Food Myths| Common Questions and Debunking Rumors: Baking Soda, Turkey, Lobster Screams, Raw Eggs, The 5 Second Rule, Mayonnaise

Food Myths| Common Questions and Debunking Rumors: Baking Soda, Turkey, Lobster Screams, Raw Eggs, The 5 Second Rule, Mayonnaise


Number One
Does Baking soda eliminates odors in the refrigerator?
Fact: Chemically speaking, the alkaline composition of baking soda may absorb and neutralize a bit of an acidic odor. But the humidity in a fridge can cause the baking soda to develop a hard crust, further reducing its already weak ability to tame tough odors. Replace the baking soda for odor with an open canister of charcoal, which will do a much better job of soaking up smells.

Number Two
Do Lobsters scream in pain when dropped into boiling water?
Fact: Lobsters have no vocal cords. Second, lobsters, crabs, and other invertebrates have ultra simple nervous system that lack the receptors to feel what humans call pain. Here’s the explanation for the sound you hear: Air that is trapped under the lobster’s shell expands rapidly in boiling water and escapes through small openings. So in the same way that teapots don’t actually whistle, lobsters don’t really scream.

Number Three
Does Thanksgiving turkey makes you sleepy?
Fact: Although many people believe that the culpable compound in Turkey is the natural sedative known as tryptophan, plenty of other foods, including beef, pork, and cheese, contain similar or higher amounts of the amino acid. Most likely, the other things you consume at your holiday table, including the alcoholic beverages and carbohydrates that accompany mom’s turkey, can slow your metabolism. This,along with a heavy meal that forces your diaphragm to work harder, it pulls the lungs down and hinders breathing, can leave you snoring on the couch after dinner.

Number Four
Do Raw eggs carry salmonella? Can raw eggs make you sick?
Fact: According to the US Department of Agriculture, 1 in 3,600 eggs is contaminated with salmonella. That’s 300 dozen. If your family eats a carton every week, you may get one bad egg every 6 years. In many cases, the contamination is on the shell rather than in the egg itself; chickens aren’t the cleanest creatures in the barnyard. The process of pasteurization, which many commercial egg plants employ, uses hot water baths to kill bacteria while keeping the egg inside the shell uncooked. When in doubt, always cook eggs completely, and be sure to purchase in-shell eggs from a dependable vendor. Also, while you’re checking the carton for cracked eggs before you buy them, check the expiration date.

Number 5
Is Food that falls on the floor okay if picked up within 5 Seconds? The 5 second rule for dropping food?
Fact: Granted, the longer the contact time, the greater the amount of contamination, but food products that come into contact with any unsanitary surface can pick up pathogens in as little as one second. A quick retrieval may mean fewer harmful germs, but it’s no assurance of safety. Bacteria can thrive on surfaces for as long as a month, so cleaning floors and countertops with a disinfectant can go a long way toward keeping your meals down, for good.

Number 6
Do dishes made with mayonnaise spoil quickly if not refrigerated ?
Fact: Your family picnic may have made you queasy, but don’t be too quick to blame Uncle Leo’s potato salad. The commercial mayonnaise used by many home cooks contains vinegar, which inhibits the growth of the bacteria that cause food poisoning. Chances are that if you got sick from a dish made with mayo, it was because of another ingredient such as contaminated chicken.

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