Cannabis Myth?


“George Washington smoked cannabis.”


Ruling:
False. As far as we know, he farmed hemp for economical purposes.

Analysis:
Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp at their farms. In Virginia, hemp was promoted at the time as an alternative cash crop to tobacco, since it did not deplete the soil as much. Hemp was also useful for rope, paper, and clothing. Now, even though there was no social stigma attached to smoking pot at the time, there is no evidence to suggest Washington also smoked the plant. Having said that, Thomas Jefferson did at some point trade hemp seeds with another farmer in Missouri, which by many modern standards would qualify him as a dealer.

See other: Mythconceptions?

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Milk Myth?


“Milk increases mucous.”


Ruling:
False. It is just a placebo effect.

Analysis:
According to the study Relationship between milk intake and mucus production in adult volunteers challenged with rhinovirus-2, the test subjects ‘who believe “milk makes mucus” or reduce milk intake with colds reported significantly more cough and congestion symptoms, but they did not produce higher levels of nasal secretions.’ The researchers concluded that no statistically significant overall association can be detected between milk and dairy product intake and symptoms of mucus production in healthy adults, either asymptomatic or symptomatic, with rhinovirus infection.

See other: Mythconceptions?

Warts Myth?


“People can catch warts from toads.”


Ruling:
False. Warts are unique to humans. Toads do not have them.

Analysis:
There are no amphibians that give you warts. This myth has been around for a long time and is probably related to the fact that many frogs and toads have warty looking bumps on their skin. These are glands and do not secrete anything that can cause people to have warts. Although some skin secretions of some amphibians may irritate your skin and cause a rash. Warts are actually caused by viruses.

See other: Mythconceptions?

Alcohol Myth?


“Cooking removes alcohol.”


Ruling:
Mostly true. The rate by which alcohol is burned off depends on the method of cooking.

Analysis:
Studies show not all the alcohol is burned off: if a dish is left to simmer for hours, most of the alcohol will go away; but after 20 minutes of simmering, up to 50 percent of it can stick around. Flambéing leaves even more alcohol behind, and even less of it escapes during baking, because the alcohol has to work its way out of the batter.

See other: Mythconceptions?

Boiling Myth?


“Adding salt to water makes it boil more quickly.”


Ruling:
Mostly false. Depends on the nature of the salt.

Analysis:
Merely adding some salt to regular water will only make a difference in large quantities. However, it is true that salt water boils more quickly than regular water. If you look at the heat capacity of salt water, you will find that it is less than pure water. In other words, it takes less energy to raise the temperature of salt water 1°C than pure water. This means that salt water heats up faster and eventually gets to its boiling point first.

See other: Mythconceptions?

Sushi Myth?


“Sushi means raw fish.”


Ruling:
False. Erroneous translation.

Analysis:
Though sometimes also translated as ‘vinegared rice’, sushi means ‘sour rice’ and does not always feature fish. Nowadays, sushi is first and foremost a rice dish, which can include vegetables, cooked fish, raw fish, poultry, or other proteins.

See other: Mythconceptions?

Pasta Myth?


“Oil stops pasta from sticking.”


Ruling:
Half true. In most cases it will effect the water more than the pasta.

Analysis:
Adding a little dose of oil does not prevent the pasta from sticking, but it can stop the water from foaming or boiling over. However, this can also be achieved by making sure you use a large pot and also by reducing the heat a little (but still maintaining a boil).

Adding a substantial dose of oil to the pasta water can prevent sticking to some extent, but at a great price. Pasta that’s cooked in oily water will become oily itself; sauce does not stick to oily pasta, which does not absorb the sauce and is left mostly flavourless.

See other: Mythconceptions?

Apple Myth?


“Apple Macs cannot get viruses.”


Ruling:
False. Apple user propaganda.

Analysis:
Apple Macs can get viruses, albeit less frequently than Microsoft Windows computers. Most tools, scripts, and codes used to create viruses are designed for Microsoft Windows because this is the most widely used operating system in the world. However, as Apple Macintosh computers gain market share and are used by more people, virus infections are becoming more common than they used to be.

See other: Mythconceptions?