True or False: Food Edition (Spoiler: FALSE!)

My favorite part of the blogosphere remains the discussions in the comment section, and as LuAnne suggested in a comment, here comes part II of the True or False series, this time, about food. As a reminder, our first installment was myths about our very own bodies, so what better way to continue than with things that go into our bodies, and that means food! (What did you think it meant? 🙂 )

WHITE CHCOLATE IS CHOCOLATE: as even my youngest family member has learned to recite every time the question of chocolate comes up, “white chocolate is NOT chocolate!” What it is, is closer to butter since it contains no cocoa solids. Instead, it’s typically made of cocoa butter, milk, and sugar. Really? Yes, really. When cocoa beans are broken down to bits, they’re called cocoa nibs. When they undergo a grinding process they can be separated into two components, the cocoa paste─or solids─and cocoa butter. Cocoa butter, not having any chocolate in it is white, and the misnomer was born: “white chocolate” more accurately, cocoa butter. But how many people would eat a bar of “cocoa butter”, even if it’s wrapped up in a pretty wrapper? 😀

The 5-SECOND RULE: the 5-second rule refers to the idea that if you pick up a food item that fell on the floor in 5 seconds or less, it’s still ok to eat since nastiness has not had enough time to latch on to it. I’ve even heard people enact a 10-second rule, perhaps because it was a particularly delectable food item that fell? True? False? It turns out that bacteria are really, really, really fast. So unless you’re The Flash, and maybe even then, there is no guarantee in saving even the most delectable foods that fell on the floor. Yes, the Mythbusters have tested it, and the video is to the left; it’s not one of their most amusing ones, certainly not to the level of what’s better to have a machete or a gun during the zombie apocalypse, but still good!
And while the debate of the 5-second rule still rages on, given factors like the moistness of the food (pastrami vs. a cracker, for example), that’s not one I’d risk. Would you?

MILK BUILDS STRONG BONES: there are many taglines that have been hammered into our heads that have to do with the goodness of milk, and common wisdom tells us how it builds strong bones. As a young girl it gave me all the excuses I needed to load up on cereal using milk as my conveyer 😀 And so we have grown up believing that milk is needed for strong bones. But is there truth in that? As controversial as it is, according to a comprehensive study published in The American Society of Bone and Mineral Research that reviewed many other studies showed that “there was no overall association between milk intake and hip fracture risk in women but that more data are needed in men.” Who knew that taglines aren’t always conveyers of truth?…

Did you know about these food myths? Any other ones you can share? Any other myths you’re interested in exploring?

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59 thoughts on “True or False: Food Edition (Spoiler: FALSE!)

  1. I just had my physical. My doctor said at my age, as long as I eat yogurt or dairy I don’t need calcium supplements yet. I truly believe my dad and I have stronger teeth than my mom and sister because we were milk drinkers. So while I hear the science, I’m iffy about the milk thing. FYI…my 84 year old father has one cavity in his life, same as me. My mom and my sister? I couldn’t even count the fillings…obviously it could just be luck of the gene pool, but yeah

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    1. Funny you should bring up teeth health! I once saw a study that showed the skulls of Europeans over the centuries. Funnily (?) enough, their teeth were remarkably healthy, yes, with the exception of violent acts that knocked out/broke some teeth. In fact, you could see healthy teeth of adults all the way until? Until processed sugar became commonly available in the middle ages, and then their teeth all of the sudden became rotten. Sometimes it’s what we don’t do? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. lol, I guess it depends on your hunger, on the setting, on the food? But like I responded to the sidewalk question… Would you follow in Bear Grylls’s footsteps with the elephant dung “challenge”? 😛

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  2. I love your thought, EW — “unless you’re the Flash” re: three second, five second, ten second rules…it’s all icky. Although…I must admit it’s tempting to ignore the ick instinct. I love your myth-busting posts! xo! 😉😉😉

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Vicki, very very much! I wasn’t sure if the Flash could catch the brownie before it landed on the floor, and Superman could reverse time, so clearly there’s a different set of rules for superheroes? 😉

      I’m with you on the ick-factor. Today, just to see, I used a lint remover on what I thought was a clean floor. The things the lint remover picked up… The things the brownie could have picked up (yes, brownie is my standard 🙂 )… Way too icky. If it falls, it’s headed to the trash!

