Apr 06, 2012 4:31 PM GMT
Gross Additives in Everyday Foods
-ammonia-cleansed pink slime meat
-Starbucks recently came under fire from the vegan community for admitting that the red dyes used in their strawberry drinks contained cochineal, a coloring made from crushed parasitic beetles.
-Glyphosate is the active chemical ingredient in the notorious weed killer, Roundup. This chemical is so heavily used at this point that it's now detected in soil, air, bodies of water and rain - meaning, at this point, escape is dubious, even if you eat mostly organic.
-Castoreum extract doesn't sound too scary, but it's actually a bitter, orange-brown substance retrieved from the beaver's anal gland. Yum. This additive can be found in many processed food products that are flavored vanilla or raspberry, like ice cream, yogurt, cookies and the like
-Shellac is what makes jelly beans shiny and gives that lacquered finish to other sweet treats along with fruit and coffee beans as well, and it's all thanks to excretions of the Kerria lacca insect.
-Bugs & Rodent Hair. Most of us weren't pleased to hear that the FDA decided to keep BPA in the food supply. However, if they're fans of BPA, what else do you think the FDA allows in food before taking action? The answer - quite a lot. The FDA's Defect Levels Handbook shows that an average of 30 or more insect fragments and 1 or more rodent hairs per 100 grams of peanut butter, a kid staple, is allowed, before any action is taken. An average of 60 or more aphids and/or thrips and/or mites per 100 grams of frozen broccoli is allowed while 5 or more fly eggs and 1 or more maggots per 100 grams of tomato juice is okay.
-Flame Retardant. Brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, was first used to keep plastics from catching on fire and it's patented as a flame retardant, which obviously makes it the perfect additive for sports drinks and sodas right? I mean we wouldn't want you bursting into flames during a jog. Although BVO contains questionable chemicals and it's banned in food products in Europe and Japan, American companies add it with glee to various sodas, juices and sports drinks. BVO helps to keep the artificial flavors from separating from the rest of the liquid, but is sorely under-researched. In fact, Environmental Health News notes that BVO FDA limits are based on outdated data from the 1970s, and scientists say the chemical deserves another look as it's been linked to bromide poisoning symptoms like skin lesions, memory loss, nerve disorders and some research suggests that BVO builds up in human tissues, just like other flame retardants. In big doses, BVO may be very bad, as some rodent studies show that large amounts result in reproductive and behavioral problems.