When You Learn What's Really in Your Food, You May Stop Eating Altogether

Illustration for article titled When You Learn Whats Really in Your Food, You May Stop Eating Altogether

Food! So delicious! So necessary! So full of surprising ingredients that, when you read about them, will make you want to vomit up whatever it was you were eating and discover a way to subsist solely on something pure and untarnished, like the music of Luther Vandross or the affection of a canine. Sadly, while those two things will keep you happy, they will not keep you alive. So instead we must keep shoveling food garbage into our face-holes like a bunch of damn barn animals and greet the horrible and revealing food studies as they come. Like right now!

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ABC News, motivated by the great Pink Slime Panic of 2012, has done some research to discover what other awful poisons and witch's ingredients go into our everyday comestibles. Quelle surprise! We eat some disgusting-ass shit.

1.) Your fruit, shelled candy and aspirin are coated in shellac, which — GREAT — is made from real juicy beetlejuice.

The hard, shiny shells on candies are often made from shellac, a resin secreted by the lac bug. You may know shellac from its more famous work in varnishes and sealants, but it's also a mainstay in pill coatings, candy, coffee beans, and even the waxy sheen on apples and other fruits and vegetables.

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2.) Sad chicken is pumped with antidepressants to then be eaten by an even sadder you.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University tested bird feathers and found a laundry list of feed additives, including banned antibiotics, antidepressants, allergy medications, arsenic, the active ingredient in Benadryl, caffeine, and other prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

3.) Heads up, vegans. Your gum might be full of sheep oil.

It's called lanolin, a term for the oil sheep produce in their wool. These greasy secretions are used as softeners in foods and masked with the vague food label "gum base."

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4.) A bowl of cereal = a bowl of wood chips.

Cellulose is usually made from nontoxic wood pulp or cotton, and the cheap filler is stuffed into shredded cheese, salad dressing, and ice cream to thicken it without adding calories or fat. Cellulose is fibrous, which is why it appears in so many high-fiber "healthy" snacks and breakfast cereals — and it's even in organic products, according to an investigation by The Wall Street Journal.

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5.) There could be even more cow in your cheese than you previously thought.

A lot of cheese is made with rennet, which contains an enzyme extracted from the fourth stomach of newborn calves. Rennet is used as a cheese curdler, sometimes in tandem with another enzyme called pepsin, which is extracted from stomach glands of hogs.

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6.) If your bread seems light and airy, that could be because it's literally made of feathers.

Duck feathers are often packed into our favorite processed breads in the form of L-cysteine, an agent used as a dough softener. It's in bagels, cookie dough, bread, pies and more. While there are other sources of this filler available, a 2007 investigation by the nonprofit Vegetarian Resource Group found that about 80 percent of L-cysteine was derived from our feathered friend.

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7.) Raise a glass of beer (and see that it's full of fish bladders).

Widely used in the beer-brewing process is a form of collagen called isinglass, which is made from the swim bladders of fish. Isinglass clumps with the beer's yeast and sinks to the bottom, allowing for a much clearer brew.

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Shall we try giving this a shot again?

7 Grossest Things in Your Food [ABC News]
Image via ifong/Shutterstock.

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DISCUSSION

BingleyJoe
BingleyJoe

Let's tackle these one-by-one:

1 - "The hard, shiny shells on candies are often made from shellac, a resin secreted by the lac bug."

Honey is also a resin secreted by bugs, and I happily eat that by the spoonful. I wouldn't eat a spoonful of shellac, but since that's not happening in the amounts used to coat stuff, I'm not bothered by this one. Wash fruits and veggies. Eat less candy.

2 - "a laundry list of feed additives"

Chickens really get fucked by industrial farming, but frankly, this goes for all meat products produced on an industrial scale. The more people wake up to this fact and start looking for cleaner, healthier, happier animals to eat the better. Get to know your butchers, people. Tell them this matters to you!

3 - "It's called lanolin"

And it's magical stuff. Sorry, vegans. At least those sheep are really quite happy after they've been shorn (until someone comes along and eats them, that is).

4 - "Cellulose is usually made from nontoxic wood pulp or cotton, and the cheap filler is stuffed into shredded cheese, salad dressing, and ice cream to thicken it without adding calories or fat."

It won't hurt you to eat it (and in fact, many people would benefit from the extra fibre), but if you just stop eating all that processed shit and low-fat crap, you wouldn't have to think about it.

5 - "A lot of cheese is made with rennet"

And has been for hundreds of years. I mean.. cheese is already pretty funky stuff when you stop to think about it, so I'm not sure this is really something that should bother a lover of cheese.. Happily, there are plenty of varieties to choose from that don't have any rennet in them though, so just eat those instead.

6 - "Duck feathers are often packed into our favorite processed breads"

Why are you eating processed breads? Stop that.

7 - "Widely used in the beer-brewing process is a form of collagen called isinglass"

See rennet; this is just how it's been done since forever, and beer has only ever made the world better, so what's the problem. Also, these are used more in thicker, darker, stoutier beers than your mega mass-produced beers like Bud or Coors and such..

Mostly, if people stopped eating so much industrially-produced food and just started cooking for themselves from ingredients they know about, they'd avoid all this ooky stuff.

GET IN THE KITCHEN, PEOPLE! Making your own food to eat has to be the biggest no-brainer DIY there is!