Top Most Disgusting Foods We Consume

by October 29, 2013

They say if we knew more about what we are eating and how things were made that we would probably stop eating altogether.  How would you like your jelly beans with or without a shine?

What We Are Eating?


We don’t want you to stop eating, but thought this is a very interesting topic and want to share some of the stomach turning things we have uncovered.


Confectioner’s glaze a sticky substance that comes from the secretions of a female Kerria lacca.  An insect that is native to Thailand.  You will find shellac in pretty much any hard candy that is shiny; jelly beans, candy corn, chocolate covered peanuts, etc.  In Judaism, the concept of “unclean animals”, or more accurately “impure animals”, plays a prominent role in the Kashrut, the part of Jewish law that specifies which foods are allowed (kosher) or forbidden to Jews.

The folks at M&M/Mars say their coating is a mixture of sugar and corn syrup that is buffed to a high sheen by tumbling the M&Ms together during manufacture.  M&Ms aren’t certified as kosher but to the best of our knowledge they would be accepted under kosher dietary laws.

Mechanically Separated Meat 

Mechanically separated meat (beaks and feet) is what’s left over after the meat clinging to the bones of chicken or pork are forced through a sieve-like structure using high pressure.

“It looks like a paste or batter,” says Sarah A. Klein, a staff attorney with the Food Safety Program at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “You have crushed bits of bone and cartilage and other things that can end up in that final paste.”

Because of the risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or mad cow disease, mechanically separated beef is no longer allowed in human food.  Check the label, you might see mechanically separated meat in some hot dogs.

“Low pressure” mechanically separated meat, similar in appearance to minced meat.  When low pressure methods are used, the meat is mechanically scraped from the carcass.


Gelatin, which is thickening agent, can also be found in frosted cereals, yogurt, candy, and some types of sour cream.  Surprisingly gelatin is not in Cool Whip.  But there is lots of recipes that use both ingredients for desserts.  Gelatin is protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and\or bones with water.  It is usually obtained from cows or pigs.

The jiggle in J E L L O and other gelatin-based products is derived from collagen, a protein often collected from animal skins. Kosher gelatin is usually made from a fish source.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that can kill you. Most if not all homes have or should have a carbon monoxide detector.

Our vehicles that we drive give off carbon monoxide through their exhaust popes (the silent killer) and we also package our meat with it. To block the process of oxidation that discolors packaged ground beef, tilapia, tuna; they inject carbon monoxide into the plastic wrap after all the air is removed.

Meat stays red in situations where pathogenic bacteria may be present at harmful levels. Actually considered safe but supposedly not widely used anymore.  So how do they keep our meat and fish looking fresh now then?

Saltwater Injections

In a practice called plumping, manufacturers inject sale and other ingredients into raw meat (mostly chicken) to enhance flavor and increase the weight of the meat before it is sold.

Salt can contribute to high blood pressure and other health problems. Check the fine print and the nutrition facts label.

Meat thats been injected may say “flavored with up to 10% of a solution” or “up to 15% chicken broth.”

Regular chicken has about 40 to 70 mg of sodium per 4-ounce serving, while plumped chicken can contain 5 times or more than that amount, or 300 mg and up.

Poultry producers have injected chicken (and other meats) with saltwater solutions since the 1970’s. We are paying more per pound for water.


First approved for use on food in 2006, bacteriophages infect food-contaminating germs. The additive can be used in processing plants for spraying onto ready-to-eat meat and poultry products to protect consumers from the potentially life-threatening bacterium Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes).

Consuming food contaminated with the bacterium L. monocytogenes can cause infectious disease, listeriosis, which is rarely serious in healthy adults and children, but can be severe and even deadly in pregnant women, newborns, older people, and people with weakened immune systems.

Check the ingredient list for the words “bacteriophage preparation.”


Ammonia is a strong smelling chemical found in household cleaning products, but it’s also used as a gas to kill germs in low-grade fatty beef trimmings. This practice started around 2001.

Some refer to it as pink slime and is actually used as a filler in ground beef. The ammonia is used in dealing with bacteria during processing of the meat.

The “pink slime” is made by gathering waste trimmings, simmering them at low heat so the fat separates easily from the muscle, and spinning the trimmings using a centrifuge to complete the separation.  Next, the mixture is sent through pipes where it is sprayed with ammonia gas to kill bacteria.  The process is complete by packaging the meat into bricks.  Then, it is frozen and shipped to grocery stores and meat packers, where it is added to most ground beef.

The “pink slime” does not have to appear on labels because, over objections of its own scientists, USDA officials with links to the beef industry labeled it meat.

Bisphenol A (BPA)

BPA has been removed from most hard plastics but can still be found in the sealant in the lining of some cans.

There is still concerns that acidic foods can break down the seal and leak into the canned foods.  Tomatoes is one of the highest concerns due to the acidity of the tomatoes.

BPA has been linked to brain behavior, prostate problems, children’s health and especially the health in unborn fetuses.

Bisphenol A can leach into food from the protective internal epoxy resin coatings of canned foods and from consumer products such as polycarbonate tableware, food storage containers, water bottles, and baby bottles.

How much BPA leaches from polycarbonate bottles into liquid may depend more on the temperature of the liquid or bottle, than the age of the container.

Low levels of BPA has also been found in breast milk.  Breastfeeding women can limit the possibility of their babies’ exposure to BPA by reducing their use of polycarbonate food containers and canned foods during breastfeeding.  After one day, almost all the BPA a woman consumes is excreted in her urine.

Health advocates are raising concerns about possible links between the estrogen (a hormone that drives the growth of most breast cancers) – like chemical BPA and breast cancer.  It’s possible that prenatal BPA exposure makes fetuses more sensitive to estrogen and BPA could indirectly increase the risk of breast cancer later in life.

BPA was developed in the 1930’s as an estrogen-replacement therapy but later stopped because another synthetic hormone, DES (diethylstilbestrol), was far more potent.  Millions of pregnant women took DES from 1941 to 1971 to prevent miscarriages, until studies found that women exposed to DES before birth had a high rate of rare vaginal cancers.  Studies later linked DES to breast cancer as well.

The Breast Cancer Fund has campaigned to persuade food companies to stop using BPA since 2011 and the FDA banned BPA in baby bottles in 2012.

Now we have saved the best for last.  There is lots of GRAS still out there, but don’t want to turn you off all food.  And just because a product label has natural or all natural ingredients might not be what you are expecting.


Castoreum is a chemical compound that mostly comes from a beaver’s castor sacs, which are located between the pelvis and the base of the beaver’s tail. Because of its close proximity to the anal glands, castoreum is often a combination of castor gland secretions, anal gland secretions, and urine.

This food “flavoring” is extracted from the castor sac scent glands of the male or female beaver. Castoreum has been in use for at least 80 years.

Commonly used in perfume more so than in actual foods. Pure vanilla extract however also uses castoreum as a “natural ingredient.” Castoreum is a product of the trapping industry. When beavers are skinned for their fur, these glands are taken out.

FDA says it’s GRAS.

“The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.”

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