We live in a busy world where processed foods are a must. No one has time to prepare everything from scratch these days. Plus, some of our favorite foods are made in a factory. Have you ever stopped and thought about what’s in the processed foods that you cherish the most? Chances are you probably haven’t, and you’re about to find out why it was a good thing that you didn’t. Many of the foods that you know and love have some pretty hideous origins, and you’ll think twice before eating them again. Don’t say that we didn’t warn you. This might be an article best read during Halloween.
10. Hot Dogs
Who doesn’t love hot dogs? They’re the perfect meal on a bun no matter where you’re at. You can’t enjoy summer without eating a hot dog while outside at some point. Are you aware that a hot dog includes everything including the snout? They say you don’t want to know how laws and sausages is made. Who knows which one is the most gruesome. Needless to say, the process in which a hot dog is made is the only thing that can make a politician look clean. A hot dog starts its life as being all of the undesirable meat scraps that are left behind. This also includes liver and all the goodies on the head. Yes, you read that right. The hot dog you’re grilling up on the barbecue has head meat in it. There’s actually a surprising amount of meat on the head, and it’s not something most people would buy at their local butcher shop. Instead of letting it go to waste, it’s thrown into hot dogs. All the undesirable cuts of meat are chopped up and made into a slurry. From there it’s placed in either casing made from vegetable protein or casings from intestines. Have you ever sunk your teeth into a hot dog that had snap? If so, that snap came from the intestine of an animal. While this may sound gross, almost all sausage casing comes from intestines. That thing membrane like stuff around the sausage is the intestine of typically a lamb.
9. Gummy Bears
Gummy bears are a fantastic treat loved by young and old alike. How exactly are these tasty bite-sized candies made? Did you guess by boiling the carcasses of dead animals? If you did, then you’d be 100% correct. A gummy bear starts its life as the carcass of an animal. It’s boiled down to the point that all of the gelatin has been extracted. Doesn’t that sound delicious? After that, it’s all strained and drained, so the flesh and bones are a thing of the past. The remaining gelatin is mixed with sugar and flavorings to make your favorite gummy bear. The process is similar when making Jello or any gelatin dessert. It starts with the carcasses of animals and ends up being a sweet treat that is almost impossible to put down. Who would’ve thought that a harmless looking gummy bear started as something that could pass as road kill? It all stems from the industrialized food industry not wanting to waste anything. Which, is actually a good thing in the long run. Those cows gave up their life to be hamburger, and the remaining bits should be used for something.
8. Odd Jelly Belly Flavors
The most exciting thing about eating Jelly Belly jelly beans are the flavors. Where else can you munch of a piece of candy that tastes like buttered popcorn? No one will argue if you say that Jelly Belly has some of the most unique flavors of any candy company. The flavors they have are highly creative and can take someone new to their product line by storm. The average person who buys them for the first time has no idea that the candy will taste exactly as it’s described. How do they come up with flavors like vomit that tastes like vomit? Well, they reverse engineer vomit to see what it’s chemical makeup is. From there, it’s only a matter of combining the ingredients to produce vomit. Yes, you read that right. They hire a scientist who finds out what’s in vomit. After that, the same scientist comes up with a recipe to make vomit. Then, it’s added to the jelly beans, and everyone enjoys the taste of vomit. It’s an amazing process for something that we’d rather avoid altogether.
7. Orange Juice
Have you ever wondered how the grocery store can sell fresh squeezed orange juice all year long? You probably never gave a second thought about drinking your glass of so-called fresh orange juice in the winter. As you know, no oranges are being grown in the winter. But, how can they sell fresh squeezed orange juice when the ground is covered with snow? It seems that there’s a process of squeezing the juice out of oranges and keeping it in metal pots until it’s time to be sold to the public. Doesn’t that sound refreshing? The orange juice is squeezed, and then the oxygen is stripped from it. The process also strips out most of the flavor from the juice itself. When it comes time to add the oxygen, flavoring is also added to make it taste like orange juice. If flavoring isn’t added, then it won’t taste like much of anything. So, your fresh squeezed orange juice may have been sitting in a metal pot for a year and has had flavorings added to it. Yeah, just buy some oranges and squeeze them yourself. It’s hard to believe they can call that other stuff fresh squeezed.
6. Pink Slime
Doesn’t the thought of eating something called pink slime make you hungry? If it does, then you must be a regular McDonald’s customer. The truth is, you’ll find pink slime in all kinds of ground beef products. It’s used to add lean meat texture to things such as ground beef. It’s another product that’s based on the idea that nothing should go to waste when slaughtering an animal. It’s an excellent thought, but in practice, it’s a little weird. What is pink slime? It’s a paste that’s derived from low-fat beef trimmings. Some chemicals are added, and it’s all processed together. It’s then added to ground beef to stretch it out further. Technically pink slime is meat, and the government agrees with that statement. Millions of people must think it tastes great as no one ever complains about it. That doesn’t keep it from being weird though. The stuff looks like the soft serve ice cream McDonald’s sells. It’s just pinker and beefier. Only in the strange world of processed foods could that last sentence even remotely seem to make any sense.
