10 Disgusting Ingredients You’ve Probably Eaten Today

It is said that people are what they eat, but if many knew what they ingested every single day, they would totally think twice about this statement. The food that is eaten is not as natural flavored as it was first believed and advertised to be. This is why the secret ingredients used to give a specific taste may turn out to be rather harmful for the body. Here it is a ten point list of the things that probably you have already eaten today and have no idea about it.





10. Carmine

This is a popular colorant which is derived from insects. It is widely used to give that red color. The product is obtained by dried bugs from whose abdomen the carmine is extracted and cooked at high temperatures. It appears on labels as the E120 and it is actually red dye. You may have eaten it in a candy, topping, juice or a dairy product without even knowing that the nice red tint was made of bugs.



9.  Human Hair

When it comes to human hair, the topic is not about that strand someone may find on their dinner plate. L-cysteine is known to be a conditioner used in many bakery products such as bread, croissants, pizza and so on. Most of this substance is extracted either from hair or from duck feathers. It is a well-known fact that the human L-cysteine usually comes from the Chinese population whose women sell it in order to make some extra cash.



8.  Silicon Dioxide

It is known that the silicon dioxide enters in the composition of sand and it is also used as an additive. It is considered to be safe if it does not represent more than 2% of the product. It can be found in products like spices, meat, drug tablet and snack bars. The amount of silica needed for the body to be healthy is very small. So there is no reason to consume it in such large quantities.



7.  Borax

Borax can be found underground and it was discovered more than 4000 years ago. This is actually the sodium salt version of the boric acid. This product is able to keep away pests like mice, ants or bugs and also fight against mold. It comes under the name of E285 and it is illegal in the US. However, Asia and Europe allow it. The main thing where borax is used and is imported into the US from abroad is caviar.



6.  Gelatin

This substance does not have a specific flavor and it is translucent. The gelatin is used to thicken and stabilize a variety of foods. The collagen is often obtained from animal parts like pig skin, pork bones, bovine hide and cattle bones.



5.  Shellac

This ingredient is obtained from the Kerria Lacca insect secretions. These insects are originally from Asia. In order to get one kilo of shellac 300,000 bugs are needed.  Shellac is used to polish wood and it has now reached the food and pharmaceutical industry with speed. The wax look on fruits and vegetables is caused by the use of shellac. Also the candies and pastries are polished with this ingredient in order to look better in the consumer’s eye. So next time if a supermarket apple looks really shiny, it is good to remember that it was shellac waxed.



4.  Cellulose

Cellulose is often named E460i and it is extracted from bamboo and cotton. In many cases the ingredient is presented to be high fiber. It is used in products like bakery, cheese, ice cream, yoghurt and so on. Cellulose provides structure to the texture of the food and more than 30% of the ingredients used are safe with the help of this thickener. In some products like biscuits and cookies, cellulose will actually replace more than 50% of the needed fat. In that way, the consumers eat more paper than they realize and the whole industry seems to thrive as vital ingredients are replaced by thickeners.



3.  Castoreum

Castoreum is the substance that beavers secrete in order to mark out their territory. It has been known to be used in the perfume industry for a while now. Anyhow in the food and beverage industry it is present for almost 70 years. The flavored foods which have it in them are the ones which taste like vanilla and raspberry. The nasty part about this ingredient is that the gland which secretes it is right near the anus. On many products there is no mentioning about this ingredient as it is labeled under natural flavors etiquette.



2.  Molds and insects

It is known that there is a certain part of contaminants in the foods that people eat. Many products have insect larvae, bugs, mite hair and even mold in them. Some of the foods are naturally contaminated others are simply not. There are no specific regulations to the quantities which are considered safe. Even if in some cultures the benefits of eating bugs are obvious, the problem arises when people eat the remains of rats and bugs rather than the healthy insect which may be rich in proteins. An example could be that in a can of mushroom there could be found over 19 maggots and still the whole thing is considered safe. Also fly eggs and aphids are considered normal in some foods.



1.  Viruses

At the first time in history, a cocktail of viruses was allowed in daily food in order to prevent the spread of listeriosis. The high number of deaths in the U.S. has forced the FDA to take this measure. However ground base it would be these bacteriophage enter every day into the poultry and processed meat. These infections are usually caused by meat of poor quality and no one asked themselves what will happen next when the Listeria becomes immune to these viruses. It is important for the food structures to increase the quality of the products and not spray some poor quality products in order to make them safe again.

2 Responses to “10 Disgusting Ingredients You’ve Probably Eaten Today”

  1. Anna

    Oct 13. 2012

    Some of this is disgusting, BUT as far as the bug stuff goes who cares? Other places eat bugs all the time as part of their daily diet. Only in America do we view eating bugs as gross. They’re just extra protein. Certain bacteria’s on them could pose health hazards, but usually the digestive tract will take care of that and you won’t get sick. Think about all the bugs you eat in your sleep on a continuous basis. I’m not saying I would voluntarily pick up a bug and eat it (because I won’t!!) But I am not concerned about eating bugs in my meals and other people shouldn’t be that concerned about it either.

  2. Science is good!

    Nov 03. 2012

    This list is so stupid, I’m not even interested in the website any more. I can’t even tell what the author is trying to convey in the last entry. Gelatin is disgusting? To vegans, certainly, but I imagine the author would choose osso busco over pork rinds for dinner but pork rinds for a snack. Didn’t even mention the “hoof!” connection… Sheesh.