26. Curiously Strange Food Facts

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Show Notes

In this episode, Jess takes in some bizarre and strange food facts from the audience and brings some to the table as well as she gets weird for spooky season.

Dyed Salmon Flesh

Urchin (Uni) Gonads and Ovaries

Cheese Thievery 

Explosive Peanuts 

Celestial Seasonings Cult

Patagonian Toothfish? Nah, Chilean Sea Bass

Got Lust? Get Kelloggs. 

Support the show

The Flaky Foodie


Jess 0:10
Hi, it’s Jess and welcome to the flaky foodie podcast. The only show where the discussion is delicious and there’s chatter to chew on. On today’s episode is a very special show because this is my first show since I’ve started the podcast where I’m flying solo, other than my trailer, which is about five minutes of me talking. This is where my first full length episode, just me now Wait, wait, don’t run away. Even though it’s just me. This topic is a very fun one and very interesting and perfect for the spooky season. Even if you’re not really a Halloween person like I definitely am not. Are you not a scary movie person? Don’t worry is not scary, it’s just a little bit strange and feared. We’re going to be talking about some of the strangest weirdest and wildest food facts and stories that I could find. Now these are not necessarily the strangest of the strange and the weirdest of the weird. They’re just the ones that caught my eye the facts that I didn’t know already. Now I’m not necessarily going to list all my sources as I talk, but I definitely believe in giving people credit for their work. You know, I am a former journalist after all, and I believe in citing sources. So for a full length of sources, please see my show notes show description. And I hope this episode inspires you to look further into the stories and the food facts to learn even more. Now we’ll take a brief romp on the wild side after a break.

It may only be October, but I’m already prepping for the holiday season. And I want you to help if you have a fun, interesting or unique holiday food memory or tradition. I want you to share that with me. It can be from any holiday that you celebrate from the end of November all the way until the new year the end of December. So that means that your food memory or tradition can take place during Christmas. It gets a place during Thanksgiving or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, or Festivus or any other holiday that’s outside of my American way of thinking as long as it takes place. From the end of November to the end of December or into New Years to submit your holiday stories. Just go to my website That is the flaky Those who submit a story will be entered in to win a raffle. And the winner of the raffle will be announced at the end of the year. Thanks so much. And let’s get back to the Show

All right. Welcome back. Let’s get this started. To kick this off. I asked you guys on Twitter. What’s one strange food fact that you know, Erin said wild salmon is naturally pink, but farmed salmon is dyed red. And this is absolutely true. Of course, wild salmon eat crustaceans and other foods that turn their flesh deep pink or salmon color. Of course, farm salmon are fed carotenoids. This is a chemical compound that also turns to flesh pink just like those crustaceans that they would get in the wild. Now, hold on to your hats ladies and gentlemen, because it’s about to be a wild ride. Chris Speier, owner of perfect little bites and hosts of chefs without restaurants podcast gave me this fact that absolutely blew my mind because I had never heard this before. The only edible part of sea urchins are their gonads. Yep, those parts. So if you’ve had Guney, you’ve had the Rocky Mountain Oysters of the actual sea. Now I and all my food network and animal planning watcher days have never even seen someone look to see if a sea urchin is male or female before eating it. So I was curious about the biology of this animal, apparently. So even though there are male sea urchins and female sea urchins, they mostly look identical and kind of really hard to tell apart, especially even on the inside. In females. The organ that people actually eat is not a golden egg. It produces row eggs and in the males it produces sperm. So yes, uni is gonads, but it’s also ovaries. It just depends on the gender of the sea urchin that you ate. Now Some articles say there’s a difference in taste. No, I wouldn’t know. So sushi aficionados, I must know this. Have you ever tasted oni? And do you know the difference? Or can you tell the difference between a male sea urchin and a female sea urchin? And if you’re a veggie like me, and you’re thoroughly grossed out, do you know what else is technically an ovary that you eat? Probably on a daily basis, apples and other fruits. Fruits, by definition, are plant ovaries because of the seeds on the inside. Now, let’s move on to something that’s a little less unsettling. But weird, nonetheless. There’s a final fact from Twitter that kind of ties into the ovaries, gonads froots oni conversation and that is from Pete, my friend Pete from middle class film class. And he said, he gave me this quote, intelligence is knowing that a tomato is a fruit wisdom is knowing that it doesn’t belong in a fruit salad. And yes, tomatoes are also fruits, and they don’t really belong in a fruit salad. That’s true. But is caprese salad technically a fruit salad? Hmm, things that make Hugo. But anyway, thank you to everyone who responded on Twitter, you guys definitely made the Show special today. If you want to be a part of the fun, come on over is free and open to everyone. Follow me on Twitter. I always have conversation starters and polls that you can participate in prior to the show. And I also make most of my announcements regarding the podcast on Twitter. It’s my favorite of the social media platform. So they’re quite a bit.

