I heard today that the CEO of Starbucks has announced they will most likely stop using crushed beetles as a dye for their Strawberry beverages – due to the huge uproar they received. My immediate (inner monologue) reaction was, “Who cares about little crushed beetles when people are eating beaver anal gland secretions in their ice cream, beef fat in their twinkies, and ammonia in their cheeseburgers?” Now, I’m not saying beetles deserve to be raised just to be crushed for dye. That’s not cool at all. What I am saying is it’s a lesser evil when considering all the other repulsive additives in our food. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Castoreum, otherwise known as anal secretions mixed with urine from a BEAVER, is a common FDA approved food additive found commonly in vanilla & raspberry flavored candies, drinks, and desserts such as puddings…as well as perfume.
- Lanolin, otherwise known as ‘sheep secretions,’ is used in order to soften chewing gum mix.
- Ammonia in meat and cheese. Yes, the same ammonia used to clean ovens and floors. A hot topic recently with the uproar over what the meat industry calls “finely textured beef” and what a formerU.S. government scientist first called “pink slime”.
- Gelatin, which is used to make jello, marshmallows, cream cheese, etc. – is derived from pig & cow skin and bones.
- Beef Fat in your hostess treats! That creamy center in your twinkie is made of animal shortening that contains beef
- Rennet, which is the fourth stomach of a young cow, is an ingredient in many cheeses. The production of rennet is disturbing to me: Natural calf rennet is extracted from the inner mucosa of the fourth stomach chamber (the abomasum) of slaughtered young, unweaned calves. These stomachs are a by-product of veal production. Dried and cleaned stomachs of young calves are sliced into small pieces and then put into saltwater or whey, together with some vinegar or wine to lower the pH of the solution. GROSS! In theUK, all cheeses are labeled as either suitable or not suitable for vegetarians. In theUnited States and most other countries, people are left to guess about the stomach-content of their cheese.
- L-Cysteine is an amino acid used to soften the dough of mass-produced bread. Where does it come from? Human hair. Sometimes duck feathers. About 80% of the L-cysteine on the market comes from human hair (although McDonald’s uses the duck-based variety for its baked goods). Is this technically cannibalism, or just gross?