is table sugar, probably the one you are most familiar with. Then, there is glucose. This is a sugar which some plants produce to feed themselves. After that, there is fructose, which is what makes fruits sweet. Finally, there is lactose, a sugar found in all dairy products. A trick to help identify sugars is with the suffix “ose”. A few other sugars, which are less common, are galactose, maltose, and xylose.
Fact #10 – August 11th, 2021
Did you know that burning calories is measured in two ways? Active calories is the most popular one. These are the calories that you burn while exercising. But there are other calories that you burn, as your body functions throughout the day. When your heart beats, your blood pumps through your veins, there are more calories being added to your total caloric burn. Remember to factor in your total calories!
Fact #9 – July 29th, 2021
The biggest reason why Fast Food is a problem is addiction. Like any other addiction, an addiction to fast food starts out small. When you eat fast food, it is designed to release dopamine in your brain. If you are not familiar with dopamine, it is a naturally produced chemical which induces happiness. When you eat fast food, your brain connects the dopamine to fast food, and an addiction may sprout. These are the marketing strategies that billion dollar companies use to get you hooked in. They have no regard for your health, only your money.
Fact #8 – July 28th, 2021
The general public has become familiar with the term “Junk Food”. It has come to a term we use to describe foods that are unhealthy, or “junk”. But it actually means more than what we might think it is. Junk Food is food that has been processed and contains more sugar and unhealthy fats than fibers and nutrients. It is food that doesn’t really have a meaning, which is why it is compared to junk and trash.
Fact #7 – July 27th, 2021
Humans are an omnivorous species. But some people have different dietary requirements. Here, I will break down different types of diets which people follow. A plain omnivore can eat all types of meats, plants, and animal products. A step under this is a pescatarian. Pescatarians can only eat fish meat. Some pescatarians also eat white meat, pollo-pescatarians. A step after this is a vegetarian, someone who cuts out all meat products. Keep in mind, vegetarians still consume animal products such as milk, honey, and usually eggs. The final step is veganism. This is when you also cut out honey, milk and eggs, leaving no animal products whatsoever. There are also a few other diets which I’m not going to review here, but if you want to check them out, look below:
Fact #6 – July 26th, 2021
Ginger Ale has been scientifically proved to help an upset stomach. Natural ginger root has properties that can soothe any nausea and inflammation. Something to keep in mind is that popular brands of ginger ale contain low amounts of actual ginger, so make sure to read the fine print!
Fact #5 – July 25th, 2021
You might be familiar with Tic Tac, a company that sells small mints, and advertises 0 grams of sugar. What if I told you this wasn’t true. The FDA says that if a food product has under 0.5 grams per serving, it can be labelled as no sugar. If you look closely at the Tic Tac nutrition facts, it says that the serving size is one mint. They market this knowing that you are going to consume more than the suggested serving size. They wouldn’t even be liable for someone eating a “normal” amount.
Fact #4 – July 24th, 2021
There are 3 different groups of fat. Saturated fat, unsaturated fat, and trans fat. Saturated fat is especially high in animal products, such as dairy, eggs, and red meat. White meat and fish also contain small amounts of saturated fat. Trans fat is fat which has been modified through a process to increase its shelf life. Something important is that trans fat is known to be the unhealthiest for your body. Finally, there is unsaturated fat, which can be seen as the healthiest. It is most common in oils from plants. These are the least harmful to your cholestrol levels, and can actually improve them. Remember, all fats are nutrients and should be eaten in moderation.
Fact #3 – July 23rd, 2021
Your digestive system can process natural foods at a moderate, healthy pace. But whilst processing unhealthy fast foods, it can zip through them up to four times faster, leaving you hungry again. Though some of the cheaper options at fast food restaurants seem like better options, you are actually getting less than what you pay for. Stay healthy!
Fact #2 – July 22nd, 2021
McDonald’s is famous for its collection of soft drinks. But did you know that one of their most famous drinks, a strawberry milkshake, consists of over 50 chemicals? These chemicals are there to imitate a fresh strawberry flavor, so that their milkshakes taste good and still attract customers. Wouldn’t you rather have a fresh, homemade strawberry milkshake?
Fact #1 – July 21st, 2021
Companies that produce meat and milk in large quantities treat their cows in a very harsh manner. They have a complete disregard for their health, and only care about the amount of meat and milk they produce. Since these cows aren’t living in a proper environment, they produce almost 15% of carbon emissions!
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