      And thanks again for the compliment on the myth-busting posts, you’ve inspired me to expand it beyond a two-parter ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the one about “white” chocolate. In short, going back to my Bronx roots, “There ain’t no such thing.” To me, it tastes too much like chemicals.
    I really haven’t used that 5 second rule in a very long time, but my granddaughter has I know. I guess it all depends on how much she likes whatever she dropped, and if I’m willing to hear her scream if I take it from her. After all, I’m grandpa. I have the luxury of saying, “Sure. Whatever you want.”
    Last, about milk. I think that modern nutrition is just so much nonsense. What is good for you now probably won’t be if you wait long enough. Milk has been a staple of the human diet for centuries. We’ve messed with it enough, skimmed it, 1%’ed and 2%’ed it, soyed and almonded it. But milk, regular milk from cows somehow bounces back and becomes good for you again. In this case, leave well enough alone.
    I enjoyed this post. It made me think a little and that’s a good thing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, JC, that’s extremely kind of you! I’m with you 100% on the white “chocolate”: “there ain’t no such thing”, indeed! And, I, too, don’t find the flavor appealing 🙂

      And there’s much truth in what you said about “it depends on how much she likes whatever she dropped”: perhaps she’s going to be a risk analyst when she grows up, analyzing the risk vs. reward? 🙂

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  4. Apparently decreased bone density in the elderly can be caused by deficiencies in a number of minerals; or problems with hormones or problems with the construction of the bones themselves. So, while studies conclude dairy products provide more bone-beneficial nutrients, such as protein, Ca, Mg, K, Zn and P per unit energy than any other food found in the adult diet, there may be enough factors that come with aging to diminish the benefits of dairy – in some people!
    So, my opinion is – keep eating dairy if you aren’t lactose intolerant!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like how you’re pointing out that (many) questions in health are not a simple “swallow this vitamin supplement and all your problems will go poof”! And despite my light tone, I think you’re touching on a significant truth: these questions are complex and deserve a thorough discussion. I once read that they took apart all the components of a cucumber, its vitamin content, fiber, water, etc. and had people eat the “equivalent” nutrition. Compared to the folks that ate the cucumbers, they missed out on “something” that was not accounted for. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts?

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  5. I did know that about white chocolate and I love to use cocoa butter body lotion…I see an amazing connection here: skip the plastic containers of designated lotion, buy a bar or bag if necessary for extreme dryness, of white chocolate, melt it, slather it on and lick fingers when done. Perfect!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. You and me, both, Deb! I use moisturizer and lotion with cocoa butter as the main ingredients! And given the other ingredients, if I lick it by “mistake” the worst that can happen is that I gain a few ounces (it’s 🧴 after all, not a tub of ice cream 😛).

      I’d be careful with using melted white chocolate bars, just because if you look at the ingredient list, you may find that cocoa butter is the lady on the list… 🙃

      Liked by 1 person

  6. EW – I love your last line “Who knew that taglines aren’t always conveyers of truth?…”

    Exactly – who knew? So glad that you have this series to help set me straight. I think I knew about white chocolate but never the real reason so that’s a great education. And I’m a sucker for the 5-second rule. My excuse is that I believe that there have been studies that show the more germs we fight off, the stronger our immune system gets. Or at least that’s my excuse…until you prove me wrong with one of these posts…;)

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    1. Thank you, Wynne, I’m so glad you liked it: it came to mind when I was thinking of the many, many, many gallons of milk that I used as conveyers of the many, many, many, MANY boxes of cereal into my tummy 🙂 I didn’t know if anyone would notice, I should have known that YOU would 😘🥰

      I love chocolate myself, so over the years I’ve hung out with actual chocolatiers and got a little education here and there 🙂

      The 5-second rule should have a clear exemption for all things chocolate, no? 🙃 As for the immune system, I recently read an interview with an epidemiologist who explained that we’ve been using the wrong analogy for the immune system all these years: that it’s less like a muscle that if you don’t use it, you lose it, and more like a photograph, that can remain on a shelf for a long time (until viruses mutate, making it obsolete, or eat through it themselves, which also sounded bad). Clearly I need to read up on that myself. But chocolate is always good 😋

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  7. Calcium intake is a can of worms and seems to be dependent on a lot of factors. But you are right, I think swallowing large quantities of milk will not make your bones stronger, once we are past the age when our bones completely ossify. Women in particular seem to have good stores with exercise and a balanced diet but when they hit menopause they can no longer store excess calcium and it consistently depletes. However, taking calcium supplements doesn’t always work for everyone. I am one who cannot tolerate the protein in dairy products, and have always had lower calcium. I had toxemia in two pregnancies when they said I would never have it again, after the first pregnancy. After lots of reading the only link I found with recurrent toxemia of pregnancy was a low calcium level. When I took supplements, I could not absorb the calcium well and thus it lodged in my knee joint and made walking painful. I stopped the supplement and my knee improved. Perhaps coincidence or perhaps my idiosyncratic response. In any case, I don’t take a supplement but try to incorporate as much dairy as my system can tolerate and use products such as evaporated milk in cooking that has the protein component broken down by the heat process and thus easier to digest. I also like kefir and swedish fjolmilk – a fermented kind of milk with probiotics. I exercise and so far, so good – no broken bones and i hope no osteoporosis.
    I have always been dubious about the 5 second rule. It is pure chance – depending on how clean the floor is. White chocolate is not as good as dark chocolate imo, in all ways! Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for such a thoughtful comment (and for the compliment, too)! I am 100% with you that dark chocolate is far superior, like you accurately said, in all ways than white chocolate!

