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Udder nonsense?

The truth is cracked wide open on these farm facts

By Maddie Bane

Ever sit down and really think about which came first? The chicken or the egg? While the jury is still out on that one, here’s a list of farm-related facts and myths that you might have wondered about before.

Cows know their names.

Fact. A study that was done in the U.K. in 2009 found that cows that are called by their names produce 3.4 percent more milk in a year than cows that are just simply looked at as part of a herd. It’s been proven that dairy cows feel happier and more at ease when they are given one-on-one attention.

“Free-range” chickens are free to roam around the pastures.

Myth. Being labeled “free-range” simply means that the chickens have been allowed limited access to the outside. This is usually a small fenced-in area right outside of the coop. In order to follow FDA guidelines, all poultry must always be somewhat enclosed for their own safety. 

Turnips were the first jack-o-lanterns.

Fact. In Ireland and Scotland, they were carved and used to ward off evil spirits and unwanted visitors. It eventually became a Halloween tradition, and when immigrants arrived in North America, they found pumpkins were a little more suited for carving. 

Different colored eggs have different flavors.

Myth. The color of the egg shell just depends on the breed of chicken. There are no differences or variations in flavor, nutritional value, or cooking techniques.

Honey never goes bad.

Fact. Honey has such a low water content and low water activity, that it actually dehydrates bacteria. No bacteria equals no spoiling. 

Georgia produces the most peaches.

Myth. “The Peach State” actually ranks number three in peach production. California is the top producer, with South Carolina coming in at a close second. 

The Chicago River is turned green with a vegetable dye.

Fact. Although the full list of ingredients of this dye are locked up tight, the orange powder that turns the river green for St. Patrick’s Day is made with a vegetable base. It was originally created by plumbers to locate leaks. 

Footballs were once made of pig skin.

Myth. They were actually inflated pig bladders. And if for some bizarre reason someone didn’t feel like pumping air into a pig bladder, they would stuff it with materials like straw. Eventually, footballs were made out of rubber and cowhide instead, though it’s hard to imagine why…