Despite the fact that the food market is growing at a breakneck pace, with manufacturers and brands releasing new products on a daily basis, there is still room for improvement. Food store sales have more than doubled in the United States alone over the last 30 years.
The majority of consumers prefer items that are both delicious and cost-effective; however, have we ever taken the time to look behind the curtain and discover precisely what is in our food? The world is full of things you won’t find advertised at Walmart, from beaver butt discharge to sheep sebum in our chewing gum, to name a few examples.
1. Cheese In A Can:
There’s probably a good reason why cheese in a can isn’t particularly popular in any other countries besides the United States. It is simply too disgusting to contemplate for most people, even if they are unaware of the contents. It may go without saying, but this cheese will not provide you with a lot of nutritional value.
These cans are pumped full of bizarre ingredients, such as whey, known as curdled milk. Since it is less expensive than actual cheese and presumably performs better in a can, food manufacturers commonly use it to bulk their products. One additional component to look out for is sodium phosphate, which is typically used to relieve constipation.
Even if you’re accustomed to eating sausages, you’re probably not bothered by the fact that you’re eating pig. However, there is something else you should consider in addition to the filling. Sausage casings aren’t particularly delicious in and of themselves.
On a good day, you’ll come across a brand that uses pigskin as the casing for their products. Occasionally, you may discover that the casing is made of cellulose or even a thin plastic, which is disappointing. It’s a toss-up whether you’ll make it or not, and this isn’t one you’ll want to miss. When it comes to meat, the cheapest isn’t always the best option.
A scientist does not need to be informed that Borax should not be consumed in large quantities. Although the FDA is aware of this, it is prohibited from being used in many foods manufactured and sold in the United States. Still, some items manage to sneak their way onto shelves, such as caviar, for example.
Borax is used by a large number of brands around the world to preserve fish eggs, even though it is listed as E285 on the ingredients label. Think twice before spending a lot of money on something posh for your dinner party. Look into where it came from and whether or not there is anything unsavory hidden inside.
4. Canned Pineapple:
Canned pineapple is a convenient option when you’re in a hurry, but if you’ve always assumed that canned pineapple is the same as fresh pineapple, you’re in for a surprise. Raw pineapple is delicious, but canned pineapple is higher in calories, higher in sugar, and generally not as good for you as fresh pineapple.
Even if you buy it canned in its juices, nothing beats the freshest, most natural form regarding nutrition. Sugar and calorie content may not bother you if you aren’t particularly concerned about them, but don’t be fooled into thinking that canned fruit is the only way to go when it comes to this fruit. Cans may also contain up to 20% mold, which is extremely dangerous.
5. Citrus Flavored Sodas:
For the most part, soda companies use food dye and other colorants to make their product appear more appealing to consumers, particularly when it comes to citrus-flavored beverages. One ingredient, in particular, called Yellow 5, is supposed to be quite a bright yellow, but is that all that is in it? Is there anything else it can do?
Several years ago, rumors began to circulate that Yellow 5 was capable of shrinking testicles and lowering sperm counts. Although this was proven to be false, it was a bad look for those who used it in their products, and as they say, mud sticks!
Butter is a beautiful substance that most of us find to be highly satisfying. You cannot substitute the real thing on toast, cakes, or a basting sauce for a chicken. Despite this, some have attempted it. Margarine was initially developed as a turkey food, but scientists discovered a new application when the turkeys grew tired of eating it.
Some internet sleuths have asserted that margarine, being an artificial substance, is only one molecule away from being a type of plastic material. It’s debatable whether this is true or not, but the thought of spreading it on your muffin doesn’t sound particularly appetizing.
7. Instant Powder Soup:
You may think that grabbing a packet of instant soup for lunch is an easy solution when you find yourself in a bind, but don’t be fooled. It’s not just seasoning that hasn’t dissolved completely that’s giving you a gritty texture in your mouth. According to the evidence, it is sand.
Sand is frequently added to the mixture to prevent it from clumping together. Even though it is not a significant amount, it is strange to think that the FDA has approved this as safe to consume, especially if you drink it daily. However, let’s be honest: who has the time to cook from scratch every day?
8. Salad Dressing:
If you want to up your salad game, there is no better way to do so than by investing in quality dressing, but not all sauces are created equal. The ingredient titanium dioxide is found in some salad dressings, and it is a chemical used in paints and sunscreens to give them a whiter sheen.
