So, here we are in 2014, and the adage that calls for “out with the old and in with the new” should apply to persistent household myths as much as it does to those ratty house slippers you’ve had since college and last week's Chinese leftovers.
Some of those old notions used to be called old wives’ tales, before it became politically incorrect (and largely inaccurate) to do so. Now, they’re just called nonsense and it’s time to dispel these untruths and get with the times. It’s 2014, and Google is forcing all of us to let go of a lot of these domestic fairytales.
<strong>1. You can absolutely refreeze chicken.</strong>
We have no idea where this even came from, but there are some folks out there who insist that once frozen chicken has been thawed it must be used rather than refrozen.
FACT: The U.S. Department of Agriculture, although not the last bastion of food safety, <a title="Food Safety Facts" href="http://food.unl.edu/web/safety/safe-to-refreeze" target="_blank">disagrees and says</a> all meats are safe to refreeze if they’ve been handled properly. And, by “proper handling,” they mean that the meat has remained sealed and was thawed in the fridge. So, if you remove the wrapping and leave it out before cooking - <em>that</em> is the meat you don't refreeze.
<strong>2. Letting cold beer get warm will make it “skunky.”</strong>
Surprisingly, this rumor continues to circulate around college campuses all across the land despite easy access to learned professionals … and the Internet.
FACT: It’s not temperature fluctuation that “skunks” beer – it’s <a title="Food Preservation Facts" href="http://www.livescience.com/33718-beer-skunks.html" target="_blank">sunlight</a>. Eggheads (hopheads?) at the University of North Carolina discovered that hops is sensitive to ultraviolet light and that exposing beer to sunlight will skunk it. Brewers have long known this, which is why most beer comes in cans or opaque bottles.
<strong>3. Antibacterial soap isn’t antibacterial.</strong>
The dirty truth is that not even the soap companies can be trusted. That antibacterial soap you’re using is likely no better than regular soap – and may in fact be worse.
FACT: In a row that <a title="Antibacterial Soap Claims Questioned" href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/12/16/fda-wants-more-proof-that-anti-bacterial-soaps-actually-work/" target="_blank">made national headlines</a> in late 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has called for antibacterial soap manufacturers to <em>prove</em> a) their products do what they say they do and b) that the ingredient triclosan isn’t harming people.
<strong>4. Vitamin C supplements do not help with colds or illness, generally.</strong>
This, above anything, may cause the most outrage, but the fact is that vitamin C is not the cure-all vitamin manufacturers and misguided nutritionists would have you believe.
FACT: <a title="Vitamin Supplement Efficacy Debunked" href="http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/07/the-vitamin-myth-why-we-think-we-need-supplements/277947/" target="_blank">Studies from prestigious institutions</a> including the National Cancer Institute, the Cleveland Clinic and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine all show that vitamin C (and virtually all other dietary supplements) does not fight illness, a fact that has been published in the <em>Journal of the American Medical Association</em>. That said, this doesn't account for the placebo effect, which can make you feel good without making you better.
<a title="ATG Stores Homepage" href="http://www.atgstores.com/default.aspx" target="_blank">ATGStores.com</a> hopes all this science-y stuff helps you to make safe, money-saving decisions in your home.