Category:
Food

The Shipwreck Diet

Studies conducted by the U.S. Army in the late 1940s sought to determine the minimum amount of food a person would need to survive if they were shipwrecked on a desert island.

One of the oddities the researchers discovered was that if, for some reason, the shipwrecked person had to choose between steak and water, they should choose the water: "Protein has the effect of drying up the body. Therefore eating a steak on a desert island with little or no water available would probably be worse than eating nothing, depending upon how long rescue took."

"Shipwreck Diet: One of eleven Army volunteers who for six weeks will live on biscuits and water at the Metropolitan Hospital, New York City, to determine a human survival ration."
Newsweek - Mar 15, 1948




Waterloo Courier - Nov 16, 1949

Posted By: Alex - Mon Nov 16, 2020 - Comments (4)
Category: Food, Nutrition, Experiments, 1940s, Dieting and Weight Loss

Hurff Foods

Hurff... It's not a name, one would think, that would lend itself to selling food. Though it didn't seem to hurt Edgar Hurff's food business, which flourished until 1948. It was then sold to Del Monte, which evidently opted not to keep the Hurff name.

Life - Apr 19, 1937



Source: Swedesboro and Woolwich Township

Posted By: Alex - Wed Nov 11, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Food, Odd Names

Cooking for your cat… and you

For those who want to share meals with their cat, Skyhorse Publishing has a cookbook of recipes that both humans and felines can eat.

I don't think freshly caught mouse is included, even though I'm pretty sure that's what the cat would prefer.

Amazon link

Posted By: Alex - Fri Nov 06, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Food, Cookbooks, Books, Cats

Roy Mack’s milk-diet tour

Roy Mack set off from New York on May 2, 1939, intending to walk to San Francisco. To make this more of a challenge, he decided to do this while living on a diet of only milk — about six quarts of it a day. He said he wanted to "prove you can live on milk." The media dubbed him the "human milk bottle."

By August he had reached Oklahoma City and had also lost 10 pounds in weight. He maintained this was due to all the exercise, not his milk diet.

I have no idea if he ever did reach San Francisco, because I can't find any news reports about him after Oklahoma City. Perhaps the milk diet got the better of him.

Pittsburgh Press - June 3, 1939

Posted By: Alex - Fri Oct 30, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Food, Publicity Stunts, Travel, 1930s, Dieting and Weight Loss

Waymarking

The Waymarking site allows the user to add a geo-tag to any object or place to make it findable by anyone else.

They have their entries grouped into categories, and certainly the Oddities subgroup will be of interest to WU-vies.



There you can find, among other things, giant commercial icons such as the one below.



Posted By: Paul - Thu Oct 08, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Food, Geography and Maps, Advertising

Human Blood Pudding

Dr. Magnus Pyke was a scientific advisor to the British Ministry of Food during World War II. In 1969, during a lecture at the Royal Institution in London, he revealed the following:

An even more striking example of the way in which food taboos can hamper good nutrition, even among so-called scientifically advanced people, also occurred during the war years in Great Britain.

At that time large amounts of human blood were collected from such people as were prepared to give it. The blood was centrifuged, the plasma put aside for parenteral injection into those victims of bombing that might need it, and the red corpuscles discarded.

Again the scientific advisers to the minister of food put forward a scheme to make use of the red-blood corpuscles, so self-sacrificingly contributed by patriotic donors, and manufacture from it black pudding for distribution on the food ration.

The curious anthropological phenomenon then emerged that although the British were prepared to consume each other's blood by vein, they considred its ingestion by mouth was a variant of cannibalism and therefore disgusting.

They could have called it Soylent Black.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette - Dec 18, 1969


Posted By: Alex - Wed Oct 07, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Cannibalism, Food, 1940s, Blood

Follies of the Madmen #489

Nightmare depiction of a leering middle-aged man convinces kids to drink horrid-tasting stuff.



Source.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Sep 27, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Food, Children, 1950s, Fictional Monsters

An Intentional Cannibal

There's an old urban legend, which folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand refers to as 'The Accidental Cannibals,' about people who accidentally eat the cremated remains of a loved one:

the story circulated about how postwar food packages from the United States led to a gruesome confusion. When one package arrived containing an unlabeled dark powder, people assumed it was some kind of instant soup or drink, or perhaps a condiment. Only after most of the powder had been consumed did a letter from the United States arrive explaining that the powder was the ashes of their emigrant grandmother who had died during the war and who wanted her remains returned to Romanian soil...

A recent version of the legend describes the cremains of a relative shipped home from Australia to England and mixed there into the Christmas pudding. Half the pudding has been consumed by the time the letter of explanation anives.




In a case of urban-legend-becomes-real-life, performance artist Eva Margarita has announced that she'll be mixing the cremated remains of her father into three different entrees and then eating them. She'll be doing this "to not only honor his spirit but to show how communities pass on knowledge through a practice in eating and conjuring with one another."

Her performance will be broadcast live on the Internet. It's happening today (Sep 23, 2020), from 8 AM to 8 PM (eastern time).



In an interview on timeout.com, Margarita offers some details about how she'll prepare her father's cremains:

I'm taking just the bone pieces. I'm grinding them down in a molcajete, or a mortar and pestle, and then I'm adding them into the food. I'm grinding them down in a metaphorical sense to help grind down the body and flesh, but also it's almost to subvert the grinding that we do in real life, and all the beating that we've taken throughout, but now it's done out of love.


Thanks to Gerald Sacks!

Posted By: Alex - Wed Sep 23, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Cannibalism, Food, Performance Art

The Jesus Tortilla

Oct 5, 1977: Maria Rubio was preparing a tortilla in a skillet in her home in Lake Arthur, New Mexico. When she looked down, she realized that a burn mark on the tortilla resembled the face of Jesus.

The Rubio family created a small shrine where they displayed the "Jesus tortilla". Over the years, tens of thousands of people came to see it. Many of the pilgrims believed that the tortilla had the power to heal.

Maria Rubio with tortilla - 1978



Maria Rubio's daughter, Angelica, grew up to become a New Mexico state senator, and she kept a blog where she discussed her experiences with the holy tortilla. She also wrote an article on eater.com about it.

The Jesus Tortilla - source: thetortillakid.com



According to Roadside America: "In late 2005, Mrs. Rubio's granddaughter took the Miracle Tortilla into school for Show and Tell, and it was dropped and broken! The shed shrine has been closed and the remains retired to a drawer in the Rubio's home."

Albuquerque Journal - Dec 22, 1987

Posted By: Alex - Mon Sep 21, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Food, Religion, 1970s

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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