if you’re in the United States, chances are it’s in some of your meat products. Pink slime is made fromall the bits of meat, that get cut from the beef along with fat. In order to separate the meat and fat its simmered down and then spun in a centrifuge. After that, all the bits are pushed together through a pipe and treated with ammonia to kill any bacteria. Just talking about it is starting to gross me out. It’s then dyed pink, in order to look like real raw beef, formed into blocks and frozen, before it’s sent off to food processing plants. Pink slime is used as filler in a lot of meat products, just like ground beef. Now, just how much of itis used is up for debate, with some estimates as high as 10 billion pounds per year. Back in 2012, an ABC News investigation claimed that nearly 70%of ground meat product, being sold in grocery stores was actually pink slime. Luckily, it’s banned from use in countries like Canada and the European Union, but it still exists in some places and you’re eating that pink slime. Yum Yum.
Considering how many ingredients on any processed food label that there are, that I can barely pronounce, silicon dioxide probably wouldn’t stand out. It also goes by silica, it may sound harmless enough, but it’s actually sand, yacht like, “Let’s make a sandcastle, “the entire beach is made from it”, sand. It’s actually used as an anti-caking agent in almost anything from salt to coffee creamer and even peanut butter. The sand absorbs any extra moisture in food products and stops them from clumping together. It also occurs naturally in plants like beets, peppers and brown rice and fortunately, it doesn’t seem to have any negative, long-term effects on human beings, but rather than stirring up all the sand in our bodies, our kidneys take on the job of filtering it all the way back out. Interestingly the FDA, the World Health Organization and the European Food Safety Authority have labeled it as safe, so long as you don’t eat more than 2% of your meal’s weight in it, so in other words, don’t go eating bowls of sand,’ cause you’re going to be, not pooping, you won’t be pooping at all, you’ll just, you’ll die.
Few things are as simple and satisfying as ice cream on a hot day, but you’ll probably want to opt for another treat soon, because a lot of the ice cream, that you eat is actually flavored with castoreum, otherwise known as beaver anal glands. Castoreum is a brown, hold on, castoreum is a brown, slimy substance, that’s basically a mix of urine and anal secretions, that’s taken from the castor sacs of mature North American and European beavers. The sac is found right under the beaver’s tail, right by its butt and for some reason, it apparently smells really good. Still wouldn’t want to lick it. It’s actually been used by humans for centuries and today it’s used in a lot of perfumes. It’s also considered safe for humans to eat. It’s actually really common in strawberry, raspberry and vanilla flavored foods and since it comes from an animal and is not made from chemicals, it can actually be labeled as naturally-flavored. This is good ice cream, what is that, beaver amuses the chances are that you’ve probably already eaten it, but it probably wasn’t the natural flavor that you were hoping for, was it? or maybe it was, sicko.
If you ever thought that your fruit punch was red from all the natural strawberries and raspberries, that are in it, think again. Carmine is that vibrant red color you find in anything from ice cream to Skittles and it’s actually made from insects. Cochineal beetles are dried out, ground down and boiled in ammonia to release the carminic acid. The signature red is created when it’s mixed with aluminum. It’s supposed to be safe for humans, but after reports of some people suffering from major allergic reactions, it’s now required to be clearly labeled as an ingredient on foods. In fact, in 2012 Starbucks was in hot water, when it moved away from using artificial ingredients and went natural by using carmine in its Strawberry Frappuccinos.After a vegan website started a petition against them, Starbucks agreed to stop putting bugs in their drinks in April of 2012 and said that they’d go with real strawberries instead and this whole time you thought you were having a real strawberry, no baby, bug shells.
Macaroni and Cheese, Peanut Butter and Chocolate:
If you’ve ever found a hair in your food, you might want to convince yourself that it’s your own, but if you’re like me, you might just have to suck it up and accept it’s definitely not. In boxes of macaroni and cheese, one rodent hair per 50 grams is allowed and one hair per 100 grams is allowed in chocolate and peanut butter and apparently, it’s even more common in making spices. In fact, ground sage has the highest allowance with nine hairs per 10 grams, mm-mm the FDA-allowed amounts of rodent hairs a small enough amount to not be harmful to humans and it’s labeled as a natural contaminant. Human hair is also found in food, but not by accident. When broken down, human hair contains an amino acid called L-Cysteine and it’s used in commercial bread products to give them longer shelf life. Local bakeries likely don’t use it, since it’s not added to flour, but it is common in buns and bread items at fast food restaurants. OH, your hair bun, sir, enjoy.
