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8 of the strangest food trends of all time


We take a mosey down memory lane and take a look at 8 of the strangest food and diet trends in history trends. Each year like clockwork, a new wave of weird and wonderful food trends and diets hit the internet and our news feeds light up with #foodporn posts of overzealous foodies giving them a try. 

But food trends have been around since long before the internet, with some standing the test of time, while others fade into obscurity as quickly as they appeared - often for good reason. 

This week on the La Española blog, we take a mosey down memory lane and take a look at 8 of the strangest food and diet trends in history

Buckle up, it’s about to get a little rough… 

1. Toilet-themed restaurants 

A few years ago, a restaurant in Taiwan went viral for its unique interior decor. The restaurant was entirely toilet and bathroom themed. Think faeces-inspired lighting, actual toilets in place of chairs, meals served in mini toilets and drinks coming out in urinals. Unbelievably, the restaurant - “Modern Toilet Restaurant” has thrived and if you can stomach it, there’s now versions across Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong and other parts of the world. We’ll pass, but if you want to check out the flagship restaurant’s website, just click here

2. Gold leaf food 

We love gold leaf in our famous works of art, but we aren’t sure about its use in food. Sure, gold leaf on some rich chocolate adds a bit of sparkle, but wrapped around our sushi rolls? The food product - which is made from actual gold but is easily digested - is crazy expensive, so to play around with the sheets in your own kitchen will cost you a pretty penny. 

3. Not-coffee coffee 

There’s nothing quite like swapping that piping hot, robust morning coffee for...broccoli. That’s right, broccoli coffee is one of the many coffee varieties you can find out there. Broccoli powder is mixed with a shot of espresso before milk is added, in the hope that it will improve people’s overall diets and give them a healthy boost. Other versions include turmeric lattes and blue algae lattes. We understand the principle of trying to improve our health as a society, but we prefer our coffee straight and our vegetables on our plates - and roasted to perfection in La Española Olive Oil

4. The baby food diet 

The baby food diet has been around for around a decade, but reached its peak popularity a while back. It has now thankfully been shafted for more sensible healthy diet alternatives. This diet is exactly what it sounds like, with participants replacing regular solid food with up to 14 jars of baby food per day for up to a week. The goal of this bizarre diet is to lose weight quickly while “cleansing” your body. Unsurprisingly, the diet that consists of purely pureed baby food has been proven to be unhealthy for adults

5. The Breatharian Diet

One of the most dangerous diets we’ve heard of, fans of the Breatharian Diet believe that humans don’t require food or water to survive - and can merely survive off breathing in air. The practise is actually based on the Hindu belief in Inedia, but health professionals have resoundingly condemned the practice, labelling it “deadly” for obvious reasons. These days fasting is a popular lifestyle choice, which is essentially a short-term form of Breatharianism. We believe food is one of the most enjoyable and important things in life, so we cannot condone this trend. 

6. The cabbage soup diet 

The cabbage soup diet is one of the original weight loss diet fads, and if you ask your mother or aunt, they will probably have vivid memories of attempting this diet in the quest for the “dream body” during the 1980’s. The radical weight loss diet involves solely eating large amounts of cabbage soup for an entire week. Not surprisingly, the side effects involve intense flatulence and a general feeling of nausea, and it's since been found that you actually aren’t losing fat anyway - it’s almost entirely water weight. Cabbage is great, but we won’t be doing this one any time soon. 

7. Apple cider vinegar 

Just a few years ago, it seemed that every second person you talked to was suddenly raving about the benefits of apple cider vinegar, and this trend actually continues to this day. Natural health practitioners swear by the vast benefits of consuming the vinegar variety, including cholesterol control and weight loss. While the jury is still out on its long-term effects, we can’t comment on the fad. But what we can say is that the Mediterranean Diet (and olive oil consumption) has all of the same benefits outlined - and more! 

8. The Tapeworm Diet 

We’re wrapping up this list with arguably the most ridiculous and dangerous diet trend of all time - the tapeworm diet. Are you scared yet? You should be. The diet involves swallowing a pill that contains a tapeworm egg. Inside your body, the egg hatches and a tapeworm begins to grow, eating your “extra” food. Risking blindness or death from an internal blockage or neurocysticercosis to lose a few kilograms? No thanks. We can’t stress enough how many dangerous complications are associated with this “diet”. After all - contracting a tapeworm is something we try to avoid, especially when travelling, so why are people voluntarily doing it? Sadly, people have actually been undertaking this painful and dangerous diet since Victorian times. Fancy seeing some visuals of what a tapeworm looks like wriggling around inside you? Check out this article

What’s the strangest diet trend you’ve heard of or tried yourself? Head over to our social media channels and interact with us there!