Is it us, or was most of the information on the internet created purely as an experiment to see how gullible people are?
There's probably no better example than the outlandish and, quite frankly, retarded food "facts" that get spread around. To listen to these people, half the stuff in your refrigerator is a dangerous substance that was originally designed as a chemical weapon.
7Coca-Cola Will Melt Your Stomach
This rumor names Coca-Cola, but presumably applies to Pepsi, RC, Dr. Pepper, all of those drinks that you always thought were just harmless caramel-flavored CO2 and high fructose corn syrup. That is, until this email came along with horrifying factoids like:
"You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of Coke and it will be gone in two days.
The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid. Its pH is 2.8. It will dissolve a nail in about 4 days. Phosphoric acid also leaches calcium from bones and is a major contributor to the rising increase in osteoporosis.
To carry Coca-Cola syrup (the concentrate) the commercial truck must use the Hazardous material place cards reserved for Highly corrosive materials."
We get it! It's an acid! An acid so powerful it can eat your bones! Fuck!
There are so many Coke rumors that Snopes has an entire section of their site dedicated to them. Yes, Coke does contain an acid. So does a whole lot of what you eat and drink (orange juice is more acidic, for instance). The key is that the acids are diluted enough that they won't eat a hole through your innards. Products that do that tend to sell poorly.
Now it's true the trucks carrying the concentrated syrup used to make Coke do have the Corrosive Chemicals signs on them, but that's because they're dealing with the concentrated components, not the Coke itself. Using that as proof Coke is poison is like saying you can't drink whiskey because it's flammable. That's what makes it good.
6Red Bull Gives You Wings, and By Wings, We Mean a Brain Tumor
If an innocent Coke can eat a hole in your guts, who the hell knows what Red Bull can do, right? Well, if this email (that may or may not have been forwarded to you by your mom) is to be believed, it can give you a brain tumor:
"Ever wondered what's in a can of Red Bull Energy drink? The small print lists a host of ingredients and among them is an artificially manufactured stimulant developed in the early 60's by the American Government.
Glucuronolactone was first used in the Vietnam conflict to boost morale amongst GI's who were suffering from stress and fatigue, but was banned after a few years following several deaths and hundreds of cases involving anything from severe migraines to brain tumors in personnel prescribed the stimulant.
An article in this month's edition of the British Medical Journal has highlighted a growing number of cases reported by Doctors and Surgeons involving the very same side effects from the 70s. All of the patients examined were regular drinkers of RedBull and it is believed that the safety of Glucuronolactone is currently under review in at least three major European countries."
Every word of that is a lie. Really, every single word. Well, maybe except the part about Red Bull containing glucuronolactone.
The chemical was not invented by the government (it occurs naturally in the body). The whole Vietnam story is a lie, the British Medical Journal article does not exist and the FDA doesn't have shit about glucuronolactone being dangerous.
Now, there was this one kid who drank three Red Bulls in a row and then died some hours later, which caused some countries to ban the product. Though this means that the brain tumor theory is out (unless he magically grew a tumor so huge that it gave him a heart attack--but we're pretty sure they would have mentioned that).
As for glucuronolactone, a can of Red Bull does contain 600 mg of the stuff, which is 250 times a person's normal intake. What are the effects? Nobody knows. The reason there are so many rumors about it is that there have been almost no studies into what it actually does. We don't even know if it actually gives you energy.
Maybe this is what Red Bull is for.
The same can be said for the other key ingredient, taurine. In some cases it even acts like a sedative.
So how does a can of Red Bull give you that burst of energy? Check out the amount of sugar and caffeine on the label. If you want a reason not to drink it, why not that?