Sunday, February 7, 2010

17 More Equally Disgusting Food Facts

Here we go with the second (and final) installment of Disgusting Food Facts. Read on and prepare to go "eeewwwww!"

Sweets & Snacks

14. Jelly Beans receive and maintain their shine with Shellac. I remember shellacking new books in our school library. It stank and made our eyes water; but, it dried to smooth, shiny, durable finish. Apparently, it is also used on furniture, guitars; and, even AK-47s. Not grossed out yet? Shellac is made from the excretions of the Kerria lacca insect native to the forests of Thailand.

15. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the USA and many other governmental bodies worldwide set standards for what is acceptable and not acceptable in certain food products. For example, the FDA has ruled that it is acceptable for an average of 30 or more insect fragments plus one or more rodent hairs to be present in every 100 grams of your morning peanut butter. Eeewww! To find out what other tasty(?) additions may be in your food, here is the link to the FDA Defect Levels Handbook which provides this and other equally scary information.

16. Plain white 100% sugar, what could possibly be the problem with this? Sugar obtained from sugar canes goes through a purification process which uses bone char. Bone char is manufactured by superheating bones from cows that have died of natural causes; and, are usually sourced from Afghanistan, India and Pakistan. They are bleached in the hot sun, then sold to exporters who sell them to the gelatin and sugar companies.

17. Natural vanilla is the seed pod from the Vanilla orchid; and, it is addictive. It causes the catecholamine levels in the body to rise. This hormone are also known as epinephrine or adrenaline.

18. Many mass-produced ice creams contain more than the dairy you expect. No, I'm not talking about the added goodness of raisins, chocolate bits, or nuts; I'm talking about seaweed. Check the label on your next ice cream purchase for carrageenan. This is a seaweed extract that is added as a stabilizer to keep your frozen dessert free from ice crystals.

19. Peanuts are not what they seem. While it is usually not the case, peanuts can be used to make dynamite. The peanut oil can be used to create glycerol which is then transformed into nitroglycerin - one of the ingredients in dynamite.

Beef & Poultry & Fish

20. For my friends in the US - about 4 years ago, the FDA allowed the use of bacteriophages to be used in the production of lunch meat, sausages and hot dogs. The bacteriophages, whose general term is virus, are being added to fight the microbes that are found on these meat products. So this means that a number of viruses are being used to fight off one microbe that could be dangerous for consumption.

21. The Great Salmon Cover-up. Did you know that over 90% of the salmon that is sold to us is farm-raised salmon? Did you know that farm-raised salmon can contain as many as 16 more contaminants than wild salmon? Did you realize that salmon are actually grey in colour - not pink? Did you know that farm-raised salmon, deprived of their natural diet, are given colouring agents to obtain that beautiful pinky salmon colour?

22. The waste produced by one chicken in its lifetime can supply enough electricity to run a 100 watt bulb for five hours. I'm sure this significant to someone somewhere, probably with no life.


23. What does the saliva of male pigs, the perspiration of human males, and truffles have in common? O.K...time's up. The same chemical is found in all three things. Yup, the most expensive fungus in the world ($800 - $1500 per pound) is snorted out by female pigs because they recognize the chemical smell the truffle emits as the same chemical smell found in male pig saliva. Coincidentally, this chemical is also found in the perspiration of human males.

24. The largest item on any menu in the world is the roast camel. The camel is stuffed with a sheep’s carcass, which is then stuffed with chickens, which are then stuffed with fish, which are finally stuffed with eggs. This is a rare delicacy and is mostly served at Bedouin wedding feasts.

25. The most toxic fish delicacy anywhere is Fugu. It is made from the raw flesh of the highly deadly puffer fish. The puffer fish must be sliced in a certain manner in order to be edible without being deadly. In order to become a certified Fugu chef, the chef must eat a dish of Fugu that he has personally prepared. If he lives, he passes. It is the only dish officially denied the emperor of Japan unless it will be his last meal.

26. That most humble and lovable of all rodents, the mouse, was considered a great delicacy in ancient China and certain parts of India. In ancient Greece they were sacred to Apollo; but, relished by the temple priests.

27. Casu Marzu is, without a doubt, the most disgusting food product anywhere on the face on the planet. It is a cheese made from sheep’s milk that has cheese flies purposely added. While it is a delicacy in Sardinia, eating it is a health risk. Once the cheese has reached the right stage of decomposition, it is ready to eat. You should wear protective eyewear when eating this cheese because the fly larvae are able to jump 6" in the air; and, have been known to get into peoples' eyes. The taste of the cheese is enough to burn your tongue; and, if you accidentally swallow a larva, you should know that it can live long enough to cause an intestinal infestation which causes vomiting, abdominal cramping, and severe diarrhea.


28. Dairy products that are labelled "cheese products" can be less than 51% real cheese. If the label reads "processed" or "pasteurized" it is usually made with less than 51% cheese. The other 49% is non-food items like flavourings and additives that are manipulated to taste like cheese.

29. The holes in Swiss cheese are formed when the cheese ferments during the cheese-making process. It creates a gas, that when released causes bubbles that eat their way to the outside of the wheel thus making the holes.

30. Counting on your yogurt to be curdled milk filled with smiling, friendly bacteria; and, maybe some fruit pieces? Think again. If the label lists either "glycerin" or "stearic acid", think animal by-products. Stearic acid comes from beef tallow; and, while glycerin comes in synthetic or natural forms, it usually has beef tallow as an added ingredient.

Next time you reach for that package of prepared whatever, think again. Grandma had it right - homemade is best, at least you know what's in it (probably).

Via ForensicScienceTechnician


Kathi said...

Pro & cons - there's a lot more wrong with white sugar than what is in that blurb ("Sugar Blues") and essentially every white, refined product. On the ice cream, I'm glad to know there is seaweed in it - what's the beef? Seaweed has lots of great properties.

Missed you guys - been off line for a while :)

Pippa said...

Welcome back! We missed you too!

Anonymous said...

this is SO gross. I'm never eating food again!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...