Hold on to your hats. McVitie's have confirmed that the chocolate on chocolate biscuits is on the bottom, not the top. Yup. You've been eating them the wrong way round.

"The McVitie’s stamp is on the other side, which is the top of the biscuit," their spokesperson revealed.

This revelation has pretty much made Pay Day Friday a write-off. But what else have we been led to believe about our favourite foods? FHM has pulled on its lab coat and set out to sort foody fact from foody fiction. Settle in as we answer the culinary questions that really matter.

CHEWING GUM STAYS IN YOUR SYSTEM FOR SEVEN YEARS


The theory
This actually happened to someone at our brother’s mate’s cousin’s school, honest! Swallow some Airwaves and it’ll remain in your gut until 2020.

The facts
“This is completely bogus,” says Professor Terence Cosgrove, a chemistry lecturer who invented Revolymer “easy to remove” chewing gum.

“It just goes right through your system and is not digested in any way. The danger comes if you swallow 20 or 30 pieces a day. Do that and the doctor will need a drill to get it out.”

FOOD MYTH!

CHEESE BEFORE BED GIVES YOU WEIRD DREAMS


The theory
That recurring nightmare where you’re drowning in a giant bowl of molten marshmallows? Must’ve been that trip-inducing Double Gloucester you snacked on.

The facts
The Dairy Council claims Stilton causes the most vivid dreams and Red Leicester prompts night-time nostalgia. But Dr Chris Idzikowski of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre says this is tosh. “There have been no worthwhile experiments into this and neuropharmacological explanations are too far-fetched for this to be true,” he argues.

Cheese toasties before bedtime, anyone?

FOOD MYTH!

BEANS MEAN EXCESSIVE GAS


The theory
Beans, beans, the musical fruit, the more you eat, the more you toot. Sure, it rhymes, but is it true?

The facts
“When certain foods such as beans and cabbage are broken down by bacteria in your large bowel, they form gas,” explains Dr Sneh Khemka, medical director of BUPA.

“Also, beans are a great source of soluble fibre, which isn’t broken down until it reaches your large intestine, and this can cause further gas to form.”

Conclusion? The more you toot, the better you feel, so eat them beans at every meal!

FOOD TRUTH!

DROPPED FOOD REMAINS GERM-FREE IF YOU PICK IT UP WITHIN FIVE SECONDS


The theory
Drunkenly dropped your takeaway on the kebab shop floor? Don’t panic – as long as you blow off the dust, pick off the hairs and give it a quick wipe within five seconds, you’re good to go.

The facts
“The moment your food falls, bacteria, hair and other muck will stick straight on it,” says environmental health officer Sarah Daniels.

“If you drop a steak at home you could chance it, but if your dog brought muck into your kitchen, that could be on your steak. The pavement is even worse. It’s covered in fecal bacteria and nastiness.”

FOOD MYTH!


PEOPLE IN CHINA AND KOREA EAT DOGS FOR DINNER


The theory
In the Far East, the phrase “This dish is the dog’s bollocks” has an altogether different meaning.

The facts
According to the animal-rights group In Defense of Animals, more than two-and-a-half million South Korean dogs are killed each year as part of the $2 billion dog- and cat-meat industry.

And according to Lonely Planet’s China editor Damian Harper, “You see dog meat quite a bit in China, but it's not everywhere. You don't find it at all in Hong Kong, for example. It is, however, pretty popular in Guangxi [south-west China] and parts of Guangdong.

Dog meat appears in all forms: fried, boiled, in hot pots, in dumplings, in soup, spicy, hot and sour – you name it, they cook it. The only rule is that it has to be a mutt they are not acquainted with.”

FOOD TRUTH!

 

PINEAPPLE MAKES YOUR JIZZ TASTE LOVELY


The theory
Treat the one you love to a totally tropical taste sensation, because chowing down on juicy fruit gives you a fruity shoot.

The facts
“I’ve never tasted my own jizz,” says legendary porn star Ben Dover. “But I’ve enjoyed several thousand secondhand accounts, and they all say that the more sweet the food, such as pineapple, the sweeter the jizz.”

