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4 everyday foods with WTF Dark Histories


Lemons were advertised as a cure for the 1918 pandemic flu

In 1918 the world was hit by a devastating outbreak the H1N1 influenza – which infected more than 500 million people and killed between 17 and 50 million people over two years.

The outbreak terrified Americans with its scale and ferocity. In a matter of months, the virus had infected every major population center in the country, from New York and Boston to Nashville and St. Louis to Los Angeles and San Francisco – a virological road trip that killed 292,000 people in four months. It must have looked like the world was going to end … which, as we now know, makes people do it a whole lot from stupid shit.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

One thing that many old folks got mad about was pseudoscientific “home remedies” with that most popular of these, the humble lemon is by far. Major newspapers and politicians have hyped lemons as a “fruit enemy”, which not only prevented people from contracting the virus, but could also cure an infected person instantly. This led to the Los Angeles Herald possibly the coolest public health announcement in history.

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