Whether you’re a believer in royal lizard people or false-flag terror ops, conspiracy theories are all the rage in the dark corners of the internet. When they’re online, imaginative critics aren’t restricted by trivial matters like mainstream thought and what makes sense. Their ranting and raving can blossom into some truly ridiculous ideas, interference free. God bless the world wide web.
There is no subject under the sun that escapes the scrutiny of conspiracy theorists. Naturally, this extends to food. If you thought what you’ve been eating is innocent fuel for the engine, prepare to think again. We’re through the looking glass, sheeple. Here are the seven weirdest food conspiracy theories.
1. Aphrodisiac gum in Palestine
The Israeli/Palestinian conflict is one of the most complex and nuanced in world history. So long and drawn out have the hostilities been that some people are beginning to get some pretty strange ideas around what exactly is going on. For instance, Hamas, the extremist governing authority of Palestine, are convinced that Israel has been sending Palestinian youth aphrodisiac chewing gum in order to make them horny and distract them from the struggle against their Israeli oppressors. Though the evidence is pretty scarce, this theory certainly gives one something to chew over.
2. Fluoride in the water
A favourite of far-right nutters like “Info-Wars’” Alex Jones, this theory has been around for years. Despite being instigated as a way to prevent tooth decay, conspiracy theorists have espoused that water fluoridation contributes to infertility, government mind control and can even turn you spontaneously gay. Please see the aforementioned Mr Jones’ erudite rant for the full details.
3. Chipotle E. coli sabotage
After eating the food, you could be forgiven for thinking that Chipotle are trying to sabotage themselves. Despite the dubious cooking often on display, some people believe that there is a large plot at foot. After an E.coli outbreak in 2015, restaurant consultant Aaron Allen outlined a controversial theory that Chipotle produce was being deliberately poisoned in order to manipulate the stock. This is definitely more reassuring than dodgy lettuce.
4. Fast food mutant chickens
Another dinosaur of the conspiracy theory circuit, this is one that refuses to go away. Seemingly started by ethically suspicious fast food critics, the theory goes that, in order to keep up with colossal meat demand, many restaurants have resorted to using genetic engineering to create mutant animals with massive breasts and no heads. Despite many chains going above and beyond to clear their name, many people remain unconvinced.
5. Starbucks naming
You know when you tell Starbucks your name and they misspell it with sometime comical levels of inaccuracy? Apparently, this is all a cunning ploy. According to YouTubers “Super Deluxe” Starbucks spelling errors are just a way for the chain to get free publicity when customers publish the error on social media. If true, hats off to the coffee giants - this is actually super clever.
6. Outback Steakhouse and satan
There are many morally dubious companies in the food industry, but you’d be hard pressed to find one that’s outright evil. Unless you subscribe to the “Outback Steakhouse are satanists” theory. According to “experts”, if you look at the lay out of Outback Steakhouses in almost every US city, you will find that they are arranged in a pentagram. COINCIDENCE?? I think not...
7. Fondue food craze
Like a broken clock, even conspiracy theorists eventually get something right. In the 1970s, some customers struggled to explain why fondue suddenly became such a big deal. The obvious answer was that some sort of Swiss cheese mafia was pulling the strings. As it turned out, this was exactly what was happening. Formed in 1930, the Swiss Cheese Union had long had their eyes on the American market, and invented fondue as a “traditional Alpine food” in order to help them crack it. Not all ideas are totally bananas.
It’s all well and good laughing at daft food truthers, but it’s worth noting that there are some stranger than fiction goings on at the heart of global food. As Swiss cheese proves, you shouldn’t dismiss something just because it sounds ridiculous. Unless Alex Jones says it. In that case, dismiss away.