Sunday, April 28, 2013

Maraschino Cherries and Other Urban Legends

"Don't eat those, formaldehyde is used to preserve them."  Did I really say that to a sweet 19-year old girl I hardly knew? Quickly seating myself at my computer and consulting Google, I discovered that I had just lied. This was only an urban legend promoted by my gullible generation, along with the wait 30 minutes after eating before swimming myth. Experientially, my summers were spent in the pool and ocean and if I did remember to eat, I guarantee I didn't wait 30 minutes to get back into the water. What kid wants to be bothered with eating when the ocean waves are calling your name.

But, back urban legends. Although I have fooled myself into thinking I value truth among all else, I often find myself propagating lies.  Not long ago I told a friend that sugar feeds on cancer cells, another myth I picked up from an unknown source.  Yesterday, in researching the food pyramid (more faulty information promoted by the USDA) I discovered the sugar claim is only half true.

It's hard to know who or what to believe with so much information available. The latest nutritional curiosities on the rise are super foods. You know, food that give you more bang for your buck. These include flax and chia seeds. I recently blended coconut milk - don't use the low fat stuff - 4 tablespoons of chia seeds and honey then let it set in the frig to solidify and chill. It was delicious and particularly so because it was healthy! I just hope it doesn't take forty years to find out if the super foods are really so "super" or just another urban legend.