Seven common food myths that we’re debunking.
Your mother has warned you the sniff test won’t tell you if leftovers are off. Your girlfriend spends hours trying to convince you that she craves chocolate because her body needs it. And the office ‘health nut‘ has told you your morning cuppa is going to dehydrate you. But are any of these people speaking the truth?
There’s no shortage of myths and misunderstandings about what’s safe or healthy when it comes to what we put into our mouths. So we’re taking a closer look at seven popular food beliefs to see where the evidence lies.
1. You can smell when food is off
Verdict: Your nose doesn’t necessarily know when food is off.
It’s the end of a long day and you’ve gone from hungry to hangry. In desperation you reach into the back of the fridge and pull out a bowl of leftovers. You lift the lid and give it a good sniff to see if it’s still edible.
But trusting your nose is not going to save you from a bout of gastro (or worse), says Lydia Buchtmann from the Food Safety Information Council.
“A lot of people rely on the sniff test, [but] that means nothing whatsoever,” says Buchtmann.
According to Food Standards Australia New Zealand, food poisoning bacteria don’t change the appearance, smell or taste of food. (Bacteria known to cause food poisoning include Salmonella, Campylobacter jejuni, Staphylococcus aureus, strains of E. coli and Listeria monocytogenes. For more see An A-Z of common types of food poisoning.)