Whether you consider food solely as fuel or you eat to taste every flavor and texture, everyone needs food to survive and carry out their daily tasks. Whether you crave Hershey kisses or reach for a plate of carrots, we rounded up some of the strangest and most fascinating food facts that you probably never knew.
Keep scrolling to educate yourself and impress friends at your next dinner party.
Be cautious next time you bake or buy something vanilla-flavored because artificial vanilla has castoreum, which is a product that comes from a gland in a beaver’s butt.
Everyone’s favorite store-bought salad dressing has a weird ingredient. Ranch, for example, contains titanium dioxide, which is what’s used in sunscreen to give it its bright white color.
The sundae, which must be ordered at least 48 hours in advance, comes complete with three scoops of Tahitian vanilla ice cream covered in 23-karat gold leaf, as well as almonds, caviar and a sugar-forged orchid that takes eight hours to build. The dish is served in a $350 Baccarat crystal goblet (lined with more 23-karat gold leaf), with an 18-karat gold spoon on the side.
It features only the highest quality ingredients, including expensive chocolate from Tuscany and vanilla beans imported from Madagascar. Even the candied fruit on top provides a thrill of luxury — it comes from Paris.
"It's the most extravagant, opulent thing you can purchase in New York City," Serendipity owner Stephen Bruce tells CNBC.
Weirdly enough, cotton candy was actually invented in 1897 by a dentist. He partnered with a confectioner and they created cotton candy, which at the time was called “Fairy Floss.” Eventually, another dentist created a similar fairy floss machine in 1921 and called the confection “cotton candy,” which stuck better than the previous name.
Breaking news: White chocolate isn’t really chocolate. White chocolate doesn’t contain the dark chocolate cacao solids, which means it’s not chocolate. It does contain a ton of cocoa butter.
Potatoes were the first vegetables ever planted in space. They were first brought into space in October 1995 while abroad Space Shuttle Columbia in its Microgravity Astroculture Laboratory.
Pufferfish is a delicacy in Japan, despite the Tetrodotoxin it has in it. If the fish isn’t prepared correctly, it can easily kill the enamored eater. Since it’s so dangerous, chefs are required to train two-plus years and then take an extremely challenging exam (which a third of applicants fail).
Corn is one of the most versatile crops out there. In fact, there are over 4,000 different uses for corn. It can be found in anything from your pet’s food to fireworks.
Cauliflower isn’t just white. The veggie comes in four different colors, including orange and purple. The next time you’re shopping, pick one of the colorful cauliflowers to enjoy additional nutrients and benefits.
Cashews are related to poison ivy and poison sumac, and oils in their shells cause an itchy, unpleasant reaction on your skin. Roasting the de-shelled cashews at high temperatures destroys any lingering toxic oils, which is why you're perfectly safe eating commercially prepared cashews.
This may be one of the grossest food facts that is sadly true. The slimy little creatures are totally alive as they slide down your throat because dead oysters are not safe to eat. Once an oyster is plucked from the deep blue sea, their lifespan is extremely short, which means that restaurants need to get them on your plate ASAP. Live oysters are the only safe ones to eat because dead oysters harbor large amounts of bacteria that will make you sick.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey. That number includes irrigation for the grains and grasses that the cattle feed on, plus water for drinking and processing. A good step toward being more environmentally friendly may be swapping out that juicy hamburger for a soybean burger. In fact, one pound of soybeans requires only 216 gallons of water in comparison!
Honey in its natural state is very low in moisture and very acidic: two primary defenses against food spoilage. In a low-moisture and high-acid environment like a sealed jar, bacteria will die almost immediately, according to the Honey and Pollination Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute at University of California.
This could explain why archaeologists have found pots of honey from thousands of years ago that still looked fresh.
It is a myth, however, that honey is the only food that will last forever: salt, sugar, and raw rice also have eternal shelf lives.
The phrase "candy will rot your teeth" has probably been drilled into your head since you were a kid. But there are many foods out there that are worse for your dental hygiene than candy, like crackers. That's because acid — not sugar — is the major cause of tooth decay.
"Ever notice how saltine crackers or Goldfish become sticky in your mouth as you're chewing them?" Dr. Mark Burhenne of Askthedentist.com said. "Even better for the bacteria, that sticky goo gets stuck between your teeth and the bacteria can feast for even longer."
Nutmeg may be the perfect addition to your hot beverage, but don't sprinkle on too much. Eating too much nutmeg can have the physical effects of a hallucinogenic drug, including out-of-body sensations, nausea, dizziness, and sluggish brain activity.
But, according to The New York Times, it takes a lot of nutmeg— more than two tablespoons — to start feeling the spice's drug-like effects, so there's no need to worry too much.