Although much of the information on this page is not directly related to health, we thought you'd find some of these facts and figures about food interesting and amusing.

Unusual Appetites

Worlds worst meal: eating a bicycle. A man did this by grinding it into powder.

In 1743 a teen age boy was observed to have eaten 384 pounds of food in one week. There was another boy (or perhaps another report on this same boy) whose weight increased by 179 pounds in one year from 105 to 284. Like a cow, he ate fifteen hours every day yet was still hungry.

In 1963 a man ate a single meal weighing 54 pounds.

There was an olympic hammer thrower who used to eat a dozen raw eggs for breakfast, complete with shells.

Historians tell us that a sweet onion was the favorite dessert of the Romans.

In Africa, roasted termites are considered delicious.

People in Laos would think you were crazy if you refused to eat giant waterbugs.

When a pineapple was first shown to the infamous glutton King Louis XIV, he immediately grabbed it and took a giant bite. He cut his lips and thereafter outlawed pineapples in France.

Bites From Food History

In the Bible, the fruit that Eve ate in the Garden of Eden was not specifically an apple. In the Koran, the sacred book of Islam, it is called a banana. Some scientists believe the fruit may have been a lemon, because edible apples did not yet exist in the time and place of Eden.

The word salary came from the word salt in Roman times. Salt was used as a trading medium - money.

It's hard to imagine that until about four hundred years ago, European people ate everything with their fingers. When a few people started using forks in England, everyone else thought the idea of using tools to eat was totally strange.

The original reason for tablecloths was as a towel to wipe one's fingers and hands on after eating (My Children still honor that old usage!).

In the eighteenth century, John Montagu, the Earl of Sandwich invented a small meal that could be eaten with one hand while he continued his non-stop gambling.

John Pemberton, the inventor of Coca-Cola referred to it as, "Esteemed Brain Tonic and Intellectual Beverage."

Ketchup was originally made from fish broth and mushrooms. Tomatoes were added later. Today, ketchup must contain sugar, otherwise it must be called imitation ketchup.

Fruits and Vegetables

Cherries taste great, but if you eat the leaves or twigs of a cherry tree, you could die.

Strawberries are unique among fruits because they carry their seeds on the outside.

People have grown tomatoes with a strawberry growing inside.

Americans eat 5681 miles of carrots per day.

A genetic engineer in Japan has created cube-shaped watermelons. These stack more efficiently than round ones.

Celery has the unusual effect that the more you eat, the skinnier you will become. It takes more energy to eat celery than the calories it contains.

If you eat eleven pounds of potatoes, you will gain one pound of weight. Until the eighteenth century, many Americans believed that potatoes were bad for your health.

Nine-tenths of cabbage is plain water.

If you store carrots and apples together in your fridge, the carrots will become bitter because they are affected by the ethylene fumes (natural) given off by the apples.


There is a wild edible plant called Hernandulcin which is 1000 times sweeter than sugar.

If you filled trucks with all the candy American kids eat in one year, they would line up bumper to bumper from San Diego to San Francisco.

When the diets of inmates of a Virginia juvenile detention center were changed from typical American junk food to natural foods - cereal without sugar, fruit juice instead of soda, etc, - kids who were chronic offenders decreased by 56 percent and kids who were well-mannered increased by 71 percent.


Around 50 million Americans eat at fast-food restaurants each day.

When you go to a fast-food restaurant, and ask for white chicken meat, you might actually get bleached dark meat.

Americans eat 127 chickens per second.

Just before a game, Babe Ruth had to be taken to a hospital due to extreme stomach pain. He had eaten twelve hot dogs in a row!

Most people don't realize that a hot dog may contain cow brains, lips, eyes, stomachs or tails. Americans eat an average of forty of these things per year, at a cost of six hundred million dollars. If you lined them all up, that line would be about a half million miles long.

If the water used by the cattle business was not paid for by American taxpayers, beef would cost $35 per pound.

All members of the Roman empire were vegetarians until Julias Caesar.

There is no known case of a vegetarian dying of snakebite in America.

99 percent of everything alive on earth is vegetable.

Drink In America, some people put sugar in their tea or coffee. In parts of China, people put salt into their tea.

Voltaire drank between 50 and 65 cups of coffee every day.

In France the average person drinks over 25 gallons of wine per year.

We Americans drink three million gallons of orange juice per day. We drink over fifteen million gallons of beer daily. This means that on average, Americans drink five times more beer than orange juice.

In Old England, people drank beer with their breakfast.

In the old days, people did not buy beer in bottles or cans at the 7-11 store. They went to the tavern and carried the beer home in a bucket.

If everyone quit drinking alcoholic beverages, twenty million starving people could be fed on the grain saved.

Miscellaneous Food Facts According to the makers of Hellman's Mayonnaise, contrary to popular belief, you can't get sick from their product. They have never had a case of a sick customer. The acid and salt in the product would kill harmful bacteria.

If you lined up all the eggs that Americans eat in one day, they would reach from Chicago to Waikiki. (4142 miles)

We each eat approximately ten pounds of chemical food additives per year.

To grow the wheat for a single loaf of bread requires two tons of water.

You can harvest one-half ton of wheat from an acre, but if you grow potatoes instead, that same acre will give you five tons.

Americans are 2,300,000,000 (over 2 billion) pounds overweight. We average about nine and a half pounds overweight. Overweight Americans cost about a billion extra gallons of gasoline per year.

