Believe it or not, there are dozens of food myths that have been around for decades or even centuries, slowly gaining traction in the public’s mind.
Often times they are simply harmless old wives tales or broad conjecture, other times they can actually cost you time or even money. Debunking them generally takes a mixture of simple science and common sense, but educating the masses is usually far more difficult. Discussed below are some of the most common food myths, how they came about, and why they are simply not true. The information will hopefully save you some time, money, and stress on your next shopping trip.
1 Wooden Cutting Boards and Meat
This is perhaps one of the most long standing myths around, and you may have even told a friend about it at some point in your life. The theory is that the knife will make tiny cuts in the wood, where meat particles will settle in and slowly become rancid.
Recent research has actually proven that this is completely false, and plastic cutting boards may actually be riskier than wooden ones. Both, however, were proven safe to use with meat, so breathe easy next time you play butcher.
2 Adding Salt to Boiling Water Helps
The logic with this is that adding salt actually changes the boiling point, helping bring it to a boil quicker and cook food more efficiently.
In reality, however, the amount of salt you would have to add to a pot of water for it to make a noticeable difference in the boiling point would effectively turn it into an inedible solution that is mostly, well, salt. Adding salt helps with flavor and other properties, but it will do absolutely nothing to save you time in the kitchen.
3 Low Fat Foods are Better
This is not only a common food myth, but also a very common diet fallacy. Most people think that “low fat” means that the food is safe to eat for any diet. This would only be true if only fat made you fat. In reality, calories make you fat regardless of where they come from, and fat is only one source of them.
Most low fat foods are absolutely jam-packed with simple carbohydrates and sodium, among other things. Most such foods are more prone to adding inches to your waistline than their “regular fat” counterparts. If you see something labeled “low-fat”, look at the nutritional facts with skepticism.
3 Milk is the Best For your Bones
This has been one of milk’s selling points as of late because of it’s high calcium content and the fact that most of it is now fortified with Vitamin D. Yet there are other foods that are high in calcium and Vitamin D, and other vitamins and minerals that are necessary for good bone health.
Dark leafy greens have plenty of calcium and Vitamin K and Magnesium, which are also an integral part of good bone welfare. Not that milk isn’t good for you, but it just isn’t the best, or most complete, solution in the grocery store.