So let’s move from the facts that I found on twitter through my twitter friends, and go to the ones that I found on my own through research. So here’s the first one. Cheese is apparently the most stolen food on the planet. This is according to the Center for retail research. And they say people steal so much culture dairy goodness, that a whopping 4% of retail cheese gets snatched up. Now being a former journalist, I had some questions like how did they research the whole world? Well, apparently the Center for retail research is based in the UK. And they examine retail trends in the UK, Europe and North America. And while that is a big part of the world, it’s not the whole world I mean, Asia, Africa, even Australia doesn’t look like the cover them. So take this fact with a grain of salt or more relevantly, your cheddar, brie careful what you brielieve. Now that’s a load of cheese and dad jokes, but I hope you smell what I’m stepping in there.

Okay, so fun fact that I found on my own number two is that peanuts are a very explosive legume. Peanuts contain a chemical that is used to make dynamite. It contains glycerol, which if that sounds familiar is used to make nitro glycerin a big part of what made Boom Boom sticks go boom.

Okay, so now this next fact, when I first saw this floating around on Tiktok, and Instagram and all the social media platforms, it had my jaw on the floor. If you’re a tea lover like me, you’re probably familiar with Celestial Seasonings. They may sleepy time tea and lemon Zinger tea, and other favorite blends of tea that are sold in major grocery stores. Now this huge corporation sells enough tea to brew more than 1.6 billion cups of this stuff. This is directly from their website. Now the Tea Party my dad joke now the tea of Celestial Seasonings is that it was founded by a member of a racist space cult Sounds crazy right? Like Twilight Zone worthy stuff.

Now the story on the celestial seasoning website is very tame it contains none of this WTF rumors of its alleged history. It just says that most Seagull the founder, founded the company while he was out picking wild herbs in the rocky mountains of Colorado like a hippie dream. And he eventually sold teas under the the name moles 36 and 24 herb teas and he sold them to helpful stores. Now the site itself doesn’t even mention how the name of Celestial Seasonings came to be. It’s like it went from moles 24 and 36 herb teas directly to Celestial Seasonings for some unknown reason. Now the word on the street or in the articles that I read says that Celestial Seasonings was actually someone’s Moonflower name and that how that’s how it became The name of the tea. But you know, finding a legitimate news source first of all, and all this stuff was, it was pretty hard at first, there are sites upon sites that seem to rely on only one article for data. And this data comes from a now defunct publication meaning is not printed anymore. That was put out by Van winkles. And you might like Van winkles, like Rip Van Winkle, the man who slept for all time. And guess van winkles make sense because it was the editorial division of Casper sleep. That’s right, a Mattress Company. The main source of all this tea is an article by a mattress company in a publication that doesn’t even exist anymore. Now, the article is just reposted on a cult website. But if you start from the article and kind of research our word, everything is kind of confirmable and makes a lot of sense. Like the founder most Eagle he’s definitely involved in the Ranch area rant. Yeah, where you rant here, which is this reportedly racist cult. If you look at the ranty of foundations page, his face is the first face that you see. He’s all over the foundation social media pages as well. Siegel himself also mentioned he was impacted by the book of your antiA, which is kind of the basis of this cult, in a book called you’ve got to read this book, which is basically like good reads condensed in a book, which I think is pretty meta. So if you have Celestial Seasonings tea, you know they have like little pithy sayings or quotes on the side of the box. It’s kind of how Snapple has the facts below the lid like you flip over the lid of a Snapple it’ll tell you something like peanuts or accused make nitroglycerin or something crazy like that. Now SQL says that these quotes were inspired by the book have you read Tia? In a book that we mentioned earlier? The meta book I have, you’ve got to read this book. Now people think that the book of you rant here, which we mentioned before, is supposed to be like a sacred texts with the supernatural author, kind of like the Bible, but a lot of people think it was written by a surgeon in the 1900s was a former Seventh Day Adventist pastor who left the church and got into some very strange beliefs to kind of sum the book up and this is based on what I’ve read. I haven’t read the actual book of your antiA but I’ve read several articles about the book as well as some reviews on Amazon, I think good reasons well, and it’s like someone put a sci fi filter on the Bible with a splash of racism and eugenics. And if it sounds strange, it definitely is. And the fact that it’s kind of this sci fi spin on the Bible kind of explains the celestial part of Celestial Seasonings.

