Call us cowards, but we’re tired of fighting with our family about politics over the holidays. JSTOR Daily has tons of food trivia, animal stories, and quirky history to help you steer clear of controversy or find your way back to neutral ground. Happy Thanksgiving!

mummy brown painting

When Artists Painted with Real Mummies

The popular paint pigment called “mummy brown” used to be made from—yep—ground-up Egyptian mummies.
Blue viper snake eating a frog, Indonesia

How Snakes Swallow

A snake’s ability to swallow enormous prey has long been a source of fascination, but the common explanation that they dislocate their jaws is a myth.
Geranium

Why Victorian Gardeners Loathed Magenta

For decades, British and American gardeners avoided magenta flowers. The color had associations with the unnatural and the poisonous.
Couney incubator

Coney Island’s Incubator Babies

Yes, you read that right.

The Real Joy of Mock Food

"Wow, this really kind of tastes like turkey.”
Margarine ad

When Margarine Was Contraband

Protectionist laws favoring producers of butter meant that getting margarine in Wisconsin was no easy feat.
potato chips

The Story of the Invention of the Potato Chip Is a Myth

Everyone knows the potato chip was invented in Saratoga Springs, NY in 1853. Except it wasn’t.
Alfred Jacob Miller - Roasting The Hump Rib

The Origins of the Word “Barbecue”

The skinny on the Q.

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