Word of Mouth

One of the keenest pleasures of perusing urban-legend site Snopes.com (besides sending snotty messages to email lists following the earnest posting of a faux petition or virus scare. “This is an urban legend, please check Snopes.com” etc., etc. Man, that’s good stuff) is checking out the annals of food-related urban legends.

Some tales are 1970s childhood classics: worms in Big Macs! Spider eggs in Bubble Yum! Mikey ate Pop Rocks and Coke and exploded!

Other items are modern memes still being passed around. No, microwaving in plastic won’t give you cancer. Red Bull doesn’t give you brain tumors (but it might help cure a hangover). KFC changed its name to de-emphasize the Fried part, not to cover for its use of genetically modified animals. There’s no cat meat in Chinese food.

I’m a skeptic, so I never fell for any of the above urban legends. But I was surprised to learn that graham crackers were invented by a guy who thought eating a vegetarian diet rich in lightly processed wheat would save mankind from the dangers of excessive lust. Whoa. I wonder what he’d think about Teddy Grahams?

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