When it comes to our favorite food items, especially if they are junk food, it seems like there is no force on Earth that will stop us from consuming them in great amounts. However, have you asked yourself where your favorite foods come from? Or, what they go through before they get into your eager hands.
1 Blackberry, strawberry and vanilla ice cream
Industrially produced ice creams, but also some natural ones, sometimes contain an additive that would turn your stomach: castoreum, a substance that comes from a beaver’s rectum, which it uses to mark its territory. As shocking as that may seem, its odour isn’t that far from that of vanilla.
Produced for thousands of years, beer is no longer made like it used to be in the past: these days, isinglass is added to the yeast, a substance that comes from the liver of dried fish. This additive is used to make the beer appear more transparent. The good news is that Guinness has just recently banned the product. So now you know which brew to go for…
Marshmallows and certain other sweets are made with gelatine, a transparent harmless looking sheet that you can buy in the supermarket as if it were a thing of nothing. In fact, it contains the skin of cows or pigs and sometimes crushed bones. The solution? Make your own marshmallows, but with agar, a vegetable-based gelling agent.
4 Ready made vinaigrette
Vinaigrette is to salad what Rodger Federer is to tennis: imperative! But did you know that the readily made vinaigrettes you buy in the supermarket contain titanium dioxide? This harmful chemical additive (possibly responsible for numerous cancers) is added by industries at the end of the recipe to prolong its shelf life, and to give it a more appetizing color.
If Pringles are completely irresistible, there’s a good reason why: there isn’t a single actual potato used in these perfectly shaped crisps, but wheat, corn, and just a few potato flakes. Once they are cooked and dried, various artificial flavors are added in the form of powder sprays. But there is worse to come: the particular manufacturing process creates a dangerous chemical compound called acrylamide, known to cause health problems.
6 Canned mushrooms
The United States and certain European countries don’t even try to hide the presence of worms in their canned mushrooms! Although there are regularly updated laws to control the quantities. Nothing chemical in them, but it’s not terribly appetizing all the same!
7 Sweets made from gelatine
Besides the fact that gelatin is made from pork and cow skin, sweets made from gelatine are also sprayed with a lacquer to give them a shine, but it is the same lacquer used in hairspray….
8 Vacuum packed beef and packaged minced meat
To improve the appearance of beef, the meat industries process certain cuts with ammonia to eliminate bacteria.
9 Chewing gum
Absolutely nothing natural goes into chewing gum, even less so its strawberry flavoring! Toxic colorants, allergens (BHA/BHT) and carcinogens, synthetic rubber for the elasticity, anti-stick, and plasticising synthetic waxes -chewing gum is a real feat of petrochemistry, to eliminate from your diet ASAP.
10 Chinese noodles
A study recently revealed that certain packets of Chinese noodles use ink to color their noodles, as well as paraffin. None of which, of course, was indicated on the back of the packet….
We are really sorry to disappoint you Skittles lovers, but the red food coloring is made of a coloring called carmine, which is made out of crushed bugs. No more Skittles for me, thanks.
12 Jelly beans
13 Shredded cheese
You won't see those words on the packaging, of course. The official ingredient goes by the name "cellulose" and is added to boost fiber and add creaminess in low-fat foods and to help keep shredded cheese from clumping together. In other words, wood pulp is being added to your shredded cheese to cut down on costs.
Even wine is not safe from weird and gross additives. Animal rights group PETA warns on their website that many wines "include blood and bone marrow, casein (milk protein), chitin (fiber from crustacean shells), egg albumen (derived from egg whites), fish oil, gelatin (protein from boiling animal parts), and isinglass (gelatin from fish bladder membranes."
Since wineries are not required to disclose the ingredients of each bottle, you may never know what you're really drinking.
No one wants to find a hair in their food, but that just might be what you're eating every time you have some toast. A lot of commercial bread has an additive called L-cysteine. This amino acid gives the bread a longer shelf life but is often synthesized from human hair, which is just plain disgusting. To avoid getting hair in your mouth, opt for freshly made bread from the bakery instead of processed bread from the grocery store.
16 Coffee creamer
If you aren't a fan of black coffee, you might be putting some pretty disgusting stuff into that morning cup of joe. Non-dairy coffee creamers have a concoction of oils that allow it to mimic the creaminess of milk. Most creamers use soybean or cottonseed oil to give it that smooth consistency. Each time you add liquid creamer to your coffee, you're basically dousing it in oil.
If you think oil in your coffee is strange, you probably don't want to know what powdered creamer is made out of. Powdered creamers contain an anti-caking agent called sodium aluminosilicates. This substance is highly flammable — not exactly the sort of thing you want to drink at breakfast.
17 Fat-free milk
If you think you can skip the horrible additives in non-dairy creamer by using fat-free milk in your coffee, think again. It turns out not even milk is safe from gross ingredients. When fat is removed from milk, the color turns blue. Since the Food and Drug Administration agrees that non-white milk would be too hard for consumers to drink, they allow it to be processed with titanium dioxide to keep its light color.
Somehow, the FDA thinks that it's less off-putting for people to drink metal than to drink blue-tinted milk.
18 Citrus-flavored sodas
Everyone knows that soda isn't exactly the most healthy drink to consume, but citrus-flavored sodas are packed with more than just sugar. Many citrus-flavored drinks, like Mountain Dew, include a synthetic chemical that has been patented as a flame retardant. Brominated vegetable oil, commonly referred to as BVO, has been banned from foods in Europe and Japan but is still widespread in North America. Ten percent of sodas sold in the U.S. contain this ingredient, which helps to keep the citrus flavor mixed into the drink instead of floating to the surface of the can or bottle.
While there are limits that regulate how much BVO can be included in drinks, the studies on what makes it safe for consumption are decades old. It's possible that BVO is more harmful than we suspect. Studies done on mice show that a buildup of BVO can cause behavioral and even reproductive issues.