You may be someone who reads food labels and tries to keep on eye on everything you put in your body. But do you actually know what certain ingredients really are? Do you really
know what gives your food colour or a certain flavour? We suspect you don't.
But because we don't want to be the only people enlightened (and a little grossed out), we thought we'd share with you 10 of the most bizarre ingredients found in your food.
1. Beaver anal glands in ice creams and candies
comes from the castor sacs of beavers. Raspberry candies as well as vanilla, raspberry and strawberry ice cream contain anal and urine secretions from beavers. Yum.
2. Bugs make your food red
Known as carmine,
the dye that makes your food, candy and drinks that bright red colour is made by boiling the shells of the female cochineal insect in a sodium carbonate solution or ammonia. While it looks pretty, WHO warns that cochineal extract can trigger allergic reactions and asthma.
3. Bone dust in sugar
While sugar is mostly cane or beet sugar, manufacturers include bone char of cattle as a whitening agent. If you'd like to avoid bones in your morning coffee or baking, make sure to buy only 100% beet sugar or unbleached, unprocessed sugar.
4. Rodent Hair in mac & cheese and peanut butter
It is believed that each box of mac and cheese contains 1 rodent hair per 50 grams. This falls within FDA regulations and is labeled on the package as 'natural contaminants.'
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5. Sheep secretions in your chewing gum
is derived from the wool of sheep. Simply put, it is sheep sweat. It is what makes your gum juicy and is called ‘gum base’ on the package. It is also found in vitamin D3 supplements.
6. Calf stomach in cheese
Primarily in the U.K., cheese contains an ingredient called rennet
which is the fourth stomach of a cow. But don't give up on all cheeses, it is possible to buy some that do not contain animal rennet.
7. Raisins have fruit fly eggs
FDA regulations allow for 10 insect and 35 fruit fly eggs per 8 ounce of raisins.
8. Human hair in bread
Amino acids are essential for our health. One such amino, called L-Cysteine,
is used to prolong the shelf life of bread. While this amino acid is found in duck hair, chicken feathers and cow horns, the most common source is human hair that is harvested from barber shops and salons in China.
9. Virgin Boy Egg
While this may not be a staple in your diet, it is in someone's! Considered a part of the “local intangible cultural heritage" of Dongyang, China, urine of young school boys, preferably under 10, is collected and used to boil eggs.
10. Breast milk flavoured ice creams
Not really that bizarre, just outside the comfort zone for most of us. For the record, breast milk can also be used as a coffee creamer and in other drinks.
Are you sufficiently weirded out? Does this change your opinion of some of your favourite foods? You know what doesn't contain these items? Fresh, whole foods! For some creative ideas on how to prepare balanced, fresh, meals and snacks, check out the BodyRock Meal Plan
Have You Taken The BodyRock 7-Day Clean Eating Challenge?
We’ve put together a 7 Day Guide that helps you to buy the right foods and prepare the meals that are going to help you eat well and create healthy habits in your lifestyle.
Learn More about the Clean Eating Challenge