That isn’t the only secret hiding beneath the enticing surface of the building, either. It also contains propylene glycol, which is a chemical compound. The reason why you haven’t heard of it before is that it is antifreeze (antifreeze). So why would you eat something that you wouldn’t normally eat unless you were trying to get your car on the road in the middle of the winter season?
9. Microwave Popcorn:
There is nothing better than popping some microwaveable popcorn and settling in to watch a movie with your family. Quick, pleasant-smelling, and non-messy, this method is ideal for busy people. There is, however, a snag in the plan. The inside is usually coated with a nonstick coating to prevent the kernels from becoming stuck to the bag when it comes to popcorn bags.
It works perfectly, but nonstick coatings have been linked to health problems for decades, so it may be time to switch to the stovetop rather than the microwave in the future. I mean, who wants to wake up one day and discover that their popcorn habit has caused them to develop a severe illness? While you’re at it, get rid of your nonstick pans as well.
Isn’t it true that everyone enjoys a cheerful, round donut? Everything from jelly ones to more exciting ones to just plain bear claws is available, so there’s something for everyone. Have you ever been curious about how donuts get their lovely, glossy appearance?
Though not all companies use carnauba wax, it is a common practice among some. Although it appears harmless, this is the same ingredient found in shoe polish, cosmetics, and even floor cleaners. Even though it is supposedly safe to consume, it is still a little off-putting. We are sure; the next time, we’ll stick to the basics.
11. Packaged Meat:
During shopping trips, busy families frequently purchase a large quantity of processed meat. A pound of ground beef can feed a family of four for a couple of meals, and it’s a cost-effective method to provide everyone. Even if you purchase high-quality meat, you may be consuming anything other than protein.
Meat processing factories employ carbon monoxide because it helps the meat retain its red color after exposure to the air. Although it’s only a small amount and has no effect on the taste, it’s a double-edged sword. Even if the meat has gone wrong, the color will remain the same, so be cautious when browsing the shelves at places like Costco in the future.
12. Chicken Nuggets:
You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to recognize that processed fast food isn’t exactly beneficial to one’s overall health. However, the majority of us at the very least expect it to be safe to consume. However, this isn’t always the way things work out. In McDonald’s chicken nuggets, for example, a chemical known as TBHQ is present.
It actually comes from the oil they’re cooked in, as it prevents them from going wrong during the cooking process. Although this chemical is an antioxidant, it is not one of the more beneficial types. According to the FDA, a small amount here and there is fine, but large amounts are not.
Preservatives are widely used in the food industry, as we all know. Businesses can produce such large quantities of food and ship them all over the world due to this. That does not imply, however, that we anticipate the food to contain unusual or questionable ingredients.
General Mills decided to remove an antioxidant ingredient, BHT, from its products in 2015 after concerns were raised about the safety of the synthetic compound. BHT, like TBHQ, is a substance that is typically used to prevent frying oil from becoming rancid. Who would want to wake up to a bowl of cereal like that?
When appropriately used, oregano can add much-needed flavor to a dish, but if you pick it straight from the garden, you should make sure to wash it and then thoroughly rewash it. Aphids and spider mites may be attracted to oregano, but you are not the only ones.
Those little guys can’t get enough of the leafy green stuff, so make sure you don’t leave any on your leaves when you chop them up to use as a garnish on your next dish. Nobody wants to eat something served with a side of insects, no matter how much you dislike the person who will be receiving it.
When it comes to a refreshing shrimp cocktail on a hot summer day, there is nothing better. But do you know where the shrimp comes from? Many nasties have been found in shrimps that have been imported over the years, much to the dismay of many seafood enthusiasts.
Many of them have been sprayed with harsh pesticides and banned chemicals, and cockroaches have been discovered in some of them. If you want to eat shrimp, make sure to read the package and buy it from a reputable source because none of these things are good and pose severe health risks.
16. Peanut Butter:
Rodents may not believe that peanut butter is one of the best things to come out of the modern world. They certainly wouldn’t eat it themselves because it may contain rodent hair, which is dangerous. According to the FDA, the maximum amount of rodent hair per 100 grams is one.
