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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Chickpea Shortage NOT Feared As Chickens DO NOT Lay Peas

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Thu, 21 Jun 2018 10:17:51 Z)

Are there fears over a chickpea shortage because chickens are laying fewer chickpeas? No, that's total nonsense, if you believed that you've been taken in by a joke website publishing a satirical articles. Chickpeas are not laid by chickens, it is not real.

The joke story originally appeared in an article published by the Waterford Whispers News on June 20, 2018 titled "Chickpea Shortage Feared As Chickens Lay Fewer Peas" (archived here) which opened:

RETAILERS are reporting a large decrease in chickpea stocks around the world as chickens are laying fewer peas, sparking an increase in both demand and the price of chickpeas.

Chickpea or the 'Egyptian pea' is a legume of the family Fabaceae and was named so due to the chickens from that area often laying small circular legume in place of eggs due to the hot and humid conditions of the North African country.

The main ingredient in hummus, chickpeas grew in popularity in the West and lead to mass production in America and some parts of Europe, importing Egyptian chickens while recreating the climate conditions they experienced in Africa in large industrial style units known as hummus farms.

Screenshot of http://waterfordwhispersnews.com/2018/06/20/chickpea-shortage-feared-as-chickens-lay-fewer-peas/

Users on social media who only saw this title, description and thumbnail may have thought it was a real news story:

Chickpea Shortage Feared As Chickens Lay Fewer Peas

RETAILERS are reporting a large decrease in chickpea stocks around the world as chickens are laying fewer peas, sparking an increase in both demand and the price of chickpeas. Chickpea or the 'Egyptian pea' is a legume ...

But Wikipedia defines a chickpea as:

The chickpea or chick pea (Cicer arietinum) is a legume of the family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae.[2][3] Its different types are variously known as gram[4][5] or Bengal gram,[5] garbanzo[5] or garbanzo bean, and Egyptian pea.[4] Its seeds are high in protein. It is one of the earliest cultivated legumes: 7500-year-old remains have been found in the Middle East.[6][7] In 2016, India produced 64% of the world's total chickpeas.[8]

So it is clearly plant-based in origin, not laid by chickers, should you still doubt it.

The site Whaterford Whispers News has a disclaimer page which reads:

Waterford Whispers News is a fabricated satirical newspaper and comedy website published by Waterford Whispers News.

Waterford Whispers News uses invented names in all its stories, except in cases when public figures are being satirized. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental.

For that reason alone you should probably never believe anything they publish.

We wrote about waterfordwhispersnews.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk
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