Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Fun Food Facts!

Morning Glory

The inspiration for this post comes from my Instagram page. Having seen Morning Glory on a menu and discovering that it is a tasty green leafy vegetable (also known as water spinach), I decided to see if anyone knew what it was. Getting an encouraging response from my lovely IG friends, I posted another couple of mystery pics, including hints.
Chilli (peppers)

It’s the hints (fun facts) that I want to expand on here. For example, on my Instagram photos I shared that birds can’t taste chilli (peppers) heat, otherwise they wouldn’t spread the seeds, and that mustard leaves are used to remove heavy metals from the soil.

Mustard Leaf

Want some more interesting fun food facts that you can impress your friends with in casual conversation? Then read on…

Did you know that: 

Scientists have turned peanut butter into diamonds. 

Yes, it’s true. Dan Frost and his colleagues in Germany are trying to understand the way diamonds are made deep in the earth’s core, as a means to comprehend how the earth was formed. It sounds like the peanut butter was a bit of a media stunt, but it still worked.

Coconut water has been used in emergency situations for intravenous hydration. 

I think I'd prefer to be in a hospital, but if you're stuck, coconut water has been used intravenously. Although some people claim it’s identical to human blood plasma, this is stretching the truth a little. Coconut water does however have a good balance of electrolytes, and makes a wonderful replacement for sugar filled sports drinks (that people somehow deceive themselves into believing are healthy).

Eating too many carrots can turn your skin orange. 

It’s called carotenemia (seriously), but unless you have an underlying illness causing the condition, it’s harmless. When my oldest son went through a stage of eating excessive numbers of carrots he did start looking a bit orange, but it reduced as he ate fewer carrots. Whilst we’re on the subject, did you know that carrots were originally purple (you can still find purple carrots if you look hard enough, but they’re in the minority).

Cacao beans were once used as a form of currency. 

We all love chocolate, but imagine using it instead of money! Well the Aztecs did. Although it was highly prized and used to barter with, it wasn’t until later that sugar was added. Now of course people are rediscovering the amazing health benefits of real raw cacao without the added nasties in regular chocolate bars. Advances in technology aren’t always really advances.

Peanuts aren’t actually nuts, and may harm your health. 

Peanuts are actually legumes. They are not grown on trees like real nuts, but in the ground. Unfortunately damp underground conditions are a perfect breeding ground for aflotoxins. Aflotoxins are toxic metabolites produced by certain fungi, which can grow on peanuts, and are harmful to humans. Other high-risk foods are corn and cottonseed. Although highly contaminated foods would be unlikely to be permitted in our food supply (and have been known to cause death), the problem lies in long-term exposure to low levels of carcinogenic aflotoxins. I know peanut butter is one of those comfort foods you may think you can’t live without, but there are plenty of other delicious nut butters to choose from ☺

Grass fed beef has a far superior fatty acid profile to grain fed beef. 

I don’t eat beef, but if you do, it’s best to know what you’re eating. As we intensively farm animals and feed them foods they were not designed to eat, it is of course going to change not only the quality of the animals’ lives, but also your health. Grass fed beef has higher omega 3 levels, a healthier omega 3:6 ratio and a lower overall fat content. It’s also higher in precursors for vitamin A and E, as well as beneficial antioxidants. Cows are after all meant to eat grass, not grains. So if you are going to eat meat, please do yourself and the cows a favour and buy free-range organic grass fed beef.

 May you be full of beans and fun food facts,



  1. Hi Carla, what a fun post! I'm trying to like coconuts as there seem to be so many benefits to them, and I love the cacao fact which reminds me of a book called something like progress is just an illusion! it certainly applies to food manufacturing!

  2. You're very kind Petra. I hope you learn to love the wonderful coconut as much as I do :)