St. Patrick's Day food myths and facts

Ireland's favorite vegetable is loaded with vitamin C and potassium


DETROIT – Myth:  Green beer is healthy. 

No matter what color you dye it, beer is beer!  In small amounts (1 - 12-ounce serving) beer can actually be heart healthy.  Excessive consumption of beer, or any alcohol, can have adverse health effects including elevated triglycerides and liver damage. 

Fact: The month of March with St. Pat's Day accounts for 10% of Guinness Stout annual sales – 13 million pints of Guinness will be consumed on St. Pat's day, about 2.5 times the usual average of 5.5 million pints sold per day worldwide.

Myth:  Corned beef and cabbage is the classic "Luck of the Irish" meal.  Fact: Irish bacon was the original meat of choice for the St. Patrick's Day celebration.   Years later, Irish immigrants in New York changed the tradition to less costly version that included corned beef. 

Fact:  The potato remains a staple in diet of the Irish.  The potato famine in Ireland was the result of a fungus carried by an English ship returning from North America. The airborne fungus attacked the leaves of the potato plant and then the potato itself once harvested. 

Fact:  Potatoes are an excellent source of Vitamin C and potassium.  You can buy "Homegrown" potatoes from Michigan Farmers in your local Meijer store. 

By Tina Miller, Meijer Healthy Living Advisor