The food industry is booming these days. With fewer adults knowing how to cook, or even wanting to, processed food sales are soaring. However, do we really know what we’re putting in our mouths? More importantly, we probably wouldn’t put many food products in our mouths after knowing how they’re made. The ingredients, of course, are another story altogether.
If you want to keep enjoying everything you’ve been eating up until now, don’t read on. To get informed on the health hazards and general disgusting ways of the food industry, join us below:
The food industry may struggle to hide many of its secrets, but we’ve caught on. Now that you know the truth, you can make a more informed decision on what to buy and what to eat! At the end of the day, you’re probably better off cooking a simple yet safe and healthy meal at home
13. The Puffy Foam
Marshmallows are now a sort of staple when it comes to modern desserts. Marshmallow fluff is used as a shortcut to making quick, delicious fudge. And let’s not forget Rocky Road ice cream or those amazing s’mores! Toasting marshmallows on a bonfire is pretty much a staple in camping life.
Today, marshmallows are also used as a topping for hot chocolate or in cookies, cakes, or just a snack by themselves. However, this sugary treat is not really healthy. What goes into it, however, can be quite disturbing.
Marshmallows actually got their name from the marshmallow plant. This plant was used in heir making at first. Unfortunately for vegans, though, the marshmallow today contains animal products. And not meat, but gelatin.
Gelatin is basically made by boiling leftover skins and bones of pigs and cows. The meat industry takes what it wants, and sends the scraps to the food factories. After boiling, other ingredients are added to increase the puffiness and softness of the final product.
These ingredients include starch, sugar, sweeteners, and flavorings. The gelatin concoction then gets strained and beaten to resemble the foam version of marshmallows. So the next time you’re eating one of those unique treats, you may want to think again!
12. The Ubiquitous Traveler
Ready to eat meals may be convenient, but at what price? The United Kingdom alone consumed no less than three billion such meals in the year of 2012! While we know they aren’t very healthy, one food journalist uncovered just how grossed out we should be.
Joanna Blythman discovered that ready meals were prepared using a long, long process. Basically, the supermarkets providing these meals subcontract them. The food manufacturers take their order to processing factories that have little to do with farms. Organic meat, fruit, or anything fresh is a stranger to those places.
In fact, this automated system increases the amount of ingredients in the meals. As anyone with any health knowledge can tell you, more ingredients mean more danger. In fact, these ingredients could be sourced from several different places. That means the meal waiting to be microwaved has been to several countries. The number can go up to sixty and above.
Even if the packaging says the contents are fresh, it’s a joke on you. The ingredients may have been fresh, but only when they were cooked, frozen, and packed. From there on, the meal may be years old and still claim to be fresh.
You’re not much better off buying even simple packaged sandwiches. They contain powdered eggs that have been dissolved, crystallized, and frozen. The butter is also in powder form. It’s made using spray drying, through which water is removed from a butter, milk protein, and starch combination.
The working conditions at the factories of these meals are usually atrocious that is why you wouldn’t know of their manufacturers. They remain anonymous and work in secret locations to avoid getting busted.
11. Maybe Stick to Chocolate?
Don’t read on if you love vanilla. Because we’re going to destroy it for you. Still there? Read on at your own risk.
An article in the magazine Time has talked about how the vanilla flavor could actually come from a beaver’s rear end. This may seem like a sensational hoax, but it’s not.
Ice cream manufacturers use cream, milk, sugar, and occasionally eggs to create their product. The mixture is then churned while being frozen. Stabilizers are added to make it all last longer.
However, an added flavor such as vanilla, strawberry, or raspberry could also contain castoreum. This is basically the chemical that beavers use to mark their spot! Cat owners would know what we’re talking about.
The addition of castoreum is not limited to ice cream. Watch out for it in vanilla cookies, icing, cakes, and even perfumes. It serves to create that heady vanilla smell. Vanilla beans are extremely expensive, so the food industry would take shortcuts when it can.
10. The Price of Clarity
The Western world has an obsession with beer. We see it at parties, in red cups, and at the Super Bowl. Many times, one’s day just isn’t complete without a cold one in their hands.
While beer has been in existence for seven thousand years, it has gone through a lot of change. The most glaring shift is in how it’s made.
Basically, beer usually came about by harvesting and drying barley with heat. The barley was then cracked and boiled. After this, it was out in a fermenting vessel with some yeast.
Today, the technique is not so different. However, one ingredient is added along with the yeast now. That ingredient is isinglass, and come from nothing other than a dried fish bladder. Disgusting, right? What’s more, it serves no purpose other than to make the beer look clear and hence pleasing to the eye.
Needless to say, those in the know have been protesting this ingredient for years. The brand Guinness finally gave in to these demands and removed the ingredient from their products in 2017. It’s about time!
9. The Start of the Rainbow
Skittles are an amazing candy. They’re little bursts of flavor that can instantly lift your mood. However, get ready for a blow to your present peace of mind when it comes to the red skittle.
