The Obscure Way Toothpaste And Lasagna Are Connected

Just as you might keep toothpaste and orange juice separate, toothpaste and savory Italian dishes should never be together on the same plate. But, an unusual-looking box has been used to suggest that once upon a time, the tube of toothpaste on your bathroom sink and the frozen lasagna you'd find at the grocery store may have made for strange bedfellows ... sort of.

According to Ripley's Believe It or Not, it seems that Colgate was at one point a purveyor of not just toothpaste but frozen foods. Sitting in Sweden's Museum of Failure, a museum exhibit detailing some of the blunders and failed products from companies all across the world is a package of "Beef Lasagna" with the Colgate logo. As the story supposedly goes, according to The Mirror, Colgate made the strange expansion from toothpaste to frozen dinners in an attempt to cash in on the TV dinner boom of the 1980s. When it turned out no one wanted to buy lasagna from the same folks who sell mouthwash, Colgate allegedly abandoned its frozen dinner schemes. This could imply that the package of Colgate Beef Lasagna locked away in Sweden could be the only remaining evidence that such a product existed.

But the story of Colgate's supposed beef lasagna isn't as open-and-shut as you might expect. In fact, it might be fiction.

Colgate Beef Lasagna technically doesn't exist

Does that mean that Colgate never had frozen meals, to begin with, and there was never any poorly received beef lasagna? 

Prospect Magazine e-mailed Colgate-Palmolive to try and figure out if the Colgate Beef Lasagna ever existed. According to Prospect's report, Thomas DiPiazza, Director of Corporate Communications for Colgate-Palmolive, explained that not only did such a product not exist, but the image of the supposed beef lasagna was something the Museum of Failure had "made up." Indeed, a sign beside the "Colgate frozen dinner" display at the museum stated: "When international press wrote about the Museum of Failure, a legal representative called and sternly informed us that the company 'has no recollection of a Colgate lasagna.'" Even the box of beef lasagna itself is just a "mock-up" that museum owner Dr. Samuel West admitted to making "based on images we found online."

Does this mean that the entire Colgate frozen dinner line is just an urban legend? As pointed out by Prospect and Ripley's Believe It or Not, a 1966 edition of Television Age magazine indicates that the company did have a frozen product line back in the 1960s called "Colgate Kitchens." While seemingly beefless, it included crabmeat and dried chicken plus "an apple chip called Snapples" that at least reached the testing phase. This is also acknowledged on the Museum of Failure's website.

While Colgate lasagna may not have existed, there are other failures from big-name brands that are very much real.