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Connie Ma / CC-BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: ironypoisoning

The myth: bananas grow on trees

True or false? False

The reality: despite what you think you saw in the Jungle Book, the fruit actually grows on massive herbs that just resemble trees

2 / 14
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Searing meat

HawBone / CC-BY-SA 2.0 / Fickr: hawbone

The myth: searing meat keeps the interior moist

True or false? False

The reality: it’s really just for flavour and (unfortunately) doesn’t lock in those juices

3 / 14
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Swimming after eating

John Bruckman / CC-BY-SA 2.0 / Fickr: innereye

The myth: don’t swim after you eat 

True or false? False

The reality: despite what your mum told you, it seems swimming after eating won’t increase the risk of cramps 

4 / 14
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The myth: sushi is raw fish

True or false? False

The reality: sushi actually means "sour rice" and some doesn’t feature fish at all (hello cucumber sushi). It's sashimi which involves raw fish or meat

5 / 14
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Chewing gum

Korny.brot / CC-BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: korny-brot

The myth: chewing gum will stay in your system for 7 years if swallowed

True or false? False

The reality: the sticky stuff is indigestible but it doesn't loiter in your system

6 / 14
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Vegetarians protein

Alan Huett / CC-BY-SA 2.0 / Fickr: ahuett

The myth: vegetarians can’t get protein

True or false? False

The reality: say hello to eggs and beans, people. Full of the stuff 

7 / 14
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Cooking alcohol

Photo: Karen Thomas

The myth: alcohol burns off during the cooking process

True or false? Partly true

The reality: studies show that not all of the alcohol burns off when cooking. For example, if you only simmer something for 20 minutes, you will most likely have up to 50% of the alcohol still in your dish

8 / 14
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alcohol keeps you warm

Photo: Seven

The myth: alcohol keeps your warm

True or false? False

The reality: alcohol dilates blood vessels near the skin and therefore creates the impression of warmth. This can actually cause core body temperature to drop

9 / 14
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Pasta in boiling water

Lonnie / CC-BY-SA 2.0 / Fickr: hanataro

The myth: oil stops pasta sticking when cooking

True or false? False

The reality: alas, not but it will cause the bubbles to burst faster and therefore help stop your water from boiling over 

10 / 14
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Jordan Merrick / CC-BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: jordanmerrick

The myth: caffeine dehydrates you

True or false? False (unless you overdo it)

The reality: studies have found no difference in hydration levels between those who drink coffee in moderation and those who drink the same amount of water. That is, unless you overdo it

11 / 14
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Emilian Robert Vicol / CC-BY-SA 2.0 / Fickr: free-stock

The myth: the mere act of eating celery uses up more calories than are actually in celery

True or false? False

The reality: if you’re looking for a quick fix then we’re afraid you’re not in luck as there is no research to suggest any food burns more calories than it releases

12 / 14
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salty water boils more quickly

Stu_spivack / CC-BY-SA 2.0 / Fickr: stuart_spivack

The myth: salty water boils more quickly

True or false? Partly true

The reality: while sea water will boil more quickly because of the low heat capacity of the salt, adding salt to fresh water will make almost no difference – unless you’re adding huge, sea-like quantities. Which is not advisable, obvs

13 / 14
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The myth: comfort food makes you feel better

True or false? Partly true

The reality: according to psychologists at the University of Minnesota, eating nothing has the same effect on a bad mood as comfort foods. However, others have said chocolate can make you feel emotionally better. Back to the drawing board, then?

14 / 14
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David Joyce / CC-BY-SA 2.0 / Fickr: deapeajay

The myth: milk increases mucus production

True or false? False

The reality: there’s no need to avoid dairy if you have a cold