Now you rant here is Earth. And in this book, it says Adam and Eve are these blue eyed fair skinned aliens, and they were supposed to go from planet to planet to uplift the species there and eventually bring them to a point where all the races are harmonious and everything is purified sounds a little bit red flag ish, it gets a lot worse, apparently pulling from how Adam messed up in the Garden of Eden and how that kind of messed up Earth for all time until there’s a solution in the book of you rant here, Adam and Eve messed up and now all the races are kind of not harmonious anymore. Everything’s out of balanced. But the way to fix that is to call out the week and that is the way that you get racial harmony. Now this is eugenics and racism and it honestly makes my stomach turn a little bit. And this type of thinking especially makes me woozy. When it’s someone when the thought comes from someone who’s in charge of someone’s lives like a doctor or surgeon. Well, if your stomach is turned as well, you want to morally avoid this brand. You know the way some people avoid Chick fil A and other companies that don’t align with their beliefs. This should be easy right? Celestial Seasonings, there’s other fish in the sea and teas on the shelf right? Well Celestial Seasonings is now a part of Hain Celestial group. So if you shopped at a health food store or if you shop at a healthful store, you have had their products or you’re probably going to inadvertently buy their products. Their products include Terra chips, parm Chris Garden of Eden, thin stirs, Maranatha nut butters Greek gods yogurt. I mean, honestly, this company supplies like 70% of Whole Foods. And that’s a statistic I made up that’s not a real statistic. But if you want to learn more about the crazy WTF story of Celestial Seasonings and go a little bit more in depth behind the basters is the podcast that most of these tick talkers are quoting or using the information from. I’ll put a link in the description if you want to support their show as well. Now, this next fact, I think, is pretty well known. Cornflakes was invented by Dr. Harvey Kellogg. And I’m going to say this at a real high level and hopefully you can kind of follow me and read in between the lines. Dr. Harvey Kellogg was a firm believer in abstinence. And he believed that eating a bland healthy diet was the key to suppressing lustful urges. So if you’re a fan of cornflakes, and you get mad when people say they taste like cardboard, well, they weren’t designed to be magically delicious, that’s for sure. They were designed to keep you pure. Now, the thing I did not know about Kellogg is that he is the brother in law of the alleged ranty of founder, Dr. William Sadler. So I kind of find it interesting that they are so close. And they end up being the founder like Kellogg, or kind of indirectly related, like Dr. Sadler to giant food corporations that are still relevant and active to this day. So you know, and this would kind of lead me to kind of put my tinfoil hat on, but I’ll leave that to that branch of podcast to kind of go in depth to that, because that’s an interesting link. And, you know, chance coincidence, conspiracy, who knows? Okay, so for this next strange and weird, fun fact,