5. Worcestershire sauce
You don’t know how to pronounce it, but you certainly do love the stuff. A few dashes can be great in anything from soup to homemade Chex mix. So, what exactly is in the sauce that none of us can pronounce? Well, this is probably going to be hard for most of you to believe. Onions and garlic are allowed to sit in barrels of malt vinegar for up to twenty-four months. Yes, that’s two years. Sardines are also put into barrels of salt for up to several months. All of the controlled spoilage is a closely guarded secret, and it’s not available to the general public. During ancient times the Romans made a fish sauce called garum. While its exact recipe is a mystery, it’s safe to say people have been eating similar sauces for thousands of years. So, it shouldn’t be too surprising that people today still enjoy it in various forms. You may have eaten different fish sauces at your favorite Asian restaurants as well. Who knows the sauce in the bottle you can’t pronounce might be over two years old? You’ll think about it differently the next time you add a few dashes of it to a meal.
4. Castoreum in ice cream
Do you like strawberry, raspberry, or vanilla ice cream? If so, then you’re probably eating a healthy dose of castoreum. What exactly is castoreum? Are you sitting down for this? It’s a secretion from a beaver’s anal glands. Yes, we said anal. There’s no nice way to tell where this stuff comes from. It’s from the part of the beaver where the sun doesn’t shine. You probably never thought that you ate beaver in your entire life. It’s even wilder to think that you’re eating something from a beaver in a place where you’d rather not think about. Why do they use castoreum from a beaver’s you know what? It just so happens that area on a beaver smells excellent. Whoever sniffed that area for the first time had to be a weirdo. Why else would someone put their nose there? Castoreum is behind the fabulous oder you notice when sniffing vanilla ice cream. The smell you associate with vanilla ice cream isn’t vanilla at all. It’s the undesirable area of a beaver. Just remember that the next time your nose is next to a vanilla ice cream cone. It smells like butt, and it’s excellent. Who knew?!
3. Red Skittles
Who doesn’t love tasting the rainbow? You may have second thoughts about enjoying a handful of these fruit flavored snacks. What color of Skittles is your favorite? Did you say red? If so, then you’re in for a big shock. The red color comes from insects. Yes, you read that right. There are insects in your red Skittles. The food dye is called carmine, and it’s the bodies of red insects that are crushed and added to your favorite candy. Would you be surprised to learn that other candies are using red food dye that comes from crushed up bugs? If so, then don’t be. It’s a favorite way to color foods red, and you’ve probably been eating it your entire life. This is one of those things that seems to come and go as news reporters discover it all over again. The most shocking use of this red food coloring may make you spit coffee all over the electronic device you’re reading this on. Are you a big fan of Starbucks Strawberry Frappuccinos? If so, you’ve been knocking back hot cups of bugs. Yes, the red color came from cochineal extract. That’s a nice way of saying crushed up bugs. Don’t worry, the good folks over at Starbucks decided to use another red food coloring. You’ll never think of their coffee the same way again. With that said, medical specialists have come out and claimed that foods containing crushed insects to color them aren’t harmful. That doesn’t mean it’s not gross. Just understand that you won’t be hurt by eating anything that has insects to thank for its color. Humans have been eating insects for as long as we’ve been on planet earth. It’s only until recently that we’ve acquired a disgust for the creatures. You may be surprised to discover that people all over the world are still eating insects. Have you ever thought about eating a wok-fried tarantula as a snack? Your Strawberry Frappuccino probably doesn’t sound so strange now, even if it did have ground up red bugs in it.
2. Limburger Cheese
Have you ever had the fortunate or unfortunate opportunity to smell Limburger cheese? If not, you should thank your lucky stars. Those who have smelled this cheese know all too well what it smells like. The odor is like that of a pair of dirty feet, and there’s a good reason for that. The same bacteria that are on dirty, smelly feet is added to Limburger cheese. Yes, they do add the same bacteria that are responsible for making feet smell terrible. That’s why Limburger smells exactly like dirty feet, and the odor is as unmistakable as they come. If you aren’t of American-German decent, you’ve probably never heard of Limburger cheese. It was once popular in Ohio and Wisconsin among the German immigrants. If you find yourself being born towards the latter half of the last century, you too are probably left out on this fabulous cheese. The popularity of this stinky cheese has waned over the years even among those who share German heritage. It goes to show that not all things are genetic.
Are you the type who enjoys a glass of beer on a hot sunny day or after a hard day of work? If so, there’s a surprising ingredient in your beer that may make you pick up another refreshing beverage. The world of beer is one that’s full of choices. You can choose from mass-produced lagers to craft India Pale Ales. There’s one thing that they all have in common, and it might make you gag. What if we were to tell you that your favorite beer contains fish swim bladders? Would you pour yourself a tall glass of the sudsy stuff? If not, then it’s perfectly understandable. However, not all hope is lost. Many beer drinkers want a refreshing golden liquid that is as clear as the pure water it was born from. The problem is, the beer making process can leave a cloudy product. Filtering does help remove unwanted particles that can make a beer seem less than desirable. But, filtering alone isn’t enough to give a beer that characteristic clearness that many customers associate with a glass of the golden, foamy drink they can’t get enough of. So, how is it done? Well, make sure you’re not drinking a beer while reading the next paragraph. If you are, it might end up all over the place. A substance called isinglass is derived from dried fish swim bladders. It’s added to the beer to remove anything that would leave it looking cloudy. The result is a beer that is crisp and clear. How do you know if your beer uses fish swim bladders? You’ll have to ask the brewer to see what ingredients they use. The one beer that proudly doesn’t contain fish bladder is Guinness. If you’re the type who loves the charred dark flavor of Guinness, then you’ll be thankful they’re no longer using isinglass. You’ll be able to toast any occasion without the worry of fish swim bladders crossing over your lips.