Online claims that turn out to be false

I thought this might be a bit of fun, debunking unevidenced and false crap that seem to thrive on the internet. FYI I don’t mean religious myths necessarily. So I’ll start the ball rolling with three that really annoyed me, as I hate unevidenced or untrue claims touted as if they’re factually correct.

  1. Never cook with Olive oil as it gives you cancer.
  2. Never eat well done toast or roasted foods as they give you cancer.
  3. Never drink diet coke, as the sweetener causes cancer.

Since I do all of these, I obviously thoroughly researched multiple sources to fact check them, and of course they’re all wildly false. I also note that misrepresenting risks of cancer abound online.

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Perhaps more alarming is the number of quacks selling pills and potions they claim cure cancer on line. It’s a veritable black market.

About five year ago I had a good friend who believed that shit to the point where he was anti doctors. He had been complaining about being tired all the time. Finally wen to a doctor and had blood tests. Doctor rang him at home, telling him to go to hospital NOW. He died 8 days later of leukemia

I always found health claims regarding food studies the most annoying!

Drink coffee - don’t drink coffee…
Don’t eat yolks - eat yolks…


OK… the reworking of urban legends.
These pop up as “true stories”. The “vanishing hitchhiker”… for one. I understand most carry a “moral caution” (Hahahaha) BUT instead of being told as tales, they’re related as true.

Interestedly the “castrated boy” legend can be traced back to 63 BC (in records). My mom told me that one… but her version was “she heard how a girl cut off her brother’s penis because she wanted a sister” THEN told me not to ever do that to my brother (whaaaaa??? I was preschool when she told me that!!!)

Wow, sadly intelligence seems no barrier to this idiocy. I think it’s a good example of how indulging beliefs without sufficient objective evidence, can be pernicious.

I’ve found a good rule of thumb is if the claim is not qualified in any way, or offered as an absolute, then it’s not based on scientific evidence.

For instance the claim never cook with olive oil as it can give you cancer, is woefully facile.

There are three types for a start, and they each have different smoke points.

Extra virgin olive oil is the lowest, at around 160 C, then virgin olive oil at around 190 C, then olive oil at around 220 C.

Now when oils or fats are subjected to temperatures above their smoke point, then they start to break down into trans fats. Over consumption of trans fats may increase your risk of developing certain cancers.

I’ve condensed that of course, but compare it to the original false claim, and you get an idea of what I mean. FYI extra virgin olive is bought for its taste and nutritional properties, both of which start to diminish when it’s subjected to temperatures above its smoke point.

Also all olive oils are very stable and don’t start to break down as easily as some other oils and fats.

My step children all insisted I couldn’t give the grandchildren diet coke for years. It really annoyed me, as they gave drinks that were loaded with fucking sugar, as if that was a healthier option I can never understand why people accept claims without properly fact checking them.

Also there’s a “link” between BBQ (open flame) can lead to the formation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs have also been linked to cancer formation.. Probably where the olive oil info has roots.

So what? Everything on this earth is “out to kill you”…:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: so I enjoy my BBQ, beer and smoke. Coffee and sugar.

OH - and I’ve always let the boys enjoy all the various foods they are inclined towards - lots and lots of SUGAR :smiling_imp:

Good idea. This is both fun and educational. And can challenge one’s own preconceptions.

There are two important things about choosing a cooking oil. One is their taste (do you want or need the taste of olive oil in your food, or is a neutral oil better?) The other is the smoke point of the oil, the temperature where it starts to degrade. Extra virgin olive oil can have a relatively low smoke point, as low as around 160°C, depending on the quality. Thus, it is better to use refined olive oil for cooking. Or another oil if you need high temperatures. Source 1, Source 2.

While acrylamide, the chemical which is the source of this myth is “a known potential toxin and carcinogen in its industrial form, the link between consuming it in food and developing cancer is much less clear.”[1] While there is a certain hint of truth to the origin of the myth, and acrylamide cannot at this stage be ruled out as a carcinogenic element in food, it all boils down to quantity. If all the food you[2] eat is burnt or “well done” toast or other burnt foods, you should probably eat a healthier diet, which will in any case benefit your health. Or you could lower the temperature of your toaster and/or take a cooking class. The food will taste better without the bitterness of the burnt parts. In any case, with a healthy diet, the occasional burnt toast or well done steak should not represent a problem.