I want you to take a little mental journey with me, I want you to close your eyes and imagine that you’re in a fine dining restaurant, you’re dressed to the nines, and the place itself is exquisite. The ambiance is perfect, the lighting is great, the music is soft and odious. you’re seated at the table with the best few, no outside distractions can give it to you at this little piece of paradise. You look at the menu and is full of inviting descriptions that you cannot wait to taste. You ask the server if he can tell you something that he highly recommends. And he says the Chilean sea bass. And so you look upon it, and you decide to order it. And when it comes out to you, you eat it with gusto. And then finally you get the bill and your heart almost stops because the price is insane. Now I hate to burst your bubble of a vision. But the reason that the delay and sea bass is so expensive is built upon a little bit of a lie. The only true part of the name to lay in sea bass is the word see, the fish itself is not primarily from Chile, and it’s not even a bass. Most of the fish caught and Eden in the US actually hail from Antarctica and their cards so the name and his double digit market price of restaurants are the results of marketing. The Chilean sea bass was originally known as the Patagonian toothfish and almost like lobster and I won’t go into the history of that food it was a junk see product just like lobster before being pulled up from the muck and into fine dining. The story goes that there was this guy, he was essentially a fish Scout he traveled around looking for a new fish to market in the US. I think fish wholesaler is actually the correct term. But who doesn’t want to picture this guy? The way you see football scouts at high school football games looking and you know, just like they look out into the crowd of high school came that he’s looking out into the ocean saying hey, look at look at this to fish kid, he could go all the way. And you know, that’s not too far from the truth. That’s how this story goes. Lee Lance was on a trip to Chile and this big, ugly fish kept getting accidentally wrapped up in the locals nets. Now this was like a major nuisance because they didn’t eat this fish. It was unattractive. And they were mostly kind of just throwing it back in the water. They thought this fish was so useless that when li Lance asked me like, what’s the name of this fish, they even have a name for it. They never really ate it. They just kind of threw it back. So they called it the Patagonian toothfish that’s not the name that the locals called it. That’s the name that the marine biologists who discovered it gave it and they discovered this fish years before li Lance stumbled upon it now Lance had an idea to market this fish but like many aspiring stars, the name was holding the fish back. So he decided to name it Chile and sea bass and the rest is history. This fish went from being like never fished, always thrown back, never eaten to being critically overfished and this is all due to Lance’s marketing prowess. And coming up with the perfect name. Now people are paying top dollar for this fish, and they say it has kind of like a buttery mouthfeel and tasteless fishy than other fish. Now this kind of brings me to the funniest part of the story that I didn’t really mention it earlier. The first time Lance tried this fish you think in order to kind of have this whole marketing Spiel behind this fish that he tasted it and was instantly blown away like hey, it doesn’t look that great, but you know, it’s really delicious but eenie really like it the first time that was really like MC one article says he fried it and again, the taste was like, Man, I

don’t really have like a lot of flavors. All right, but he saw this nine fishy fish doing well in the US market and decided to rename it and put it out there anyway. So even though he may not have fully believed in it with his taste buds, he still made it work. And there’s a lesson in there somewhere, but I’m not going there today. Okay, so speaking of foods that have had a huge marketing makeover, let’s talk kale. Kale was not always a trendy superfood. As a matter of fact, it was reported by NPR that the biggest producer of kale in the US was actually Pizza Hut. Now before you go thinking, okay, maybe it was some kind of secret ingredient in the sauce, you know, that’s what the green flakes were they were actually kale. They weren’t oregano at all. It wasn’t used for the food. It wasn’t used to be eaten, it was just the garnish for their salad bars. So this has been kind of unconfirmed that they were the biggest purchaser of kale before the kale craze took off. But they did use the kale on their salad bars. But the cult superfood status is actually because one marketer overwhelmed Sinclair, she just decided to make kale, her personal project, she saw that people were eating kale in France and just decided that hey, this vegetable is amazing and more people should know about it. So she started the American kale Association and just started preaching the benefits of the vegetable. Now if you’ve ever seen an Eat kale shirt or saw eat kale salad being advertised or kale smoothie being advertised at a restaurant, well, it looks like our work pay off. So that is all the fun facts and weird history and science and all kinds of information that I have to share with you today. Thank you so much for joining me on this journey of my first official solo episode. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, or any of my other ones, please treat this episode like gossip or the gospel and tell someone about it. Now I say this every week, but what does it really mean? It means sharing my post or sharing information about the show with your friends. It means liking the posts. It means following and subscribing so that more people can know about the show. Because knowing that you listen kind of keeps me going even though I love doing this knowing that you listen really keeps me going. So I hope you all have a great and wonderful week. Eat something absolutely amazing this week. And if you do, you can always tell me about it on social media. I’ll repost you, I’ll tag you and everything. Just show me some delicious food because I’m always here for that. See you next week where I should have a guest.

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