Food myths

January 19th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The HoS reports:

Turned down a McDonald’s thickshake this summer because you’ve heard it contains pig fat? Given up drinking diet cola because of cancer fears? Swapped margarine for butter because you’ve heard table spreads are just one molecule away from plastic?

These are three of the most common myths about – and experts say misinformation about is worryingly widespread.

Had not heard that third one.

Consumer NZ food writer Belinda Allan said there were myths and misinformation about almost all kinds of food. “There have even been myths about broccoli being bad for you.”

Some of the most pervasive are that organic foods are better for you, oysters improve your sex life, Diet Coke causes cancer and – one of the most common – canola oil was used to make mustard gas and should not be eaten by humans.

A few rave about oysters, but it is really a placebo effect.

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19 Responses to “Food myths”

  1. radvad (755 comments) says:

    As my dear old father always said “Nothing will kill you quicker than food”.

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  2. bhudson (4,738 comments) says:

    Let us also not forget the wisdom of Neil (Wheedon Watkins Pye) – “everyone knows, sugar rots your teeth and gives you brain damage”

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  3. Bob (496 comments) says:

    We should warn people not to put salt on their food. Salt is made up of two poisons sodium and chlorine. I believe chlorine is an ingredient of mustard gas and is used to disinfect swimming pools.

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  4. 3-coil (1,215 comments) says:

    Bob: everything in moderation. Salt-free diet can be fatal – remember The Salt Prince?

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  5. jcuk (668 comments) says:

    Sacharine caused cancer, or something nasty, in laboratory rats …. so my professionally informed son told me …. then added … when given massive amounts :) So I continue to use it in small quanities except when I pig-out with sugar in an occasional white coffee from BP.

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  6. gravedodger (1,552 comments) says:

    If I had spurned every food that had at sometime in my life been suggested as harmful it would today be oatmeal porridge sans salt for my diet.

    Met a young Scotsman years ago who was interested in my starting every day with Porridge.
    One of his great uncles had made oatmeal porridge once a week and poured it into a kitchem drawer from where he took a slice each day cold.

    Recall that quite serious impact add at the height of the marge/butter war last century;
    Mummy what is butter made from? answer fresh cream salt and water.
    What is margarine made from? oh go and ask your father, he’s the chemist!

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  7. fernglas (147 comments) says:

    I had a half dozen oysters at the restaurant last night, and only four of them worked.

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  8. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Sunday breakfast

    4 rashers, two eggs, 4 slices white toast heavily buttered, 1 fried tomato, all lightly salted ran out of Worcestershire sauce which was a piss off.

    To quote the late great Warren Zevon ” Life will kill ya” so enjoy yourselves and stop listening to wankers who have to publish shit to get grants in order to pay their bills

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  9. dubya (229 comments) says:

    Incidentally, I’m reading ‘Bad Science’ by Ben Goldacre at the moment. Great chapter on the ridiculous claims made by the nutritionist industry and the compliant ‘science’ reporters in the media!

    Facebook has been guilty of helping spread food myths. This one is a friend’s status from a few weeks ago:

    “Guess which one your body knows how to process?:

    Kumara Chips
    Ingredients; Kumara, rice bran oil, salt and pepper

    Eta Corn Chips
    Ingredients; corn, vegetable oil [antioxidents 319, 330], salsa flavor [ sugar, salt, vegetable powder, flavor enhancers 621 627 631, flavor, acidity regulators 262 330, maltodextrin spices, acticaking agent 551, colour 160c]

    #food #foodporn #paleo”

    FFS. Your body can process both of those, quite easily.

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  10. Psycho Milt (2,411 comments) says:

    Swapped margarine for butter because you’ve heard table spreads are just one molecule away from plastic?

    Well, that would be ridiculous, wouldn’t it. Swapping margarine for butter because marge is appalling greasy processed shite assembled in a factory out of stuff you wouldn’t want to eat, on the other hand…

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  11. dime (9,855 comments) says:

    dubya – paleo people get a bit cult like.. kinda like cross fit people.

    paleo people always projecting, telling you how good their boring ass food is as they kid themselves they are enjoying their baked kale leaves with bean dip or whatever.

    paleo works, but goddam its boring.

    theres also this big push to buy organic food that is grown closely to where you live. it will be fresher and have more nutrients blah blah

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  12. wat dabney (3,724 comments) says:

    Ben Goldacre has managed to make a complete arse of himself with global warming though.

    He swallows that whole scam like a true believer.

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  13. brucehoult (195 comments) says:

    I’ve always figured it was more if he can stand to eat oysters then it’s safe to assume he’ll eat anything.

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  14. MT_Tinman (3,130 comments) says:

    because you’ve heard table spreads are just one molecule away from plastic?

    I’ve never heard that one but taste suggests margarine is no more than one step away from used sump oil.

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  15. MH (711 comments) says:

    and all that sugar in watties baked beans. I just eat labels and lick a bar code now and then.

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  16. Michael (904 comments) says:

    From what I’ve learned about diet, health and lifestyle from reading the newspaper, watching the news, reading articles on the internet…

    We’re all going to die. Of something. Eventually.

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  17. MH (711 comments) says:

    it’s the waiting I can’t stand.

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  18. nickb (3,686 comments) says:

    Lay off the chips, pies and excessively processed foods. Boom

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  19. Viking2 (11,412 comments) says:

    More nanay state bullshit.
    After years of selling a product it now under investigation because of that fucking twat Dunne and his rules.

    Unapproved hemp food products have been hastily removed from store shelves after it was revealed they had not been cleared for human consumption.

    Unwitting consumers have been pouring the unapproved milk substitute on their cereal and into their coffees, and mixing the protein powder into smoothies and baking, for more than a year. (who the fuck says they were unwitting??????)

    The Ministry for Primary Industries is investigating after the Sunday Star-Times discovered unapproved products including hemp-seed milk and protein powder for sale in New Zealand shops.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/food-wine/9625520/Fans-lose-daily-fix-of-hemp-milk

    so the Sunday Star Times (a despicable rag), wanted another headline. Sooner its closed the better.

    Disclaimer. Never used the stuff but it has been used for years.

    Ministry food manager Glen Neal said it would investigate claims that hemp foods were being sold. “The FSANZ process regarding the sale of hemp food products is not completed yet, so it is not possible to sell any parts of the hemp seed, other than hemp seed oil, in New Zealand.”

    Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye said the ministry had advised her it was looking into claims that hemp foods were being wrongly sold.

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