You may have been taught some inaccurate things when you were young. Sometimes it’s a necessity when it comes to schooling. Certain things have to be simplified and condensed. Other times what’s known as common knowledge is, in fact, the result of disinformation or straight-up propaganda. These are a few of my favourite inaccurate things!
Milk is Good for You
It’s becoming more and more accepted that milk is not the tremendously healthy, staple food that it has been made out to be. Calcium is very important for the development of healthy bones, so it’s vitally important during infancy and childhood. Beyond that, there aren’t many reasons as to why milk should be our source of calcium.
Milk has the reputation that it has for two major reasons. Firstly, It has been consumed for centuries, and as I said, it’s been a staple (I’m not counting breastfeeding as all mammals do that). And secondly, there was a highly successful advertising campaign from big dairy campaigns and the US Department of Agriculture, the effects of which spread to the rest of the first world. Got milk?
Five Second Rule
I was going to say that this one is reserved mostly for children but I feel like that’s not true. How seriously an adult takes this rule as an actual scientific rule might depend on the adult, but it’s mostly a colloquial kind of rule. It’s one of our inaccurate things in so much as the fact ridiculously specific.
The five seconds are meaningless. Yes, the more time a piece of food spends on the floor, the bacteria it will accumulate, however, it will become contaminated the moment it touched the floor.
An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
It’s good to eat apples, kids. They really are healthy for you. They can seem a chore to eat, especially for young kids, so the slogan that came from a nursery rhyme has a commendable purpose: To encourage kids to eat apples. They have vitamin C and fibre. This, of course, is far from all the necessary nutrients needed for a healthy, balanced diet.
The best kind of diet will give you a well-rounded group of nutrients. One with a lot of vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats is recommended. Keep eating apples, by all means, just don’t think of them as a catch-all doctor deterrent and health booster.
You Can Catch A Cold From Being Cold
As far as I’m concerned, this is the holy grail of inaccurate things you may have been taught when you were young. You were probably often told to rug up during winter and whenever it was cold because otherwise, you would catch a cold. Being cold, in of itself, will not give you a cold. We all know that the flu is caught by other people.
The viruses that give people colds are prevalent during the colder months. During this time, people tend to stay indoors and in close proximity to each other, while having their heaters on. These elements are conducive to the flu. So it’s the conditions that cold weather creates that give us colds, not the cold itself.
Microwaves Will Give You Cancer
A common thread between many of the inaccurate things that you may have been taught: Technology. When a new device hits the market it’s inevitable that some people will be led to believe that it causes us harm. Television got that treatment. Remember how our eyes were supposedly going to turn square if we watched it for too long? Now, A bit of caution with the products that are being sold to us is a good thing. Cigarettes were thought to be healthy once.
You may remember being told to not stand in front of your microwave for fear of the radiation giving you cancer. There are lots of carcinogens out there. Microwaves aren’t one of them. The radio-frequency radiation emitted by microwaves is low-energy. It’s not harmful and contained within the device itself.
Humans Evolved From Apes
You might have heard creationists say “I refuse to believe that we came from monkeys.” It’s a statement that can be pulled apart in many different ways but here’s the point: We didn’t evolve from chimpanzees or any other kind of ape. We’re both primates, and we share common ancestors.
At some point in the evolutionary chain, or lineages split. Two distinct species formed separately over six million years ago.
Christopher Columbus Discovered America
Good old Christopher Columbus. I call him Chris. Though he essentially set the table for the history of colonialism in the Americas, he did NOT discover it. The Viking Leif Erikson discovered it in 1,000 AD. Some believe that Columbus discovered that the earth was round.
Nope, Ancient Greek mathematicians had already formulated theories on the matter. Chris will always have a massive, ugly legacy, but this discovery can’t be attributed to him.
Find Your Talent
Potentially one of the more harmful inaccurate things that you might have been taught. Do you remember being told to find your talent when you were young? It’s meant as encouragement, the idea being that everyone’s good at something. It works under the premise that well have some sort of innate talent but this isn’t true.
We are born empty. Skills are acquired and worked on throughout life. That’s what gets us through life. Talent is a subjective, slippery thing. You may have it, but it’s a fool’s errand to spend your life looking for it when you could have been acquiring skills instead.