Tell Us Your Favorite Food Myths!

We just shared a story featuring some of the greatest, and craziest food myths our users sent us:

But we want more! Share your own favorite food myth below, and lets keep the culinary legend alive!

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Never put your hand in the pickle jar when a woman is menstruating or the pickles will go bad. My sister’s husband believed this so strongly he would throw away the pickles if he saw her do this.


Haha! YIKES.

More menstruation (sorry, but you have no idea all the foods we can spoil on bad days!) My grandmother believed a menstruating woman should never make mayonnaise because the emulsion wouldn’t “catch”.


Also, not traditional lore by my sister’s wacky family: my nephew insists that drinking water on cheese fondue will make the cheese curdle solid into your stomach. I understand drinking wine at the same temperature doesn’t have that effect, so it must be his excuse for underage drinking.

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There are so many milk myths! All of them are pretty gross.

We have the same saying in France and Switzerland, Don’t drink water when eating a cheese fondue, only wine or tea.

In France, we also say that eating carrots will make someone amiable.

We also say that eating spinach will make ou strong (like Popeye ;=)).

In the same spirit as for the water / cheese fondue combination, inn Italy, you don’t drink wine with your pizza, only beer or coke. Seems to have also some effect on your digestion.

In former USSR territories, they say Don’t drink Champagne after Vodka, it will get you really badly drunk. Not a myth though, I tried drinking champagne when I had too much vodka in Uzbekistan, I have a memory black hole of 6 hours in my life afterwards ;=)


In the states we are pretty amenable to the combination of pizza and wine. Pizza and a pitcher of lager is more traditional, but most pizzerias in New York that serve alcohol, for instance, have wine lists at the table and usually a respectable selection.

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For a family gathering, I once prepared a salad made from raw corn (cut from the cob), cherry tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro, with a homemade lemon vinaigrette. As I was preparing it, my mother-in-law said “isn’t raw corn poisonous?”

I explained that I got the recipe from a “healthy eating” cooking demo by somebody from Kaiser Permanente (a large health care consortium based in California, for those who haven’t heard of it), and I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t include a poisonous recipe. Besides, I’d made it many times before. So no, raw corn isn’t poisonous.

Later that evening, we were going to boil some corn for dinner, and I asked my wife how long I should cook it (I usually grill it). My mother-in-law said “make sure you cook it long enough so it’s not poisonous.” Sigh…

Definitely from the generation of “the more a food was cooked, the better it was to eat.” (Rachel Laudan,

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I have a rather unfortunate food myth from my family.

My mother was born and raised in a very rural part of central Kentucky. It was-- and technically still is-- a dry county (meaning that the sale of alcohol is illegal).

According to my mom, moonshine-making and alcoholism, however, still persisted in their town-- to the point where all of the town alcoholics would frequently converge on the tree swing of her childhood home. Evidently, my grandmother would shoo them away and confiscate jars of moonshine or any other forms of liquor, and place them in a cupboard.

Then, whenever my mom and any of her siblings would get sick-- flu, cold, cough, any illness whatsoever-- my grandmother would take a tablespoonful of the moonshine and give it to the kids as “medicine.”

I know this sounds like a terribly backwoods folk-remedy, and I’m deliberately trying to steer clear of any pejorative or disparaging language. I thought this story was strange as a kid, and as an adult, it’s appalling. I’m curious if anyone else in the American South or rural United States has any similar stories?


My mother is from Kentucky, and I do have a childhood memory of being given a spoonful of whiskey or some such once when I was sick. I hated it at the time, but I have since gotten over my aversion. :grinning:

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Whatever food you crave for when pregnant, its characteristics will get passed onto your progeny. For example, if you craved chocolate, your baby’s skin tone will be darker. My mum craved a special beef noodle soup from her hometown so I’m not entirely sure if that means I’m soupy or beefy. :wink:

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Haha my mom said I made her crave fresh peaches, but as she was living on a military base in Midway Island in the 80’s she could only get canned, and I wasn’t having it. I still LOVE fresh peaches… and somehow always manage to buy the ones they pick underripe for shipping that rot rather than ripen on store shelves!


My favourite one is that chewing gum takes seven years to digest :slight_smile: But might be a Greek thing, don’t know if that myth exists in other countries

Ha! As an American, I’ve definitely heard that one too.

Watermelon has so many myths in Mexico, some of which are variants of ones in the previous article. Eating watermelon and milk in the same meal will give you stomach cramps. Eating watermelon at night will give you nightmares. Eating watermelon seeds will make them grow in your stomach.

As a smart-ass kid, I did all 3 and then gloated to anyone who’d listen about my “scientific breakthroughs” in discovering it was all bull.