Urban legends debunked-Food

Like I said in a previous post, most people I know get a kick out of reading urban legends. These are essentially rumors that are generally harmless but seem to get passed back and forth over and over again despite efforts to disprove them. Sometimes they make sense-like the one about finding things in Halloween candy-, but others are just plain silly. Here are a few of the more believable urban legends I've found and the truth behind them.

UL-Coke used to contain cocaine.
This is true to a point. The drink we now call "Coca-Cola" did have trace amounts of cocaine, but that was because it was marketed at a time when many medicines (which was Coke's initial purpose) contained cocaine. This was in 1885, long before any harmful effects of the drug were discovered. The company changed the syrup's formula several times before they were able to completely remove the cocaine, but even the trace amounts that were in there before weren't strong enough to do any harm.

UL-Apple seeds are harmful because they contain cyanide.
Again, this is true to a point. There is a small amount of a cyanide compound in the pits of some kinds of fruit, but it doesn't pose any danger. Not only would you have to break through the extremely-hard shells of the seeds to get to the poison, you would have to eat a *lot* of them to have any harmful effects. It's similar to the sugar-in-the-gas-tank rumor-it's *possible* to cause harm, but you'd have to use completely unrealistic amounts for anything to happen.
Peach pits, on the other hand, do contain a potentially-harmful amount of poison, but it's highly unlikely anyone is going to accidentally swallow one.

UL-When it comes to dietary supplements and weight loss products, “natural” and "herbal" mean "safe".
Not necessarily. Perhaps they might not be as bad about this as "artificial" pills, they can still interact negatively with other medicines you're taking. For example, my husband can't have anything with grapefruit because of the interaction with his heart medicine. Grapefruit is natural. Also, some people are sensitive to caffeine, which is something a lot of supplements have. You would need to read the back of the bottle and do your homework for an herbal medicine just as you would an “artificial” one.
Plus, herbal supplements aren't evaluated by the FDA for safety *or* effectiveness. That alone should give you pause.

UL-Coke is so acidic it can eat corrosion off of a car battery,
I've had to do this several times, albeit only on a small amount of corrosion. Soda can be effective in *loosening* corrosion so you can knock it off piece by piece, but it does not "eat through it".  The loosening happens because of the *carbonation*, not the acidic content. Perrier or any other “sparkling” beverage will do the same thing,

What sorts of “urban legends” have you heard? Are they scary, funny or just plain odd?

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