Food takes 24 hours to complete its 30-foot path through your body.

Chop suey was invented in America.

If you spin two eggs on a flat, hard surface, one raw, and the other hard-boiled, the hard-boiled one will spin much longer.

There used to be a custom of putting a small piece of toast into wine to enhance its flavor by absorbing particles. This is where the term "to toast" came from.

Potato chips cost 200 times more per pound than potatoes.

The high cost of medical insurance would be reduced by about 33 percent if we all had a proper diet, according to a study by the Senate Committee of Nutrition and Human Needs.

If we all had a proper diet, 98 percent of the people who die of heart attacks would still be around.

Some scientists in Tucson, Arizona studied peoples' garbage cans and discovered that Americans waste ten percent of the food we buy. We throw away 81 billion dollars worth of food every year.

One day in Poland, a brewery developed a plumbing problem in which the beer was accidentally pumped into the incoming water supply. The result: Residents of the town got free beer on tap at their kitchen sinks, bathrooms and garden faucets.

Rubbing orange peels or lemon peels on yourself will repel mosquitoes. The active ingredient being citronella.

Velma Anstadt won a science fair when she made protein-rich earthworm cookies.

Pepsico also owns the Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell chains.

Of all the land on earth, 7.6% is being farmed. 21% could be farmed.

Michel Lotito has eaten 7 tv sets.

Robert Hopkirk eats 72 raw eggs a week. That's all.

Safeway, the grocery store chain, owns over 22 miles of bumper to bumper tractor-trailers.

2 out of every 100 Americans are farmers or ranchers. The other 98 out of a hundred eat their products.

40% of Americans want to eat less salt. Lemon drops can act as a salt substitute. If you like salt on your steak, but know you shouldn't eat so much salt, put a few drops of lemon juice on your food and enjoy the taste.

The average American eats 20 to 30 times as much salt as is required for good health.

82% of children list pizza as their favorite food.

Half of all kids under age 12 cook at least one meal per week.

One out of 25 kids think that pasta is seafood.

The average American family spends $411.52 per year on pizza.

Less than 1/3 of the meals eaten in America are served to the whole family at once.

One-third of the items bought at grocery stores are not food.

Four years ago, 17% of Americans knew what their cholesterol level was. Three years ago, 32% knew the figure.

All the information in this database is reliably calculated from or based on what others have written. However, you may wish to conduct your own research to make absolutely sure of the facts.

An American spends less for food than a person anywhere else in the world. 12% of our total income goes for food.

When rats were fed only 60% of the food they would eat if they could, they lived 40% longer than normal.

Here's a puzzle for you: What do you call the long thin things on the end of a fork? Can't remember? You'll find out in a minute.

A study has discovered that people tend to eat 44% more calories when they dine with friends than when they eat alone.

A survey was conducted in which shoppers were asked what concerned them most about shopping. Their overwhelming reply: "Long waits in line at the check-out counter." Retailers, take note.

Wetco sells glacial ice to Japanese consumers. It has a bluish tint and pops and cracks as it melts. The tint is simply the refraction of light in ice denser than homemade ice cubes. The noises are from 10,000 year old pockets of air being released. This sound is referred to as "The whisper of the ages." Price: approximately $3 per pound.

For years milk has been prescribed for ulcers, but recent research finds that milk actually aggravates ulcers.

The things on the end of a fork are called tangs. If you guessed tines, you were right, too.

There is more alcohol in mouthwash than in wine.

In the past 4 years sales from vending machines in America has risen by 7 billion dollars to $24.5 billion annually.

In the early 1970's, when Americans were in the worst nutritional position we have ever been in, 90% of women age 10 to 54 were deficient in iron. In cases severe enough to manifest symptoms, tiredness and listlessness would be common. Since that time, the picture has become somewhat better, due to increased nutritional awareness.

So you eat a bowl of salad everyday, and you think this is helping you get all the vitamins you need. In the 1800's this would have been true, but latest evidence indicates that the vegetables grown on modern industrial farms have less nutritional value. They are carefully fertilized to the minimum amount necessary to grow and look good. The land has long been depleted of important trace elements.

The average American eats 16.5 pounds of french fries a year, totaling 2 million tons. This would fill 50,000 of the biggest tractor trailers, and it would clog even more heart arteries.

There is one vending machine for every 55 Americans.

Coming soon: Vending machines that bake and serve a pizza in 55 seconds.

When you heat cooking oil to over 400 degrees and reuse it for a long time, the chemicals in it change. Research indicates that the oil used by many fast-food establishments for frying hamburgers and other foods such as french fries is often quite carcinogenic.

A person drinks about 11,000 gallons of liquid in a lifetime, approximately 1/3 the amount of water in a built-in swimming pool.

In the early part of this century, Fletcherism was popular. It was an inexpensive diet of milk, potatoes, cereals and maple sugar, among other things. What was most unusual about it, however, was that you were supposed to chew each bite of food for a very long time before swallowing. Furthermore, you were to swish milk and other liquids around in your mouth for at least 15 seconds before swallowing. The leader of this fad, Horace Fletcher, was quite healthy. In 1899, when he was 50 years old, he could outperform athletes less that half his age. For instance, he could ride a bicycle 200 miles in a single day. And not a sleek 10-speed bike, but the machine of the day, a single-speed machine.