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Food Facts

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Food Facts From The Chef

Here are some little-known facts about food that might surprise you.

  • Tomato ketchup contains acid so it can be used to clean brass and other  tarnished metals.
  • More than 95% of a cucumber is water.
  • The holes in Swiss cheese are made by pockets of gas produced during fermentation.
  • Eating ice cream can actually make you hotter. Most ice creams are full of fats and sugars, which contain lots of energy and, when you digest them, much of this energy is converted into heat.
  • In many fruits, the skin contains more vitamin C than the inside.
  • If you drop a raisin into a glass of fizzy mineral water, bubbles of gas will form around it and lift it to the surface. The bubbles will then escape and the raisin will fall again. The process can then repeat many times over…
  • Eating too much sugar can be a cause of the most common human disease in the world – tooth decay.
  • Iron makes up an important part of our blood. Good sources of iron include liver, meat, beans, nuts, brown rice and green leafy vegetables such as watercress. Even apples contain a small amount of iron and that’s why they turn brown if you cut one open.
  • There’s enough iron in the average human body to make a nail 7.5 centimetres long.
  • A tomato is a fruit, not a vegetable.
  • Saffron is a yellow coloured spice made from crocuses. It takes around 10,000 flowers to make 1 kilo of saffron, so it’s very, very expensive…
  • Contrary to common belief, carrots don’t really help you to see in the dark. However, they are a good source of vitamin A, which plays an important part in keeping your eyes healthy and working properly. Other good sources include spinach and apricots.
  • Coconut milk isn’t found naturally. It has to be made by boiling and straining the flesh of a coconut. The liquid inside a fresh coconut is called ‘coconut water’ and it’s rich in vitamins and minerals.
  • People in different parts of the world have very different ideas about what makes a mouth-watering snack. Locusts are eaten in many countries, as are ants, crickets, spiders and even rattlesnakes…
  • Eating in space can be tricky because there is no gravity to keep your food on the plate. The first astronauts had to eat powdered food, which they mixed with warm water and ate through a straw or by squeezing it through a tube like toothpaste.
  • It might not look like it, but your tongue is changing all the time. The cells in your taste buds are replaced twice a day and each separate taste bud lasts about 10 days in all. There are around 10,000 taste buds on your tongue – so a lot’s happening in your mouth, even if you don’t know it…
  • The tongue can taste five basic flavours – sweet, sour, salty, bitter and something called ‘umami’ which is a Japanese word describing a kind of meaty flavour that you can also find in mushrooms and some cheeses.
  • Humans have one stomach but cows have four.

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