Below are some interesting facts about food.
- Pacific oysters are high in zinc, iron, iodine and the essential amino acids taurin and hypotaurine which reduce blood cholesterol levels.
- New Zealanders eat about 60 million pies a year, which means that each person eats on average 15 pies a year
- Almonds and dates, both mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible, were among the earliest cultivated foods.
- Phosphoric acid makes soft drinks fizzy and acidic like lemon juice, so lots of sugar is added to make them taste sweet.
- A child eating a pie, chips, a cookie and a fizzy drink for lunch is likely to consume 10 teaspoons of fat and 20 of sugar.
- One standard can of soft drink (330 mls) contains up to 10 teaspoons of sugar.
- About 1/2 of the calories in the average fast food meal come from fat.
- You have to inherit a mutation to be able to digest milk as an adult and 65-75% of the world’s population are unable to digest the milk sugar lactose.
- If you can digest milk, this is due to a genetic mutation in your DNA that first arose 12,000–10,000 years ago.
- The most common causes of food allergies are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish and wheat.
- We should consume a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, but a typical American diet tends to consist of 14–25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3.
- A diet rich in omega-3 during pregnancy and breastfeeding can improve brain development in children.
- Potatoes originated in South America where they have been grown for over 2,000 years.
- Potatoes can be grown in a bucket? You keep adding more soil as the shoots grow.
- Blight, a fungus disease affecting potatoes, wiped out almost all Ireland’s potato crops in 1845 and 1846. For most of the population, this was their main food source.
- By the early 19th century, potatoes had replaced fern roots as the main staple food in the Māori diet.
- Potatoes were extensively used by Māori as currency, which they used to barter for iron from European ships. Māori would often save potatoes for trade rather than eat them.
Food from the sea
- Omega-3 fatty acids are most abundant in fish living in cold waters, such as mackerel, salmon and sardines.
- One serving of salmon provides close to the recommended daily allowance of omega-3.
- The omega-3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is found only in fish. DHA can improve brain development.
- Did you ever wonder why whitebait don't get sunburnt? They have a sun protection factor (SPF).
- The greenshell mussel (Perna canaliculus) is native to New Zealand and is not found anywhere else in the world.
- Pāua grow larger in cold water than in warm water.
- New Zealand has more than 600 varieties of seaweed. There are three different genuses (types) of seaweed grown commercially in New Zealand.
Find out more about foods.