Monday, April 8, is the total solar eclipse, and it’s inspiring some discussion about the myths and stories that surround this astronomical phenomenon.

WFLA — an NBC affiliate based in Florida — listed some of the ancient stories about eclipses in a recent article:

  • In ancient China, it was believed that eclipses were caused by “a dragon swallowing the sun,” while in Vietnam, people though it was a giant frog doing the swallowing.
  • The sun and moon are married in German mythology, so an eclipse was seen as the “moment when the couple unites.”
  • The Inuit culture believed the sun and moon were brother and sister and that an eclipse happened when the siblings fought.
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While there are many other eclipse-related stories and teachings out there, there aren’t many that NASA has felt the need to comment on.

But in 2017, the organization did speak up to say that there’s no truth to the idea that food prepared during an eclipse will be poisoned.

It’s safe to eat during the solar eclipse

The myth, according to NASA, stems from the claim that a total solar eclipse produces “harmful solar rays” that can contaminate the food you make.

“If that were the case, the same radiations would harm the food in your pantry, or crops in the field,” explained NASA. “The basic idea is that total solar eclipses are terrifying and their ghostly green coronae look frightening, so it is natural to want to make up fearful stories about them and look for coincidences among events around you.”

NASA’s eclipse program manager, Kelly Korreck, told Food & Wine that the sun’s radiation does not change before, during or after an eclipse. “The light is focused differently in the shadow of the Moon but doesn’t change its basic properties,” she said.

Can you look at the sun during an eclipse?

NASA explained that scientists have studied the radiation emitted during a solar eclipse and determined that it’s too weak to penetrate the atmosphere and harm you by, for example, causing blindness.

However, you can damage your eyes if you look directly at the sun before the moon is covering it.

“If you watched the sun before totality, you will catch a glimpse of the brilliant solar surface and this can cause retinal damage, though the typical human instinctual response is to quickly look away before any severe damage has actually occurred,” NASA reported.

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What you could eat to celebrate the eclipse

Korreck suggested to have fun with the eclipse and make foods resembling the sun and moon, per Food & Wine.

She highlighted a Pineapple Solar Salsa from NASA.

Forbes recently published a list of seven food and/or beverage brands celebrating the eclipse with unique treats. Here are a select few:

  • Burger King is offering a buy one, get one Whopper discount on April 8. Royal Perks members can text ECLIPSE to 251251 to access the discount.
  • Smoothie King is offering a new Eclipse Berry Blitz smoothie made with “bananas, wild blueberries, apples, blueberry juice blend, white grape lemon juice blend, protein blend and blue spirulina,” per Forbes.
  • SunChips is releasing eclipse-themed chips beginning April 8. These limited-time chips have a “Pineapple Habanero and Black Bean Spicy Gouda” flavor, and fans can visit SunChipsSolarEclipse.com during the eclipse for a chance to get the snack for free, according to Forbes.
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