Chewing on gum can be a pretty satisfying habit, that is until you find out what’s making it so chewy. Lanolin is commonly added to gum to make it soft and it comes from sheep wool secretions, yummy. It’s also known as wool grease and it is a natural occurrence in wooly animals, that produce the oily substance through their glands in their skin. Lanolin is made when the wool is sheared from the sheep and washed in hot water with a special detergent, that will remove the wool grease. Mm, wool grease. It’s then spun in a centrifuge to separate the grease from the dirt, skin cells (laughs)and anything else that’s stuck in there, but you might better recognize its what it’s commonly referred to, which is gum base. It’s also used in vitamin D3 supplements, in case you were wondering. Since it’s naturally waxy and waterproof, it’s a great lubricant and is used in a lot of cosmetics and baby products. It’s also used inexpensive skincare products as a treatment for eczema and wounds. But you’ve most likely been chewing it all day long.
Have you ever bought shredded cheese and wondered why it seemed bit, you know, dusty? Well, it’s not just extra cheesy goodness, but actually cellulose, or as its most commonly known, sawdust. The sawdust is from virgin wood pulp and is used in shredded and grated cheese to stop it from clumping together. In 2016, an investigation by the FDA found that some Parmesan cheese brands, that were claiming to be 100% real contained up to almost 9% wood pulp, but it’s not just cheese that can come with a side of wood, it’s also in baked goods, ice cream and crackers and even as filler in meat products. I think I’m starting to see why people don’t eat meat. It’s pretty cheap for food manufacturers and extends a product’s shelf life. It can also act as fiber and because of its absorbent properties, it’s used to lower fat content. It’s supposed to be safe for humans, but the USDA has said that at least in meat, any more than 3.5% cellulose and a product is no longer nutritionally sound. You hear that? So don’t think you’re going to lose weighty going out and just eating a tree, it’s going to mess you all up.
Herbs, spices and wheat:
OK, we’re talking about poop again. I’m all for a little extra flavor and whatnot, but animal poop is definitely not the same as certain the FDA subtly-named Defect Level Handbook, over 100 foods are listed, along with the maximum amount an item can be contaminated, before a food manufacturer has to get rid of it and animal poop, or as they call it, mammalian extreta, is one of those contaminants. The guidelines basically say that whether it’s when the food is harvested, being prepared in a plant or all the times it gets transported, it’s impossible not to get little extra bits in it. Mouse droppings in particular are actually pretty common. In most herbs and spices, only one milligram per pound is allowed, which is basically no trace. However, the highest levels are allowed in wheat, which can have nine milligrams of poop per pound, in cocoa beans with 10 milligrams per pound, but let’s be honest, really, any poop is too much poop, in my opinion.
Tinned food is great for keeping food from rotting over long periods of time, but there’s a price to pay for that luxury and the cost is maggots. It turns out that maggots and other bits of insects aren’t that rare in our tinned food. According to the FDA, up to 20 maggots are allowed in 100 grams of drained mushrooms and maggots aren’t the only things living in your canned goods. Insect eggs, particularly from fruit flies, are often found in maraschino cherries, canned tomatoes and citrus fruit and what’s most disturbing is that the FDA rules get pretty particular. For example, one cup of citrus juice can have one maggot, but not if it already has five or more insect eggs, now that would just be crazy. Mushrooms also attract mites and up to 75 mites are allowed per 100 grams. The same goes for canned and frozen spinach, which have 50 mites, so long as there aren’t larvae over three millimeters long already in there. Here’s a, you know, a reasonable question, who’s measuring these things, ooh! It’s one thing not to want to waste any food, but this is taking that to a whole other level.
Mechanically-separated meat, or MSM, is also known as mechanically-deboned meat and it’s less about separating all the meat, that gets used in our food from the animal’s body and more about mushing everything together. Basically, after an animal is butchered, all the leftover pieces of meat and connective tissue, including bits of bone and cartilage are smashed together and forced through a sieve at an incredibly high pressure. This form a white meat paste and is used in products like hotdogs and baloney. There was controversy that some fast food joints were using it in their chicken, but almost all of them now use all white meat’s. MSM poultry and pork is still used in human food, but because of all the bacteria, mad cow disease became a big concern for mechanically-separated beef and it was eventually banned.