Education | Apr 29, 2018

Pickles Are Really Cucumbers and 5 Other Food Facts That May Surprise Your Kids (and maybe you!)

Did you know about this?!

Surprise crop

1.Pickles are Cucumbers

Crunchy, sour, salty or sweet – pickles all start the same way, as cucumbers! Cucumbers grow on vines or on a cucumber bush. They like hot temperatures and a lot of water! Kirby or Persian cucumbers are often used for pickling. After they are picked they are washed and then soaked in a pickling solution often made with water, salt, spices and vinegar.

Learn about all types of cucumbers.

2. French Fries AND Chips are Potatoes

Both of these fried, delicious snacks start with potatoes. Potatoes grow underground and are harvested with a machine that scoops up the soil and separates the potatoes out.  Some potatoes, like Russett, are known for making French fries and chips. Idaho is known for growing the most potatoes in the United States.

See how potatoes are harvested

3. Ketchup is Tomatoes

Ripe, red tomatoes grow on vines! After they are picked they are turned into paste and often mixed with water, sugar, vinegar and spices to make ketchup! Did you know cooked tomatoes have more lycopene (an antioxidant) than fresh?

Tomato Trivia from National Ag in the Classroom

4. Sugar can be Sugar Beets!

The sugar you see in bags at the store doesn’t necessarily come from sugar cane. Sugar beets make up 55% of the sugar you see in the store! In sugar beets, the sugar is found in the roots. The beet is “topped” (cutting the top of the beet off) and sent to the factory for processing. The sugar beets are then washed, sliced and boiled in water to begin the extraction of sugar. This is then filtered and crystallized.

Read more about sugar.

5. Raisins are Grapes!

Raisins are made with a special grape variety that is known for its sugar content! Thompson grapes are the most popular for raisins.

Learn more about how grapes turn into raisins here!

Bonus: Denim Jeans are Cotton

While not a food, this fact might still stump some students! Jeans are made of cotton which is a plant! These plants flower and then after germination the flowers turn into cotton bolls!  Cotton seeds are removed and cotton is spun into thread - then made into fabric!

Read more

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