Food and its history is weirder than you think. From using ketchup in the 1800’s to cure diseases to the accidental creation of tea bags, below are eight food facts that will blow your mind!
1) In 1853, ketchup was marketed as medicine to help cure health conditions such as diarrhea, indigestion, and jaundice. However, it didn’t take long before people realized that ketchup wasn’t actually medicine at all and was actually a laxative.
2) Can you believe that it takes nearly 660 gallons of water to make a single hamburger? Switching out your hamburger for a veggie burger isn’t only healthy for you, but can lessen your carbon footprint by saving gallons of water.
3) Even though the orange juice you bought at your grocery store says “100 percent orange juice,” it isn’t. In fact, orange juice manufacturers take out the oxygen from their orange juice product to give it a longer shelf life. However, at the same time, it removes the scent and flavor of the fruit juice. To give it the orangey taste back, they use fragrance and flavor additives from perfume companies.
4) Scientists have not only used peanuts to create dynamite but have also managed to turn them into diamonds as well. Alfred Nobel invented dynamite and used nitroglycerine to do so. Since glycerol is from peanut oil, it is easily used to create the explosive. Dan Frost created the first peanut butter diamond by crushing peanut butter between two diamonds. Although it may not be a pure diamond, you won’t exactly be spreading it on your PB&J sandwich either. This is all because diamonds of any sort can be made from carbon-based materials, such as peanut butter.
5) If you order decaffeinated coffee, don’t expect it to be caffeine free! According to studies, most decaf coffee has some form of caffeine in it.
6) In ancient times, chocolate was used as a currency. The ancient Aztecs were unable to grow cacao in the dry, highlands of Mexico where they lived. For this reason, they traded with the Mayas and others in the area for it.
7) It is estimated that 40% of the produce that is grown for the United States never makes it to the grocery store shelves. This high percentage of produce has been deemed “too ugly” to be sold. Consumers do not want to buy these imperfect veggies and fruits, so grocery stores will not stock them. This means that approximately six billion pounds of fruits and vegetables are wasted each year in the US, just because of the way they look.
8) Tea bags were invented completely by accident. Thomas Sullivan was a tea merchant in New York. He would send samples of his teas in small silk bags to his customers. His customers, however, were confused by what they were supposed to do and simply dunked the whole bag into their cup of hot water.
From strange origins to common misconceptions, food is a lot more shocking and interesting than you may realize. The next time you are attending private cooking class or enjoy event catering in New Jersey, keep these tidbits in mind.