FOOD TRUTH!

ASPARAGUS MAKES YOUR PISS SMELL FUNNY


The theory
Scoff a stick of good old British-grown asparagus and your trips to the toilet will produce a funky aroma. OK, a funkier aroma.

The facts
“It’s a very pungent, acrid smell,” says Dr Malcolm VandenBurg, a consultant pharmaceutical physician. “It is nothing to worry about, though. The body simply extracts chemicals from the asparagus, changes them slightly, and then excretes them via the urine in a form that smells pungently.”

FOOD TRUTH!

 

OYSTERS MAKE YOU HORNY


The theory
Something this slimy and cripplingly expensive must have at least one redeeming quality. Who needs Viagra when you’ve got a plateful of these shell-based treats?

The facts
“There’s no scientific proof of this,” says Amy Levine, sex coach and founder of igniteyourpleasure.com. “But oysters are high in zinc, which is said to boost sexual desire, and Casanova supposedly consumed them before trysts.

My view is that they have a placebo effect – believe and it will do its magic, so to speak.”

Basically, if you think you’re going to stay up all night with a beautiful woman, then you will. (That’s how it works, right?)

FOOD MYTH!

 

CHOCOLATE BARS ARE GETTING SMALLER


The theory
What’s going on? Either our hands are getting bigger or we’re being royally screwed by the confectionery conglomerates.

The facts
We’re being screwed.

In October 2012, the Office of National Statistics revealed that Dairy Milks had shrunk from 49g to 45g and a 205g sharing bag of Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles had dropped to 170g.

“Shrinking products is an underhand way of inflating prices because pack sizes shrink but the prices don’t,” explains a Which? spokesperson.

FOOD TRUTH!

 

GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOOD WILL TURN YOU INTO A MUTANT


The theory
Munch on those lab-produced noms and it’ll be a matter of weeks before you turn into that three-eyed fish off of The Simpsons.

The facts
“We have seen an increasing number of studies that indicate signs of ill health from the consumption of GM food,” says Dr Michael Antoniou, a molecular geneticist and GM expert.

“The most recent was completed by Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini, who completed a two-year feeding study in rats. He found signs of serious liver and kidney damage and a number of tumours.

The next step should be to complete a similar study with more animals. Until this happens, consumers should be wary of GM foods.”

JURY’S OUT!

YOU CAN IGNORE THE SELL-BY DATE IF YOUR FOOD SMELLS OK


The theory
Food labels are more just guidelines, really. Proper men use the sniff test.

The facts
“Smelling out-of-date food works for spoilage bacteria, but you cannot smell salmonella, so it could be all over your food and your nose would have no idea,” says environmental health officer Sarah Daniels.

“I’d also recommend not eating food after the ‘consume within’ window. Most supermarket food is packaged in nitrogen-rich air, because this modified air doesn’t have any oxygen and bacteria needs oxygen to grow.

As soon as we open a packet or carton, however, oxygen pours in and bacteria multiplies at will, making ‘consume within’ dates crucial.” 

FOOD MYTH!

CELERY HAS NEGATIVE CALORIES


The theory
The jaw action required to chomp down celery expends more calories than are contained within the rabbit food, so the more you eat, the thinner you get!

The facts
“No evidence backs this up,” says nutritionist Drew Price. “However, the number of calories we’re talking about – either gained or lost – is so tiny, it’s just not an issue.”
 
FOOD MYTH!

FAT MAKES YOU FAT


The theory
Fat-laden food turns you into Chubblethorpe McManboobs. They call it “fat” for a reason.

The facts
“There are two main types of fat – saturated, which is bad, and unsaturated, which isn’t,” says Dr Sneh Khemka. “Eat too much saturated fat and you’re more likely to be overweight and suffer from high cholesterol, which increases your chance of developing heart disease.

Because of this, the average man should have no more than 30g of saturated fat a day.” But unsaturated fat is actually healthy. “Good unsaturated options include oily fish, avocados, nuts and seeds.”

FOOD MYTH! 


Words by Stuart Hood