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Insects In Peanut Butter, And More Food Facts That We Refuse To Believe

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As food lovers, we pride ourselves on knowing a lot about food. We're constantly working to expand our culinary horizons, because food is the center of our universe. Not all the information we accrue is gratifying, however. In our tireless pursuit of food facts, we've come across certain truths that are somewhat -- or very -- alarming. They're so disturbing, in fact, that we just can't comprehend them.

Twinkies, for example, do not have an infinite shelf-life, despite popular belief. Watermelon and avocados, it turns out, are berries, while strawberries are not. It's true. It's all true -- even if we refuse to accept it. Here are 13 food facts we don't want to believe:

  • 1
    Hawaiian Pizza Was Invented By A Canadian
    Greg Nicholas via Getty Images
    Sam Panopolous, a Canadian from London, Ontario, invented the Hawaiian pizza in 1962 --at least according to Panopolous and Wikipedia.
  • 2
    Americans Eat Nearly A Ton Of Food In A Year
    Vico Collective/Michael Shay via Getty Images
    According to the USDA's Economic Research Service, the average American ate 1,966 pounds of food in 2011. That's almost a ton, and that is crazy. Now we've lost our appetites. For a few minutes, at least.
  • 3
    Parmigiano Reggiano Is Not Vegetarian
    Parmigiano Reggiano
    Neither are a lot of cheeses. Many cheeses are made with animal rennet, an enzyme that comes from the stomachs of animals like cows and goats. Check out all the other cheeses that aren't vegetarian.
  • 4
    Almonds Are Part Of The Peach Family
    Kevin Summers via Getty Images
    Almonds are actually a hard-shelled fruit from the almond tree. They fall under the genus prunus, which includes other trees that bear fruits like plums, cherries and peaches. Now that you think about it, though, almonds do kind of look like peach pits, right?
  • 5
    French Fries Are Not French
    Gasienica via Getty Images
    Both France and Belgium lay claim to the French fry, and nobody knows for sure where the actual concept originated. Apparently we call them French fries because American soldiers stationed in France in World War One liked them so much that they dubbed the pommes frites French fries.
  • 6
    Watermelon and Avocados Are Berries, But Strawberries Are Not
    Anissa Sariatu via Getty Images
    Stay with us. A berry, by definition, is a "fleshy fruit produced from a single ovary." This puts watermelon and avocados in the berry family, but leaves strawberries out. Strawberries are "accessory fruits," which means the seeds come not from the ovaries but from the receptacle in which the ovaries are found. So no, a strawberry is not a berry and we can all just go home now.
  • 7
    Twinkies Do Not Have An Infinite Shelf Life
    AP
    Sad but true, folks. Sad but true. Twinkies actually have a shelf-life of about 45 days. That's not forever at all!
  • 8
    Honey, However, Will Stay Good FOREVER
    Anthony-Masterson via Getty Images
    Honey never expires. While it may crystalize or change in color over the years, it will always be safe to consume.
  • 9
    Your Jar Of Peanut Butter May Contain Rodent Hair And Insect Parts
    Image Studios via Getty Images
    Sorry. We're really sorry. But it's true, and the FDA has confirmed it. There may be up to an "average of 30 OR MORE insect fragments per 100 grams" and an "average of one OR MORE rodent hairs per 100 grams." (Emphasis our own.) The FDA lists the "significance" as "aesthetic." Really?
  • 10
    Number Of Rows On An Ear Of Corn Will Always Be Even
    Copyright Crezalyn Nerona Uratsuji via Getty Images
    What? How? Assuming a regular environment, the number of rows on an ear of corn will be even, because kernels come from pollinated flowers, and these flowers occur in pairs. Or something.
  • 11
    Fast Food Signs Can Affect Your Behavior
    AP
    The mere sight of a fast food logo or packaging can affect your behavior. It can stimulate a sense of impatience and lead to a decreased capacity to savor and enjoy a pleasant experience. Yes, fast food is bad for you in more ways than one.
  • 12
    One In Two Sandwiches Sold In France Is Now A Hamburger
    Lauri Patterson via Getty Images
    While we're all for hamburgers, we don't understand how they're trumping all the other wonders of French cuisine. It seems kind of like a crime that almost half of all sandwiches sold in France are burgers, especially when so many of them come from McDonald's.
  • 13
    Most Of The Salmon We Eat Is Dyed Pink
    Holger Leue via Getty Images
    Wild salmon are pink in color because of the krill they eat, but farmed salmon -- which accounts for two-thirds of the salmon we eat -- are fed pellets to dye their flesh pink, which is otherwise naturally grey.

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Correction: This post originally stated that there are an average or 30 more insect fragments per 100 grams of peanut butter, while in fact that is the defect level that the FDA permits per 100 grams of peanut butter. This post also originally called "prunus" a family, when it is actually a genus in the rose family (Rosaceae), and it incorrectly stated that salmon skin is dyed pink, when it is the flesh that is dyed.

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Filed by Alison Spiegel