I've decided to become a 'self-proclaimed truth authority'.
What this means is that every time you or one of your friends or one of my relatives decides to 'Facebook spam' an image claiming some outrageous statement to be true, I feel morally obligated to debunk fact from fallacy. And then to make sure they are fully aware of their naivety. Out of love, mind you.
For instance, remember a few months back when a photo of 'pink slime' seemed to be circulating rather rapidly?..
But wait! There's more! Apparently "because it's crawling with bacteria, it will be washed with ammonia, soaking in it, actually. Then, because it tastes gross, it will be re-flavored artificially. Then, because it is weirdly pink, it will be dyed with artificial color."
Lastly, the author concludes in the most sarcastically ridiculous way possibly, "But, hey, at least it tastes good, right?"
Okay, first off, yes. Yes it does. It tastes amazingly delicious, in fact.
Second, let's take it easy with the commas and the 'thens' lady.
(I only assume it's a lady. Most likely because the Facebook friend who shared it was also a lady and also impossible to reason with.)
Next, let's just think about this for a second.. You really believe that your chicken nugget is the result of a whole chicken being smooshed through a strainer at some unnamed factory??
How about we check our facts before we start alarming the masses.
I, for one, find it a good rule of thumb to reference Snopes.com anytime I come across information that seems even the slightest bit fishy. Some will claim that the site isn't always correct, but I would much rather risk the unlikely instance of a few minor errors than to blindly believe anything that I read on the Internet.
And so, do you want to know the truth about 'pink slime'? It's exactly this: a process is used to mechanically separate small pieces of meat from bone that would otherwise be wasted. These edible meat tissue scraps are then processed and sanitized in order to keep them from growing harmful bacteria. So basically... 'pink slime' is food that isn't being wasted and is kept germ free so that it's safe for us to eat.
I KNOW! THE AUDACITY!! THE UNMITIGATED GALL!
I'm not saying that you should therefore love processed meat. And I'm not saying that in it's most common fried forms is the healthiest thing you can eat.
What I am saying is that you shouldn't always believe everything you read.
Another example that both amused and infuriated me at the same time was a link claiming that cut onions absorb bacteria, making them extremely effective in reducing illness. Just think, all these years I never knew that I could chop up a few onions and scatter them around the house if I wanted to avoid getting the flu! Wonders never cease!
And then as if that weren't enough, it went on to claim that "it is dangerous to cut an onion and try to use it to cook the next day [because] it becomes highly poisonous for even a single night and creates toxic bacteria which may cause adverse stomach infections because of excess bile secretions and even food poisoning."
Interesting... because I've cut and stored onions for quite sometime now, and I've never died a horrible, agonizing death from doing so.. Must have an iron stomach or something.
That, or I'M INVINCIBLE. Yep. Probably that.
And just in case you weren't convinced by that myriad of blatant lies, it ends by warning that "...dogs should never eat onions. Their stomachs cannot metabolize onions. Please pass this on to all you love and care about." If that's not a 'forward or you will die tomorrow' phrase, I don't know what is..
What's interesting is that the basis of these allegations are usually true. Onions can create adverse side affects when fed to canines. But then they throw in phrases like 'highly poisonous' and 'bones, guts and all' to scare the average reader into feeling so horrified and repulsed that they can't help but share it with their easily fooled friends.
Which explains nearly ALL of the incorrect truths I was taught growing up. Granted, my dad did like making up answers just for fun, but my mom is still convinced that aspartame and MSG are going to single-handedly destroy the world.
But perhaps my favorite example of Facebook foolishness is the image of someone (there have been several) holding a winning lottery ticket and claiming that they will give portions of it to a few lucky 'winners' that re-post/like the image.
Come on people.. Is gullible written on the ceiling?..
And then there are those rare but refreshing instances where I research a claim and find it to be true. Surprisingly enough, some of these posts (we're talking a VERY small percentage here) are actually fact-based. Take Capri Sun for example.
The post claimed that the fruit pouches grew mold and that several children confused the fermentation with what they believed to be 'worms'. And while that obviously isn't the case, it is possible for the drink to go bad. Just like any other food. Especially if the pouch were to be punctured due to neglect by the owner.
And just like an expired block of cheese or a moldy loaf of bread, it is not typically medically dangerous to ingest. Disgusting, yes. Life-threatening, no.
So here's what I suggest:
Think twice before spreading the claim that an entire t-bone steak can be dissolved when submerged in Coke for a 24-hour period. If that were the case, your stomach and/or intestines wouldn't stand a chance.
And don’t annoy people by making them feel guilty about a leper in Botswana with no teeth who's been tied to a dead elephant for 27 years and whose only chance of living is the 5 cents per letter he'll receive if you re-post this image.
Now share this with everyone you know.
Otherwise you'll find all your socks missing tomorrow morning.