Behold the food lies you’ve probably been fed but shouldn't believe …

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Image: Believe it or not: top foodie misconceptions

Photo: You Tube / Flicks and the City

"Discovered by the Germans in 1904, they named it San Diego …"

Thought you were a food connoisseur, knowing everything there is to know about beans, fortune cookies and the effects of caffeine? Think again. 


London's weird and wonderful myth-busting museum, Ripley’s Believe it or Not!, has compiled a list of "faux facts" – in other words, life facts we believe to be true but aren't. That’s right: those titbits of knowledge, such as don't eat before you swim, have been taken to task. 


Here are the top 13 food lies you've probably been fed, with a fool factor percentage of how many people (who took part in the study) believed them: 

Coffee is made from a bean

Well, it kind of is and it kind of isn’t. Your caffeine fix actually comes from a seed called a bean. Confusing, we know.

Fool factor: 74%

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No Way

Gif: Saturday Night Live /

Different parts of your tongue detect different tastes

This theory has been scientifically debunked by research, which found that taste sensations come from all regions of the tongue and that they all sense tastes roughly equally.

Fool factor: 51%

Peanuts are a type of nut

Oh no, they're not. Peanuts, along with beans and peas, belong to the single plant family called leguminosae. So there.

Fool factor: 47%

Fortune cookies are a Chinese tradition

Wrong. They were the brainchild of Japanese-Americans before they were adopted into Chinese culture

Fool factor: 45%

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Gif: The Lion King /

Sushi means ‘raw fish’

We think you’ll find it means 'sour tasting'.

Fool factor: 43%

The forbidden fruit mentioned in the Book of Genesis is an apple

There is no mention in the bible that the fruit was an apple. Go on, have a little check. 

Fool factor: 43%

Caffeine dehydrates you

While caffeinated drinks may have a mild diuretic effect (making you need to wee), they don’t increase the risk of dehydration.

Fool factor: 41%

You need to wait an hour after eating before you can swim safely

Swimming after a big meal might be uncomfortable, but despite what your mum told you, it won’t give you cramps.

Fool factor: 24%

Eating lots of chocolate will give you spots

There is no hard evidence to prove this. Go forth and eat that chocolate.

Fool factor: 23%

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Shut the front door


Salty water boils quicker

In theory, adding salt increases the boiling point of water. However, you would need to add 230g of table salt to a litre of water just to raise the boiling point by 2˚C. That is a crazy amount of salt. 

Fool factor: 17%

Eating cheese before bed will give you nightmares

Some say cheese will give you more emotionally charged dreams – but that doesn’t mean nightmares.

Fool factor: 13%

Tomatoes are a vegetable

Nope. They’re a fruit.

Fool factor: 13%

Alcohol keeps you warm

It may keep your skin feeling warm but this is deceptive. A tipple or two actually causes your blood vessels to dilate, moving warm blood closer to the surface of your skin, making you feel warmer temporarily. However, those same veins will also cause you to lose core body heat.

Fool factor: 12%

Were you fooled? Let us know the food myths you can't believe are true in the comments box below or tweet us @homemade