In 1958 Mao Zedong declared war on sparrows. Although he won that battle, China lost the war.
Vietnam is the second-largest producer of coffee in the world because of a crisis in 1970s East Germany.
India prevented people patenting their foods, traditional medicines, and yoga poses by recording them all in an online database: 34 million pages’ worth.
The United States motto, e pluribus unum, appears in several classical sources. In one of them, it’s part of a recipe for pesto.
Blackcurrants, Kinder Surprises, and haggis have all been illegal in the United States at some point.
What do bullet ants and guarana have in common? The Sateré-Mawé people of Brazil.
Mass-produced American chocolate has a distinct flavour that non-Americans describe as tasting a bit like vomit. It’s Milton Snavely Hershey’s fault.
In 1875, trillions (yes, trillions) of Rocky Mountain locusts swarmed over the western United States. Thirty years later, they were extinct.
The Heladería Coromoto ice cream parlour in Merida, Venezuela offers nearly a thousand different flavours of ice cream, including avocado, garlic, onion, sweetcorn, and crab.
In the Domesday Book of 1086 the economic value of forests is not measured in the amount of wood they could provide, but in the amount of pigs they could feed.
In Myanmar you can drink tea or you can eat it.
Beginning in 1976 a pseudoscientific pamphlet spread like wildfire across Europe, stating that many common food additives caused cancer – including cellulose and citric acid.
The heart symbol may have originated with an ancient Roman form of birth control, a plant that is probably now extinct.
Mix egg yolks, dates, honey, vinegar, oil, wine, shallots, and herbs, and then add a roasted flamingo. This is Apicius, one of the earliest surviving cookbooks.
Ever see someone get hit over the head with a bottle in an old film? They could probably eat the glass afterwards.