While there are no indications that artificial sweeteners cause cancer with normal consumation, or even with an extreme amount ingested, myth believers and the alternative leaning science deniers will never accept health advice from governmental agencies[3]. As for me, I don’t eat food or drink drinks with artificial sweeteners in them, for the sole reason that I think they taste awful. Especially aspartame has a “flat” metallic-like taste and lingering aftertaste that I find offensive. Sugar simply tastes better, in my opinion. So that’s my reason for avoiding artificial sweeteners.

[1] Does burnt food give you cancer? - University of Birmingham
[2] by “you”, i mean the “generic you”, the reader, not @Sheldon specifically
[3] like for example the NHS; The truth about sweeteners - NHS

Missing children claims.

I’ve been approached by donation seekers that will start with a “Did you know 50,000 children go missing every year in Canada :canada:…” THEN the hit for a price $$$ to fingerprint and picture take and database the kids for future reference… :grimacing:

Hahahaha. I’m one of those careless parents that don’t give out my kids info to anyone.


Of all missing persons reported in a given year, about 500 remain missing after one year. Missing children make up about nine per cent of that 500.

The part left out of the sales pitch or fear-mongering… difference between reported missing (good thing to get on this right away) and continued missing…

“Facebook (or any other social media) will donate 1$ for every like in this post.” - usually a picture of someone ill or needing money for some medical treatment.


Cancer research UK

Studies in people have not shown that eating more foods higher in acrylamide increases cancer risk.

Ruled out no, but if cancer research UK say there’s no evidential link, I’m withholding the belief.

This is fun, I was right. I wonder if the average theist swallows these myths with gusto?

Absolutely, in fact despite how much I love potatoes slow roasted in extra Virgin olive oil and rosemary, I try to eat them sparingly.

…which is not incompatible with what I wrote. And I concur, there is at present not a clear evidential link (although it cannot, by nature, not be ruled completely out), so I will stick to official advice. And the nice thing about empirical science is that when the state of the evidence changes, there is nothing wrong about changing your mind about the matter at hand. In fact, you are expected to do so. Anyting else would just be silly.

It cannot be cancerous since the Bible doesn’t tell you not to eat it (“Thou shall not eat your toast burned or blackened.”) So eat your toast as God intended. Which means any form you’d like.

:crazy_face:. A whole thread could focus on just fucking Covid … and of course, vaccines :syringe:

OHHHH :astonished:

Claims based on “quantum theory” (tossed in a touch of science) …

“Laws of Attraction” which haven’t really worked for the average Joe-blow so now its

Forget “Laws of Attraction” - tune in to “Laws of Vibration”…

Shit-tons out there on this now…

  1. Never go out in the cold with wet hair or you will catch a cold.
  2. Wear a jacket or you will catch a cold.
    (Last time I checked the common cold was caused by exposure to a virus.)

Taking vitamins is somehow healthy for you!
(Can I just lump the whole helth food industry into one big “Con.”)
(Well, hell… the whole food industry while we are at it. No reason to stop at health food. That shit they sell you in the stores is not food either.) It is fucking amazing what we eat and call 'food."

“Castorium” The 'natural flavoring for ‘ice cream’ is is a yellowish exudate from the castor sacs of mature beavers. Beavers use castoreum in combination with urine to scent their territory. Both beaver sexes have a pair of castor sacs and a pair of anal glands, located in two cavities under the skin between the pelvis and the base of the tail.

According to Be Food Smart, beaver’s gland secretions can be found in alcoholic beverages, baked goods, frozen dairy products, chewing gum, sweets, meat products, pudding, gelatin, ice cream, vanilla flavouring and raspberry-flavoured food.

Mmmm Yummmy …

I bring shit like this up when foreigners, of which I am one, begin talking about the weird shit Asian people eat. We eat the same shit and just don’t know it. LOL…

Castoreum is rarely used to flavor food anymore, and even if it were, the FDA has ruled that it poses no health risk.

HOWEVER I reduce my beaver butt intake by buying real vanilla extract. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Somehow our body manages :woman_shrugging:t2:

And YES the vitamin push. That shit will kill you (depending on dose and vitamin) :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Didn’t know that. Thanks. I have been using “castorium as a talking point for years.”

Oh it’s true and for some gross :face_vomiting:. I don’t really monitor what I put in my mouth.

I knew there was a reason I liked you!!! :rofl: :rofl:

My favourite here is the motor bike rider behind a truck carrying galvanised iron sheets. Gust of wind, sheet blows off and decapitates the motor bike rider. That’s been around for 50 years of which I’m aware