Seven food myths busted

Rebecca Elliott / 10 September 2019

We look at some of the most common food myths and misunderstandings.

According to research carried out by meal kit company HelloFresh many Brits have no idea where their food comes from. They surveyed over 2,000 people to find out some of the most common misconceptions. 

Tofu is not a mushroom

One in ten people surveyed thought tofu is a type of mushroom, but tofu is actually made from fermented soybeans. Interested in trying it? Read our guide to cooking tofu. It might be that people are getting it mixed up with Quorn, another food popular with vegetarians that is made from a soil mould that is often mistakenly referred to as mushrooms. 

Veal is not from deer

A fifth of people thought that veal comes from deer. They’re probably getting veal mixed up with venison, which does come from a deer, whereas veal is from a calf, usually the male offspring of dairy cows.

Tea is rarely grown in the UK

Although it is possible to grow tea in the UK (Cornish company Tregothan have become the first British tea grower) almost all tea available to buy has been grown in Asia or Africa. Yes, even Yorkshire tea. Despite this 11% of participants thought it was grown in the UK.

Transform your home cooked meals with a Simply Cook recipe kit. Saga customers get a trial box for £1, which includes four recipe kits, plus free delivery. Find out more about our Simply Cook offer.

Salami is usually pork (but not always!)

A quarter of the people surveyed had no idea what meat salami contains. Perhaps that’s not surprising because it can vary. It’s usually pork, although beef is used in halal and kosher salami. Sometimes horse and donkey is used instead, or a mixture of different animals.

Bacon does not come from cows

Shockingly around 2% of people thought bacon comes from cows. This might not sound like a lot but if you scale up that percentage to the country’s population that’s about 1.3 million people! In case you’re one of the 2%, bacon comes from pigs - usually from the belly or back.

Chickpeas are incredibly versatile

A whopping quarter of participants have no idea what to do with chickpeas so avoid them completely. That’s a shame because chickpeas are versatile and incredibly healthy. Try one of our recipes for chickpea and sweet potato curry, chickpea and butternut squash salad and curried chickpeas with cauliflower rice.

Eggs and goat’s milk aren’t vegan

20% of 18-34 year olds surveyed thought eggs are vegan. Pretty surprising, considering millennials are widely believed to be driving the vegan food movement. A fifth of people also seemed to think goat’s milk is vegan. They’re both from animals so neither is vegan. Cooking for vegans and not sure what to make? Visit our vegan recipe section for some ideas.

Baked beans are haricot beans

A third of people didn’t realise that that the beans used in baked beans are haricot beans. This is a popular pub quiz question so it’s definitely useful knowledge to have in the memory banks!

Saga customers can enjoy exclusive offers from both Saga and our carefully chosen partners, entertaining and informative features, the chance to win fantastic prizes, and more. Find out about Saga customer benefits today.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.