Red candy as a whole, including rainbow mentors, contains a little ingredient called carmine. Basically, carmine is derived from crushed bugs. It takes thousands of these to produce just one pound of carmine. However, the deep red is a very attractive color and in some ways a natural option for coloring food red.
Others may also say that Skittles were never healthy to begin with. They are made up of corn syrup, corn starch, flavorings, sugar, coloring, and dextrin. The blood of a few bugs mixed inside does give us a gag reflex though.
On the upside, carmine used to be in the Starbuck strawberry frappuccino, but not anymore. The giant chain finally decided that carmine was going a step too far. On the downside, any other food product colored red probably contains carmine on some level. This includes jellies, candy, yogurt, and the like. What’s even sadder? Huge makeup brands are also using carmine in their lipsticks and other coloring products.
8. A Top-Notch Polisher
Did you ever notice how jellybeans are just so shiny? Jellybeans are made from heated liquid sugar which is mixed with glucose and starch. The mixture is then poured into waiting molds and cooled for twenty hours.
After this, the jellybeans are polished to a shine. The resin used is shellac, which incidentally is also used in polishing cars! You would also discover it in hairspray, lipstick, and other products with a sheen finish.
Shellac itself is derived from cell glands from organisms. More specifically, the organism involved is a bug residing in India or Thailand. The bug finds a tree, eats and reproduces, and dies. This whole life cycle takes around six months and leaves the tree coated with resin. The resin is the polish we put in our mouths along with the jellybean.
7. The Price of Convenience
Canned mushrooms are great for homemade pizza, but they could contain maggots. While the EU doesn’t allow for any foreign bodies in food, the US regulations are less strict. Therefore, you could be consuming about twenty live n=maggots in a hundred grams of drained canned mushrooms! We highly recommend some thorough checking from now on.
6. Nickelodeon Goes Pink?
Packaged beef is the stuff we use for beef patties, sausages, and many other meat products. However, this usually means the inclusion of pink slime. Not to be associated with the green slime of our childhood, the process for this is little better than gelatin.
Meat trimming and chunks are sprayed with ammonia in order to kill off any lurking bacteria. Then the meat is mixed with several flavoring and additives, and water completes the picture. While pink slime could be safe, it needs very high health standards. Otherwise, hazardous pathogens could wreak havoc in the consumers’ bodies.
5. Whitening the Greens
Salad dressing is used to make our green more palatable. However, homemade dressing never really comes up to the taste of store-bought dressing. There’s a reason for this.
Along with the vinegar, salt, honey, etc, used to make the dressing a nanoparticle called titanium dioxide is added on. This mixes together the ingredients and gives dressing that white look. It has some medicinal effect as well as preserves the dressing for a longer shelf life. What’s more, sunscreen also uses this ingredient.
This results in us taking in around a trillion particles of this substance every day. These could get into our gut wall and cause inflammation. Stomach and digestive problems ensure. What’s even worse, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has confirmed that titanium dioxide could eventually cause cancer.
4. The Addictive Factor
Pringles are so addictive that people keeping popping in one after the other. The way they are made, though, results in a product little better for consumption that paper.
The fact is, Pringles aren’t really potato chips at all. Did you really think all those identical chips came from sliced potatoes? No, the potato flakes are mixed with rice, wheat, corn, etc. The whole thing is then rolled out like a sheet. The chips are cut, and then pressed into the familiar Pringle shape.
Pringles is one of the most processed chip brands in existence. The process doesn’t just end with frying. When the chips get crisp, they are sprayed with flavoring and stacked. Only then do they get to the store for purchase.
Not only does this process rob the ingredients of any nutritious value, it actually creates something. The result is acrylamide, a chemical directly linked to cancer and several health problems.
3. Winging It
Students usually turn to Redbull during exam time. Other times, they just drink it because it may look cool and give them a rush.
However, Redbull was once rumored to contain a substance that came from the testicles of a bull! As gross as this is, it’s thankfully not true. The amino acid Taurine may have cause confusing, but it actually occurs naturally in the human body.
Still, Redbull contains a huge amount of caffeine. It can take several hours for this to leave your bloodstream. Immediately after consumption, blood pressure and heart rates go up. This may create a feeling of energy but soon causes a crash. No wonder students are tired all the time!
2. Buy a Bread Maker
We know that processed stuff isn’t good for us. However, we are still using store-bought bread for our daily needs. What most don’t realize is that processed pies and bread contain an amino acid known as L-cysteine.
Companies use this ingredient as a dough softener. Mass production of bread and pies hence automatically becomes easier, quicker, and cheaper. However, this acid isn’t really something we want to stomach. It is usually made with human hair which was sold by Chinese women. If not human hair, duck feathers are the next choice.
1. Chandler Bing is Crying
The popular show Friends saw one character loving his Kraft Mac and cheese. And who wouldn’t!? It’s a meal that comes together in a few minutes. It is hot, comforting, and absolutely delicious!
However, brands producing instant mac and cheese have recently come under fire. That bright orange too coloring is comprised of Sunset yellow and atrazine. In other words, you can find yellow colors number 5 and 6 in such packaged foods.