According to many people, one rodent hair is one hair too many, but it doesn’t appear to be a big deal in the scheme of things. Instead of completely eliminating them, someone somewhere in the world decided that it would be preferable to allow a few stray ones here and there to survive.
Cinnamon, in many ways, embodies the spirit of Christmas, but it is a beautiful spice to have around all year. The problem is that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t care if animal feces are in it at all. According to their standards, a small amount of excrement is acceptable.
So, the next time you want to give your mulled cider a little more kick by adding some spice to it, keep in mind that you might be getting even more bang for your buck by doing so. Forget about a lump of coal this year; someone will be receiving a different kind of lump along with glass this holiday season.
Many people enjoy dates and use them as a substitute for candy. Would they do so as enthusiastically if they were aware that ten insects and 35 fruit fly eggs per ounce are perfectly acceptable to be sold to you along with the dates? Probably not.
It’s not something that many people are familiar with. The same is true for raisins and other fruit of the same caliber, so if this is something you enjoy, just know that you’re probably getting a little extra protein in with your fruity snack. Bear Grylls would be pleased with this and might start taking more dates now.
19. Frozen Broccoli:
How is it possible that frozen broccoli could contain something icky? After all, isn’t it just a harmless vegetable that has been frozen to preserve its freshness? Isn’t it a healthy and delectable treat? The answer is yes, but there is a slight twist to the question.
Broccoli can have 60 aphids, thrips, or mites per 100 grams, just like the rest of the frozen vegetables. Because there is probably no way to prevent them from getting into the crops completely, the FDA has caved in and acknowledged that it is acceptable to consume a single tiny bug or 60 on occasion. Just don’t tell your children about it.
20. Chocolate Bars:
We sincerely apologize in advance; there is no such thing as a sacred cow these days. Chocolate is something that almost everyone enjoys in large quantities, so it is such a popular snack food. Even chocolate, it appears, is not immune to the threat of contamination.
According to the guidelines, chocolate bars with an average of eight insect legs inside will pass inspection if they meet the other requirements. Next time you eat a crunchy bar, pause for a moment to consider what it is that gives it its distinctive texture. Are those nuts, caramel, or a beetle that happened to be along for the ride and died as a result of the misadventure you’re having?
21. Jelly Beans:
Shellac will be familiar to many of the world’s population for various reasons, including its use in cosmetics. This product is available as long-lasting nail polish or for use in varnishing furniture. It is also used to coat jelly beans to give them that shiny, appealing appearance. As if tying the two together wasn’t bad enough, it gets even worse.
Shellac is derived from the female lac bug, which survives on a diet of tree sap and produces the substance. In the end, the tiny bugs are harvested, processed, and made into an array of confectionery products, including brands such as Jelly Belly and a variety of others that can be found at various retailers such as Costco and Walmart.
22. Packaged Bread:
People either baked their own bread or bought them directly from the baker back in the day, but it’s a common household item these days. Freshly baked bread only lasts a couple of days, while packaged bread can last for several weeks is way it is packaged.
Because of L-cysteine, which is not your typical preservative, the situation has been stabilized. Although the compound is natural, this does not make it any less harmful. Human hair is used to make this product. According to Disney’s Vice, hair salons in China are the most popular source of this information for them. Hair is swept up, dissolved in acid, the L-cysteine is removed, and then transported to bakeries to be used to produce baked goods.
Cheese is a great product that generates a substantial amount of revenue for a large number of businesses every year. Even though it’s one of the most popular and most commonly purchased foods in the world, have you ever stopped to consider what might be in it?
When it comes to grocery shopping, a block of creamy goodness might be the first thing on our lists. But what if we told you that cheese is actually made from the stomach lining of a goat, calf, or lamb instead? That the animal in question has to be a baby and still to nurse from its mother in order for the correct enzyme to be present is even more disturbing given the nature of the disease.
Years have passed, during which beer has been almost universally accepted as a beverage that anyone can enjoy, regardless of their culinary preferences. Although some people are sensitive to specific ingredients, did you know that vegetarians also need to be cautious about certain elements?
There’s a sneaky little ingredient known as isinglass that comes into play when it comes to brewing. It contributes to the color’s clarity and invitingness, but where does it come from exactly? It is derived from the bladder of a fish, in actuality. Yes, that tang has a slightly different flavor now. It’s worth noting that Budweiser does not use this ingredient in any of its beverages or beer.
