Friday, October 30, 2009

The 10 Weirdest, Grossest Ingredients in Processed Food

The 10 Weirdest, Grossest Ingredients in Processed Food
By , WebEcoist
October 30, 2009

[excerpts; link to full article below]

Everyone now knows that processed and fast foods are not the bastions of nutrition, but that shouldn’t make these ingredients found inside them any less revolting. This list sends a clear message: when a packaged food contains more than five ingredients and includes some that are difficult to pronounce, stay away. Make a b-line straight to the organics aisle and go for vegan meals or vegetarian recipes instead.

1. Fertilizer in Subway Sandwich Rolls

While chemical fertilizers inevitably make it into our produce in trace amounts, you would not expect it to be a common food additive. However, ammonium sulfate can be found inside many brands of bread, including Subway’s. The chemical provides nitrogen for the yeast, creating a more consistent product.

2. Beaver Anal Glands in Raspberry Candy

The anal glands of a beaver, conveniently euphemized as castoreum, are a common ingredient in perfumes and colognes but are also sometimes used to -- believe it or not -- enhance the flavor of raspberry candies and sweets.

3. Beef Fat in All Hostess Products

While this may not bother the most ardent omnivore, others are shocked to discover that their favorite childhood treats contain straight-up beef fat. The ingredient comes included a list of other oils that may or may not be used, so it is always a gamble! It is enough to make some of us want to go vegan.

4. Crushed Bugs as Red Food Coloring

After killing thousands at a time, the dried insects are boiled to produce a liquid solution that can be turned to a dye using a variety of treatments. Some people worry that the coloring -- often called carmine or carminic acid -- could be listed as a “natural color,” disguising the fact that there are bugs in the product.


6. Sheep Secretions in Bubble Gum

The oils inside sheep’s wool are collected to create the goopy substance called lanolin. From there, it ends up in chewing gum (sometimes under the guise of “gum base”), but also is used to create vitamin D3 supplements.


9. Calf Stomach in Many Cheeses

In the UK, all cheeses are labeled as either suitable or not suitable for vegetarians because in Britain -- and everywhere else — many cheeses are made using rennet, which is the fourth stomach of a young cow. In the United States and most other countries, people are left to guess about the stomach-content of their cheese.

To read the full article:

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