4 Food Rumors Debunked

Jun 04, 2012 04:14 PM EDT | By Carly Okyle

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Pop Rocks
Pop Rocks and soda, when combined in your stomach, are completely harmless. (Photo : Flickr)

Urban food legends abound -- some as old as food, itself. We've taken the liberty of finding out the truth about some of the food industry's most enduring food myths. 

Rumor: Mountain Dew Kills Sperm
Although the word around middle school cafeterias is that the food coloring in Mountain Dew lowers sperm count (or shrinks testicles), drinkers have nothing to fear. According to Snopes.com, the Yellow #5 dye that’s in the soda has been used in many products since 1916. Chances are, any affect that it had on reproduction would be well documented by now. Still, perhaps somebody should explain to Mayor Michael Bloomberg that soda does not affect reproduction abilities, since he is so dead-set against the sale of sugary beverages.

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Rumor: Eating Pop Rocks and Soda Will Kill You
Myths of the deadly combination of Pop Rocks and soda have been in full swing since 1979. It was even suspected that “Mikey” from the Life cereal commercials had succumbed to the terrible fate. Thankfully carbonated drinks combined with Pop Rocks are harmless, except for a possible minor stomach ache. General Foods has been trying to combat the rumors since they started, even going so far as to take out advertisements assuring that the product was safe in major publications and having the snack’s inventor speak around the country to explain that Pop Rocks weren’t dangerous. They also wrote thousands of letters to school principals in an attempt to assuage concern. Still, the myth persists. The Huffington Post sites a similar rumor about Brazilian children who died from eating Mentos and drinking soda. Though Pop Rocks and soda cause no problems, rubarb and other food can be fatal.

Rumor: Twinkies Never Expire
Obviously, you’re going to need a bunker to hide out in during the impending zombie apocalypse, but before you stock it full of bottled water and Twinkies, consider this: Twinkies do, in fact, spoil. Although the popular Hostess snack does last longer than the average baked item because they are not made with any milk, a Twinkie maxes out in approximately 25 days.

Rumor: Bubble Yum is made with Spider Eggs
Word spread that Bubble Yum was softer than most other gums on the market because it was made with spider eggs (or spider legs or spider webs). As with the Pop Rocks debacle, the parent company – in this case, the Life Savers Company – addressed the rumors head-on. It cost over $100,000 to combat the myth, but the anti-smear campaign was successful. Though the memory of the rumor lives on, Bubble Yum remains a popular product.

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