After traveling around Asia for 17 months; I realized Asians have some of the most interesting superstitions and myths.
But the ones I found to be the most interesting were the Indonesian food myths.
Similar to many countries in Asia there were certain foods that “give you POWER”.
While other foods “make it difficult to find a husband”.
Some of these other food superstitions were just hilarious.
Because you can tell they’ve been passed down through generations.
Generations of people that have never looked into the science behind these claims.
If you’ve read THIS POST you already know how I feel about Indonesian food.
But after hearing all these different myths the cuisine started to become more interesting.
Once I started to hear more and more I had to make a list.
This stuff was too entertaining not to share.
So without further ado, here’s my list of Food Myths from Indonesia:
SPICY FOOD CAN CAUSE APPENDICITIS.
I guess that means everyone in Thailand has appendicitis then?
And the rest of Southeast Asia is on their way to getting it as well.
“…consuming spicy foods can affect your digestion, cause discomfort and mimic the early signs of appendicitis. It can lead to indigestion, which causes severe pain in the area between the breastbone and bellybutton (the area of the body where appendicitis first manifests)…”
SPICY FOOD CAN MAKE BREAST MILK SPICY.
So, is that why Thai people can eat such spicy food at a young age?
Because they’ve been nursed spices since they were babies.
“…some items that mothers choose to avoid while breastfeeding, such as spices and spicy foods, are actually enticing to babies.”
PINEAPPLES CAN AFFECT FERTILITY OR CAUSE MISCARRIAGES.
Seems to me pineapples would be the number one food among horny teenagers if this was true.
“Although bromelain is found in the core of the pineapple, very little is actually in the flesh of the pineapple… The amount of bromelain in a single serving of pineapple isn’t likely to impact your pregnancy.”
EATING CHICKEN FEET AND WINGS CAN MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO FIND A HUSBAND.
Must be a lot of unmarried people in Asia because I saw chicken feet and wings are everywhere.
The actual Truth:
There’s no articles about this because it’s horseshit and no one feels the need to prove that to be true.
RICE GIVES YOU POWER AND MAKES YOU STRONGER.
That’s an interesting claim coming from some of the smallest people in the world.
“…refined sugars like white rice give you a fast energy boost, they cause glucose levels to skyrocket, leading to a crash.”
RAW EGGS GIVE YOU POWER.
Eating raw eggs is just plain gross.
I’d rather be weak than do that.
“You may be surprised to learn cooked eggs offer more nutritional benefits than raw ones…
“Eggs are like a multivitamin pod. “There are so many benefits to eating whole, cooked eggs compared to consuming raw eggs.”
LAMB SATE IS GOOD FOR SEX.
Lamb sate is good in general.
So if it’s good for sex too than I guess I’ll keep eating it.
“With 60 g of protein per USDA-defined piece, along with a full day’s allowance of zinc, lamb is one of the most potent proteins.”
CUCUMBER STIMULATES EXCESSIVE VAGINAL DISCHARGE.
Cucumbers are 95% water.
You’re telling me that other 5% is making all that mess?
The actual Truth:
I couldn’t find anything online except that women shouldn’t use peeled cucumbers as a vaginal cleanse.
WHAT THE HELL LADIES???
COLD DRINKS CAN MAKE YOU SICK.
I first heard this one when I was drinking a cold smoothie.
I had a little coughing fit because I swallowed down the wrong tube.
Then someone said it’s because my drink was too cold.
“There’s no direct correlation between consuming ice, or cold drinks, and coughing, colds, or the flu… “Low body temperature doesn’t cause the flu or coughing. They are caused by a lot of things, but most of the time it’s a virus.”
OILY FOOD CAUSES SORE THROATS.
Must be a lot of sore throats in China.
Maybe THAT’S why they’re spitting all the time.
The actual Truth:
There’s no proof that oily food causes sore throats.
But there’s plenty of information that recommends not eating oily food while you have a sore throat.
PEANUTS CAUSE ACNE.
There’s actually a little truth to this one.
“Peanuts contain an androgen, which can make acne worse by increasing sebum production. “Peanuts will generally make people more oily…”
SUPERSTITION LEADS TO MALNUTRITION.
All these myths are rather entertaining to me.
But they’re taken seriously and actually causing harm.
Recent studies have shown that Indonesian girls are very malnourished.
The cause is due to not eating enough varieties of foods.
Rice and foods with empty carbs are eaten more frequently than some fruits and vegetables.
My advice is to read more books and listen to less bullshit from parents.
Education over Superstition.
What other food superstitions in Asia have you heard about?
Are there any other Indonesian ones I’ve missed?
Let me know in the comments below.
My name is Jeremiah and I'm a photographer from Arizona.
I'm always in search of picturesque landscapes and adrenaline pumping adventure.
Follow me as I show you What and What Not to do when visiting new places in search of Cheap Travel and Cheap Thrills.
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