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10 Weird and Gross Ingredients in Processed Food

10 Weird and Gross Ingredients in Processed Food

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10 Weird and Gross Ingredients in Processed Food
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.


  1. Fertilizers – in your bread

    fertilizersWhile 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 your candy

    beaver_analThe 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.

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  4. Beef Fat – in your snacks

    beef_fatWhile 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!

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  6. Crushed Bugs – as red food coloring

    crushed_bugsAfter 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.

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  8. Beetle Juice – the hard candy coating

    beetle_juiceYou know that shiny coating on candies like Skittles? Or the sprinkles on cupcakes and ice cream sundaes? Well, they get that glaze from the secretions of the female lac beetle. The substance is also known as shellac and commonly used as a wood varnish.

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  10. Sheep Secretions – in your bubble gum

    sheep_secretionsThe 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.

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  12. Human Hair and Duck Feathers – in your bread

    human_hairWhat’s in your morning bagel? If you get it from Noah’s Bagels, it contains either human hair or duck feathers, and it’s your guess as to which. The substance, called L-cysteine or cystine, is used as a dough conditioner to produce a specific consistency. While artificial cysteine is available, it is cost prohibitive and mostly used to create kosher and halal products.

  13. Coal Tar – in red colored candy

    col_tarCoal tar is listed as number 199 on the United Nations list of “dangerous goods,” but that doesn’t stop people from using it in food. The coloring Allura Red AC is derived from coal tar and is commonly found in red-colored candies, sodas and other sweets.

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  15. Calf Stomach – in your cheese

    calf_stomachIn 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.

  16. Sand – in your chili

    sandSand is hidden in Wendy’s chili as a name you might remember from high school chemistry class: silicon dioxide. Apparently they use sand as an “anti-caking agent,” perhaps to make sure the chili can last for days and days over a heater.

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About the Author – Alex Felsinger

As the Editor of Planetsave, Alex Felsinger is primarily concerned with issues surrounding animal welfare, conservation, and environmental justice. He has immense respect for anyone who dedicates their lives towards protecting the planet, regardless of tactics or means.

Were Shocked By This, We Were!? Leave a Comment Below.

Source: wikipedia.org webecoist.com by Alex Felsinger

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RSSComments: 15  |  Post a Comment  |  Trackback URL

  1. ignorance is a bliss :)). People around me got used to saying “everything is bad for you so why bother”. I was like that too. Thank you for helping me change.

  2. Not shocked but still thoroughly disgusted. The labeling laws in the United States are hideous as you will never really know what’s in your food including cheese. We have the right to know but until it changes, the best thing to do is grown your own and avoid processed foods.

  3. So who cares about bugs, beef fat and lanolin? People are freaking out about natural things, not about toxic or dangerous things. People are so brainwashed against natural things, they think naugahyde and Crisco and CoolWhip are good. Get a handle on it!

  4. I knew there was gross things in our food, but damn!!! Some of these are new to me.
    It’s sick that this disgusting stuff is legal.
    Couldn’t they find natural things instead?

  5. Definitely gross indeed! This is why I will continue on the Organic path. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Thanks for this.

  7. Here’s a web page that lists the REALLY GROSS things in food!

    http://naturalbias.com/13-ridiculous-food-labels-that-might-be-fooling-you/

  8. By Ick: Couldn’t they find natural things instead?

    What is unnatural about this list?

  9. None if this is new or even shocking.

  10. thanks for posting jason, and great job Alex on writing it. Its important to get this info out there.

  11. I used to looove raspberry candies till about 3 minutes ago….ugh!

  12. I am no longer eating red candy, bread, anything with red food coloring, or any weird snack things. Fuck that shit, its gross!

  13. check this out as you may want to rethink what you eat.

  14. thank you so much for this post.

  15. This amazing information only supports more the suggestions of Ayurveda to go to natural and wholesome food we cook at home.
    Thank you for the information.
    http://www.ayurvedicHealing.info

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