'Chocolate milk comes from brown cows' and other silly food myths

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Where does milk come from? It's a question most five-year-olds would be expected to answer correctly. But a survey has shown a startling number of Americans think white milk comes from white cows and chocolate milk from brown cows.

The Innovation Centre for US dairy asked 1,000 adults where chocolate milk comes from. Seven per cent of respondents said it comes from brown cows and 48 per cent admitted they weren't sure.

The results reflect the reality for many people who have no idea where their food comes from and have not been given the opportunity to learn about the origins of food.

It also says a little about food myths that we are told as children and grow to believe are true.

I was told chocolate milk came from brown cows, but I knew it was a joke. And anyway there aren't any pink cows, which makes it hard to explain strawberry milk.

Here are five other food myths that are just that, myths.

1) If you eat an apple seed, a tree will grow in your belly.

This is ridiculous. Seeds need sunlight, water, oxygen and soil to grow. Seeds also need a stable place for implantation and germination and it's way too slippery and full of gastrointestinal acid for that to happen in your stomach. And anyway you'll probably poop it out before any of that could even happen.

2) If you swallow bubble gum it'll take seven years to digest.


This is not true. While the gum will sit in your belly a little while longer than other food, as it is harder to digest, it will eventually pass out of your body. People are told not to swallow the gum, not because it will stick to the side of their insides and stay there forever, but because it has absolutely no nutritional value and could be a chocking hazard if swallowed.

3) Eating bread crusts will make your hair curly.

There is no scientific evidence to prove this is the case. I have very curly hair and I love bread crusts, but the link between the two is non-existent. However, the crusts do have the higher content of nutrients than the soft inner part.

4) Spaghetti grows on trees (right next to the money tree).

OK, I'm guilty of telling my children there are spaghetti trees, but my children are too smart for my tricks and quickly dismissed my silliness. They also watch Masterchef so they know all too well where spaghetti comes from. They also know never to cook risotto in a challenge round.

5) Carrots help you see in the dark.

Yes and no. Carrots do contain Vitamin A, or retinol, which is required for your eyes to operate in low light conditions. A deficiency could lead to night blindness and eating carrots could help correct this and improve your night vision. However, they will only help you see to the point of an ordinary healthy person, not give you extra super powers to see in the dark.

Most adults know chocolate milk doesn't come from a brown cow, spaghetti doesn't grow on trees and there's no such thing as the "five second rule", but these are still common misconceptions. These food myths are still going strong. It seems adults are telling kids fibs to either get them to eat their food or simply for a little bit of a giggle.

Have you got any food myths to add to the list?