      I’m sorry to hear about your toxemia 😦 And for the mis-predictions. You’re definitely not alone in having a poor reaction to dairy/the protein in dairy (Casein). And I’ve had my own set of challenges with supplements, too. It got me reading on different directions, and I came across a study on Buddhist nuns. For religious reasons, they are strictly vegan, and the study showed that “[…] although vegans have much lower intakes of dietary calcium and protein than omnivores, veganism does not have adverse effect on bone mineral density and does not alter body composition.” So maybe there’s hope? Certainly I hope no osteoporosis visits either one of us!

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    1. You and me both … on both counts 🙂 Actually, even today, when I see a carrot, the thought of better vision often as not comes to mind… And you’re right, of course, that it’s a myth (unless you happen to be vitamin A deficient), and this particular one has a funny origin, so you just inspired me to have a part 2 of food myths. Thank you on all 3 counts!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. A woman after my own heart! I agree with all three: the sentiment, the quotes around the suspect nature of white “chocolate”, and the dislike of plain milk 😀
      And in looking at studies that compare our bones to those of our ancestors, they “suggest that Stone Agers developed a greater peak bone mass and experienced less age-related bone loss than do humans in the 20th Century.” (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2053574/)
      So I guess we’re safe without milk?

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    1. My apologies: do cut down on spam, my moderation approach is to require approval for the first post from any new person, this way I know it’s a “real person” and not a spammer. Sadly, I didn’t spot your comment until now and it was in the “pending” folder 😦

      May I ask why you prefer red skin apples to others? We recently discovered a new variety of apples, SweeTango, ranked #1 by https://applerankings.com/!

      And sounds like a plan!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I had no clue about white chocolate falsifying itself into the chocolate world. The Nerve! I should have known because I do not like white chocolate one little bit.

    I’ve been guilty of the five-second rule before and in one incident, it was a colossal mistake and a lesson learned. (what I thought was a piece of popcorn on my newly scrubbed tile, was, in fact, a piece of the dog’s antibiotic, and it was disgusting!) I’ll never do that again.

    So, isn’t calcium good for our bones? Hmm…this has been my ‘cheese’ excuse for years. I don’t drink milk, and luckily at my last bone density test, I got an A anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I LOVE that “falsifying” itself! I wish I had thought of that! Well said!!! The nerve of it 😀 And, no, I don’t like white chocolate at all, either!

      I’d like to see that dog’s antibiotic that could be mistaken for a popcorn—I love popcorn, but I’m not sure it’s quite worth it… well, maybe if it’s covered in dark chocolate? 😛

      And there’s a difference between “calcium is good for our bones” and “milk is good for our bones” despite what the many PSAs so many of us have had hammered into our heads. One of my favorite explanations by way of analogy is that iron is good for every one of our cells, but eating nails… less so? 😀

      Congrats on acing the density test! What kind of bone density test did you get?

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pastrami on the ground! Gross gross gross! Dirt would stick to that so easily. I think a cracker I could manage, though. I once saw a woman in college drop her Popsicle on the ground, wipe the dirt off, and eat it. That was beyond me.

    Sad about the milk thing. It has calcium, which is supposed to build strong bones. What gives?!

    I did hear? Read? I think read, so that makes it seem more legit, that the whole carrots improve your vision thing was British propaganda during … WWI? II? (Clearly I’m foggy on the details) so that the enemy wouldn’t know that the UK fighter pilots were so good at shooting down enemy planes because they had developed radar. Instead, they spread the rumor that their pilots just ate a lot of carrots!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Once at an airport, years ago, I saw a toddler drop his lollipop, STEP on it, pick it off his shoe, look at his mom who was sitting nearby, she nodded, and back it went into his mouth. This was in an AIRPORT, next to a busy gate. Sometimes one facepalm is simply not enough…

      Calcium is good for bones, it just seems like our ability to absorb it from milk might not be all the PSAs have told us it was? 🙂

      OMG, you are completely right: YES, British propaganda during WWII! Yes, they tried to “mask” their ability to detect planes at night with developing super-night vision! How do you know these bits of trivia??? I was going to add that to the next T/F: Food Edition, should I?

      Liked by 1 person

          1. I thought of adding something like, “But I don’t mean you in this instance, EW!” 😛

            I recommend… all of them! I haven’t read them all. Only… three? I think? But I’m sure they’re all good. How about starting with Blink?

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