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Pick ‘n’ Mix

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Millions of Brits are snacking on stomach-churning food combinations – with it being revealed that ketchup sandwiches, mayonnaise on toast and bacon with jam are the strangest.

A study into the weird and wonderful food habits of 2,000 adults found banana sandwiches, sugar sandwiches and peanut butter and jam combos are commonplace, with Crisp sandwiches, chip butties and fish fingers sarnies featuring as the top three unusual fusions of flavour. It was also found that people have a passion for adding chocolate to chilli con carne, eating cheese with chocolate biscuits and mixing ice cream and chips.

The report also showed two thirds of Brits will happily eat food off the floor, with forty per cent obeying the ‘three second rule’ – believing eating dropped food quickly avoids germs.

The research, which was commissioned by ProVen Probiotics, found a creative one in three discovered their secret snack by accident.

Nigel Plummer of ProVen Probiotics said:  ”With the endless possibility of flavours and combinations, Brits are always going to experiment and explore foods you won’t necessarily find mixed together in a supermarket.

“We attach a lot of emotion to food, so whether it’s a case of being proud of something we’ve invented and find tasty or a snack that runs in the family and transports us back to our childhood, we’ll always indulge ourselves. As long as we’re getting a good balance and supporting ourselves properly with key nutrients and aiding the body’s natural defences then the occasional crisp sandwich or other unorthodox snack is unlikely to impact our health.”

It was also found that a fifth turned to their odd combination because it was fed to them by their mum when they were young, whilst more than one in ten created their weird snack whilst drunk, and continued to enjoy it for the sheer novelty value. A hard-up one in five eat their unusual snacks because they are cheap to make.

The results found over half of women who craved odd combinations while pregnant still eat them as part of their diet after giving birth.

It also emerged many of us still have childish eating habits with one in three not too keen on bread crusts, and  more than one quarter of us eat their meal ‘section by section’ without mixing mouthfuls of different foods – one fifth will always eat meat last.

One in ten of those polled don’t like different foods to touch each other on the plate, while a quarter admit they still spit food into their napkin. Even more amazingly, four out of ten are ‘freaked out’ by certain foods and can’t stand watching others eat them – with mushrooms, baked beans and prawns most common, along with fish ‘whose eyes you can see’ also causing  panic.

Nigel Plummer added: “The results prove that we sometimes take a light-hearted approach to what we eat and how, which is fine as long as we pay close attention to hygiene and the health hazards associated with food.

“Our environment and food has become almost too hygienic as we’ve been under exposed to friendly bacteria in our surroundings.

“We might take a few gambles and experiment with food which can have repercussions, but by getting the balance of the bacteria in the intestine working at its best, we give ourselves the best chance of staying fit and healthy.”



1.  Crisp sandwiches
2.  Chip sandwiches
3.  Fish finger sandwiches
4.  Melted cheese sandwiches
5.  Peanut butter and jam
6.  Banana sandwiches
7.  Chilli and chocolate
8.  Cheese and apple
9.  Tomato ketchup sandwiches
10.  Cheese and chocolate biscuits
11.  Strawberries and balsamic vinegar
12.  Ketchup and crisps
13.  Peanut butter and banana
14.  Milkshake and chips
15.  Sugar sandwiches
16.  Mayonnaise on toast
17   Jam and cheese
18   Ice cream and chips
19   Bacon and jam
20.  Brown sauce sandwiches

With the endless possibility of flavours and combinations, Brits are always going to experiment and explore foods you won’t necessarily find mixed together in a supermarket.

Nigel Plummer, MD for ProVen Probiotics

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