25. Chewing Gum:
Chewing gum has been around for an extended period. Some people consider it a filthy habit, but if they knew exactly what was in it, they might think it was even more so. Gum manufacturers frequently use lanolin to make the gum nice and chewy and give it that famous texture.
Lanolin may appear innocuous, but it is actually a substance that oozes from sheep’s wool. The human equivalent of this is sebum, which is essentially a type of oil produced by our pores and exudes from them. So, the next time you order a bulk pack of gum from Amazon to tide you over, take a moment to consider what you’re putting in your mouth and whether it’s safe.
By this point in our lives, the vast majority of us are aware that gelatin is a common ingredient in a wide variety of foods, including various types of candy. On the other hand, did you know that muddled-up cow and pig bones are also used in the production of marshmallows?
You might want to keep this in mind the next time you toss a package of them into your shopping cart at Walmart: what is actually inside these fluffy balls of deliciousness? Although the sugar may help mask the fact that you are actually eating a boiled animal carcass, make no mistake about it – the corpse is still present, even if you cannot detect it.
27. Worcestershire Sauce:
Those who adore anchovies are divided into two groups: those who love them and those who hate them with a vengeance. The salty fish can be quite divisive when it comes to taste, but their robust flavor makes them a staple ingredient in many dishes, even if you aren’t aware of it.
Worcestershire sauce is primarily famous in the United Kingdom, but it is also available in the United States. Brands such as Lea & Perrins actually use anchovies that have been fermented in vinegar for more than a year and a half before using them. Probably because of the high salt content and intense flavor, it is incredibly addictive.
28. Canned Mushrooms:
Mushrooms are a product of their environment. When it comes to canned mushrooms, they are fungi that happen to taste delicious. However, not everything is as it appears when it comes to canned mushrooms. The mushrooms themselves are more about what else is allowed in the can with them than about the mushrooms themselves.
According to FDA regulations, a certain number of larvae can be introduced into the cans. According to the organization, there are approximately 30 maggots and 75 mites in each can of maggots. That’s not to say that the ones you picked up at Target have any in them, but the fact that it’s legal to do so is a little concerning.
29. Coffee Creamer:
The simplicity of black coffee and a no-nonsense cup of java has a lot to recommend them. In the event that you prefer your coffee without creamer and typically use creamer, that is acceptable as well – depending on the type of creamer used. The flavor of some non-dairy creamers is a little…interesting.
Water, syrup solids, and soybean oil combine to create Liquid Coffee-creamy Mate’s texture, similar to milk. So, in short, it isn’t really creaming your coffee at all; it simply supplies it with a generous amount of oil, which gives it its silky texture. That is not something you would find on the Starbucks menu.
30. Caesar Salad:
If you’re a vegetarian, ordering a salad at a restaurant might seem like a very safe bet at first glance. After all, if you order a Caesar salad without chicken, there isn’t any meat in it. To a certain extent, this is correct. After all, lettuce is considered a vegetable; however, there is a catch.
The dressing for this type of salad is one of the most popular aspects, but it is not vegetarian. Even some pre-made Caesar salads, such as those from the supermarket, contain anchovy-based dressings. Those annoying little fish are at it again, with companies like Kraft admitting that there are fish allergens in their salad dressings… and the list goes on…
It isn’t easy to imagine that the delicious cheese you use to top your pasta contains anything other than dairy, but the reality is quite different from what you might expect. Wood pulp is used to produce the vast majority of parmesan brands available on the market nowadays.
It is not a shady ruse but rather an open FDA-approved trade secret. The wood pulp, also known as cellulose, is a natural ingredient effective as an anti-clumping agent in numerous studies. It is not only parmesan that has this, but a plethora of other grated cheeses as well, as it prevents lumps from forming.
32. Orange Juice:
If you enjoy a glass of orange juice in the morning and don’t want to give it up, you might want to take a step back for a moment. No matter how “freshly squeezed” the orange juice from a carton appears to be, many different brands rely heavily on chemicals to impart flavor to their products.
For example, ethyl butyrate is frequently employed in the production of orange juice to incorporate a significant amount of artificial flavoring. Of course, fresh juice must be preserved somehow, and this process frequently results in the flavor of the juice being diminished. Companies can fine-tune the taste of their products by incorporating an artificial compound such as this into the mix.
