6 Gross Ingredients in Your Food

Photo (cc) by Greencolander

A new (and disgusting) Food Beast report reveals that Cadbury Creme Eggs contain a substance from the castor sacs of beavers, which are located near the beaver’s tail. The secretions are found in an artificial sweetener called castoreum, listed as “natural flavoring” in the popular treats. Do a little more research and you’ll find that this “natural flavoring” is also found in ice cream, gelatin, pudding, alcohol, and baked goods.

While the discovery is rather disturbing, it’s only one of several bizarre ingredients found in food, some of which we consume daily.

1. Cochineal beetles

In 2012, some Starbucks patrons were enraged to learn the chain was using cochineal beetles in strawberry-flavored drinks like the Strawberry Frappuccino. The crushed-up beetles create a red dye effect. The chain declared it would stop using the beetles in its products. However, according to WildFlavors.com, cochineal extract can be found in meat, sausage, red marinades, jams, gelatin desserts, juices, noncarbonated soft drinks, icings, toppings, fruit preparations, confections, and dairy products.

2. Sawdust

Ever wonder how that bag of shredded cheese is magically able to avoid clumping? You can thank sawdust for that. Many brands of prepackaged, shredded cheese use cellulose to prevent the shreds of cheese from sticking together, according to Care2.com. Cellulose is also used in meat products, ice cream, and spice and powdered-drink mixes.

3. Sodium bisulfite

A combination of sulfur dioxide and sodium carbonate, sodium bisulfite remains a topic of concern. It has been known to cause allergic reactions and, in rare cases, death. While it has been banned from use in fruits and vegetables that are intended for raw consumption, it’s found in wine, potato chips, other potato products, and dried fruits.

4. Isinglass

Similar to the way cochineal beetles give red coloring to common food items, isinglass, otherwise known as dried fish bladder, is used to create the golden color of beer. According to Care2.com, it’s not necessary; yeast separates from the actual beer within a few days to create the color. Isinglass speeds up the process, though.

5. Ammonium sulfate

Fact: Ammonium sulfate is a chemical fertilizer. Fact: It’s also used in many chain restaurant sandwich breads. It feeds yeast in the baking process, says TruTV.com.

6. Propylene glycerol

Also noted on TruTV.com, propylene glycerol, commonly used in antifreeze and sex lubricants, is found in prepackaged salads. That’s how they’re able to look and stay so fresh. It’s also used in food colorings and cake mixes.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
8 Surefire Ways to Get Rid of Debt ASAP

Here’s how to painlessly speed up your debt-reduction efforts.

This Is the Best Used Car You Can Buy

This car combines reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret

Think twice before buying these things.

This Online Bank Rated Best for Second Year in a Row

This bank pays interest without charging monthly fees, but there’s a downside.

5 Memberships That Offer Car Insurance Discounts

These discounts may save you hundreds — even thousands — of dollars a year.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older

There is no need to wait until you’re 65 to take advantage of so-called “senior” discounts.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

9 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020

Based on dozens of metrics tied to affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value

You can add value to your home without hiring a contractor to do expensive renovations.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.