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10 fun and amazing facts about fruits and vegetables

I love all the weird and interesting things that tell the story of the common things we eat every day. Here is a list of 10 that I hope brings a smile to your face.

Oranges

Ripe oranges are green or yellow in many areas. Oranges need to be exposed to cooler temperatures to break down the chlorophyll in the rind and make them turn orange. Orange growers expose their oranges to ethylene gas to turn them orange before they go to US markets because we have come to believe that orange means it’s ripe and green means it’s not.

Oranges from Florida will be more orange in color naturally than the two top world producers, China and Brazil because the fruit is exposed to cooler temps.

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Spinach

Spinach is not actually a very good source of iron.
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The myth started in 1870 when a scientist studying nutrient values of vegetables but a decimal point in the wrong place when reporting the amount of iron in spinach. This mistake instantly gave spinach more iron by the power of 10.

The mistake was not discovered until years later. Unfortunately, the discovery of the mistake was after the release of Popeye the Sailor cartoon in 1929. The cartoon was so popular and featured the power of eating spinach so prominently that the myth was born. Although not as popular today, the Popeye character lives on growing big muscles with one can ..ugh!.. of spinach.

The truth gets worse. Not only is spinach not very high in iron but it contains a chemical, oxalic acid, that inhibits the body’s ability to absorb iron. The good news is that this chemical loses its effect when you heat it. So cooked spinach is better if you need iron.

What do carrots, green beans, peppers, and kale all have in common?

What do these vegetables all have in common? If you cook these fresh vegetables in your microwave they can arch and spark. This can damage your microwave or even cause a fire.

The high concentration of minerals combined with shape is the main issue. Iron, magnesium, and selenium in high concentration in a rod-like shape will cause the arching. Peppers will be more likely to arch if they are cut into long pieces.

This happens with fresh vegetables only. Please don’t try this at home! If you want to see it, go to YouTube, there are lots of videos to watch and you don’t have to damage own microwave.

Carrots

Are carrots really good for your eyesight? Well yes because as part of a healthy diet carrots add good nutrients. However, they are not the way to perfect sight we grew up believing.

During WWII the British Ministry of Food started a propaganda campaign to encourage people to eat locally available vegetables because of food shortages. The British were told that their Air Force pilots were so much better than of the country’s pilots because they ate lots of carrots. The British Air Force did have an impressive record. So the myth that carrots give you great eyesight was born.

It turns out that the British Military was not just eating lots of carrots, they had the benefit of new top-secret radar technology!

Corn

There are lots of interesting things about corn. Here are a few quick ones:

There is one strand of silk for each kernel on an ear for corn

There is an average of 800 kernels on an ear.

Most corn has 16 rows of kernel. Even if your ear doesn’t it will always have an even number.

Olives

On average it takes 40 medium olives to make one tablespoon of olive oil

Vanilla

Vanilla, the second most expensive spice after saffron, comes from an orchid plant. The flower opens for just one day and must be pollinated or it will die.

Most vanilla is hand-pollinated because only one kind of bee, the melipona, is able to pollinate it because of its shape.

Wolffia Globosa or Asian Watermelon

Wolffia Globosa or Asian watermelon is a type of duckweed. It is also considered to be the smallest fruit in the world. This tiny watermelon is packed with protein and is used in many Asian dishes.

Jackfruit

The biggest fruit that grows on trees is the Jackfruit. It can weight up to 100 pounds!

Indigenous to India it is now grown in parts of Africa, Brazil, and Suriname. Whole Foods and other specialty markets are now starting to carry it. Jackfruit is becoming very popular in vegan diets because of its high nutrient values.

Cayenne Pepper

Did you know that cayenne pepper can stop a cut from bleeding? Sprinkle cayenne pepper on the wound or mix with water to make a paste to press against the wound. This will quickly clot the blood.

I hope you found these facts interesting and entertaining. Let me know what you think.

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