33. Enhanced Beef:
Farmers make more money when they sell their meat in larger quantities. The juicier it appears, the more likely it is to sell in stores. It should be noted that injecting saltwater into cuts of beef is not a new practice. You may have noticed that beef shrinks a lot when it’s cooked, and this is normal.
It is due in part to the water seeping out of the ground. Water is one thing, but saltwater results in the beef having significantly higher sodium content, which is not suitable for you. Too much salt in the diet can lead to various health problems in humans, so be extra cautious when you’re out shopping for dinner shortly.
Whey protein has been steadily increasing in popularity over the last several years. Bodybuilders use it to bulk up, and it’s widely regarded as one of the most popular fitness supplements available on the market these days. A variety of companies sells it, but what exactly is it?
Prepare to be shocked because whey powder is nothing more than curdled milk packaged in a pretty tin. Whey is the part of the milk left over after the water has been removed, and it is then dried and sold to the general public as a dairy product. It does mean that you can’t consume it if you’re lactose intolerant, but is it genuinely disgusting enough to be removed from the market? It appears that this is not the case.
35. Diet Soda:
Whoever invented soda deserves a slap on the back for spawning one of the most influential companies in history, paving the way for industry titans like Coca-Cola. However, soda manufacturers quickly realized that there was a demand for low-calorie, sugar-free diet drinks.
The only drawback is that these items don’t taste as delicious, which is where artificial sweeteners come into play. Aspartame is one of the most widely used sweeteners, although it has a negative reputation due to previous studies linking it to cancer. It’s also supposed to disrupt a critical protein that aids in weight loss, defeating the purpose.
36. Strawberry Ice Cream:
Chefs are frequently challenged to come up with new ideas in the wonderful world of food innovation, but did you know that there is a good chance you have consumed beaver butt at some point in your life? Informally known as castoreum, the substance comes from the beaver’s tail and is said to enhance the flavor of foods such as ice cream and ice cream toppings.
On the packaging, most of the time, manufacturers simply state that the product contains “natural ingredients,” as they are not legally required to disclose the fact that it is essentially butt juice. Because let’s be honest, if we knew what was in it, we wouldn’t buy it.
It’s unlikely that the majority of us would make the connection between Pringles and toilet cleaner. The two products are so opposed to one another that it appears impossible to draw any meaningful comparisons between them. In reality, there is a significant connection between them that most people are simply unaware of.
Salt bisulfate is an ingredient in Pringles, but it is also found in various other products such as toilet cleaner and dishwasher tablets, amongst other products. While these products contain significantly more ingredients than Pringles, it’s intriguing to think that you’re ingesting something that was previously used to scrub limescale.
38. Vanilla Ice Cream:
Beavers, it seems, have lovely buttocks. However, we have no way of knowing who discovered that a beaver’s butt actually tastes like vanilla, so it’s probably a good thing that the individual in question stays anonymous. Regardless of whether it is a food miracle or not, no one wants to be known as that person.
Beaver butt juice can be found in various food products, including vanilla ice cream, which is one of them. It is not known which companies use this God-given gift because anonymity appears to be a significant concern for the secretions of this small mammal, which makes it difficult to tell who is using what.
If it isn’t grapes and alcohol, what else could be lurking in our lovely glass of white wine? As it turns out, quite a bit, to be honest. Egg whites, for example, are a fascinating ingredient that you might not expect to find in wine. It is not to say that egg whites are the only exciting ingredient.
According to some sources, egg whites can help to clarify wine, giving it a lovely crystal-clear appearance. So the next time you order that glass of wine while out to dinner, remember to toast to the chickens as well for providing you with such an aesthetically pleasing glass of wine. More ingredients are contained within the mixture than just egg whites, but that is something you must discover for yourself!
40. Fat-Free Milk:
We all like to believe that we are receiving a high-quality product when purchasing milk from the grocery store. While this is undoubtedly true for many businesses, others may be reluctant to disclose what ingredients are used in their products, especially if they are fat-free.
Many businesses actually use powdered milk in their fat-free dairy to help it thicken and appear less watery than it actually is. Even worse, do you know what’s even worse? Because it is technically still the same main ingredient, no one is required to inform you that this is present in the milk under legal circumstances. Isn’t it a little less “fresh-looking” these days?