The Two Men (And the One Dinner) That Uncovered the Cause of Botulism

Today we bend Clostridium botulinum to our will, forcing it to make our faces smoother and our actors less able to do their jobs. Once, though, people had no idea what caused the “sausage disease.” It took two good men and one bad dinner to let the world know what was going on.

Source: The Two Men (And the One Dinner) That Uncovered the Cause of Botulism

Botulism is why we have expiry dates, even if they aren’t very scientific

Why Honey Doesn’t Spoil

Honey is magic. Besides its delicious taste, it’s pretty much the only food that does not spoil while in an edible state. But why, exactly, doesn’t honey go bad?

Honey has a lot of pretty incredible properties. It’s been used and investigated for medicinal properties for a long time, especially as a treatment for open wounds. Herodotus reported that the Babylonians buried their dead in honey, and Alexander the Great may have been embalmed in a coffin full of honey.

The oldest honey ever found was unearthed in Georgia, and dates back over 5,000 years. So, if you found yourself in possession of some 5,000 year-old honey, could you eat it? Well. . .

Source: Why honey is the only food that doesn’t go bad

Chinese honey is perfectly fine. It’s embargoed because the American government concluded that China is artificially lowering the price of its honey – not for health reasons.  However, what is “honey” is largely determined by pollen count.  By that standard, what you see on the shelves labeled as “honey” isn’t necessarily honey.  Yes, pollen that some are allergic to…  Real honey is cloudy, not clear.

Did you know there are other things that will almost never spoil?  Vinegar (especially the extremely distilled kind, like white vinegar) can last a long time. But it can lose its flavor over time. Similarly for vodka. Anything with a high alcohol content takes forever to go bad.