9 gross things in your food you may not have known about — and 1 you did

I just happened upon a list of gross things that are in our food, courtesy of the UK’s Guardian. It claims 10 things you didn’t know about, but thanks to us, you already knew about one of them: human hair.

Courtesy of me:

One of those to market stories is from the Lord Venkateswara temple at Tirumala. And what heads to market is the shorn hair of the devotees who, like I did, go through the tonsuring room. And then?

Then “then” is that the hair is exported where at least some of it ends up in soy sauce or pizza sauce. Yum!

The rest of the Guardian’s list might not shock you entirely:

  1. Arsenic: “Traces of arsenic can actually be found in both beers and wine that are clearer in colour.”
  2. Antifreeze: “You’re not drinking straight antifreeze when you down a soft drink, but if your drink of choice has propylene glycol in it you’re consuming a compound that’s used for everything from antifreeze to cosmetics to pharmaceuticals to electronic cigarettes.”
  3. Beaver anal glands: “Castoreum, which comes from the castor sacs of male and female beavers, is an FDA-approved food additive popular in ice-creams, and allowed to be called “natural flavouring“, meaning you probably don’t know that you are eating it.”
  4. Fish bladder: “singlass is a gelatin-like substance produced from the swim bladder of a fish. It’s added to cask beers and Guinness, to help remove any “haziness” from the final product.” (Not our beloved Guinness!)
  5. Coal tar: “Many processed foods are known for including a long list of dyes, and many of those dyes are derived from coal tar.”
  6. Silicon breast implant filler: “Chicken McNuggets from McDonald’s aren’t known for being the healthiest thing on the planet, but they’re not really known for being “chicken” either. The nuggets are actually only about 50% actual chicken; the rest comprises synthetic ingredients, including dimethylpolysiloxane, a chemical used in silicone that can be found inSilly Putty as well as breast implant filler.”
  7. Boiled beetle shells: “Natural Red #4 may sound harmless, but the food colouring – also known as carmine – is made by boiling female cochineal insect shells in ammonia or a sodium carbonate solution.” (A lot of us know that one, right?)
  8. Rodent hair: “[T]he US FDA allows for certain amounts of rodent hair in various products, something they call an “unavoidable defects“: one rodent hair for every 100g chocolate, 22 rodent hairs for every 100g cinnamon and five rodent hairs for every 18oz jar of peanut butter. Yum.”
  9. Borax: “Banned in the US and Canada as a food additive but allowed in the EU, borax is also known for making its way into fire-retardant, anti-fungal compounds and enamel. E285, as it’s known in the food world, is used to control acidity in products as well as assist in preservation. You’ll find it insome caviars – including those imported to the US – as well as various Asian noodle and rice dishes as it adds a firm, rubbery texture to foods.”

Before you swear you’ll just eat vegetables, you do know they talk to each other, right?

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

One thought on “9 gross things in your food you may not have known about — and 1 you did”

  1. I’m less worried about the rodents and bugs than I am about chemicals. Rodents and bugs have always been on the food lists of humans and still are almost everywhere except North America. Chemicals on the other hand are killing us and the planet. “if you can’t identify the specific food group what you are eating comes from or if it has a mother or a face don’t eat it!”

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