Sometimes, it’s just better not knowing the story behind your favorite foods.
HealthyWay.com has the rundown on some food facts that are particularly gross, so you might want to hold off on a meal while reading this.
Apples are shiny because of ground-up bugs. Ever wonder why apples look so deliciously perfect and shiny in the supermarket? Bugs are to thank for this gleaming layer, a shellac that comes from a waxy resin secreted by the lac bug. Apples actually come from the tree with their own natural wax, but it’s removed during a cleaning process, so the bug resin is applied. You might just get a little extra protein in that shellac, as oftentimes there are bugs in the resin that get ground up.
Do breads include duck feathers? Some do, believe it or not — any bread that contains the amino acid L-cysteine, which is made from duck feathers. The amino acid is a preservative that helps store-bought bread last longer than a homecooked loaf that would become stale and moldy within days. The L-cysteine may also be made from cow horns or human or hog hair. Yuck, right? It’s in a liquid form when it’s added to the bread, but that doesn’t make it any less gross.
Canned soups are made with unusually large carrots. This makes sense because regular sized carrots can’t hold up to the canning process, so they grow special ones, which David Gombas, vice president of the Center for Development of Research Policy and New Technologies at the National Food Processors Association, explains that when they “go through the cooking process, they come out looking like the small young ones that you’d put into your soup.”
Vanilla flavoring may come from a beaver? Scent glands of beavers are used to make castoreum, a safe food additive used in vanilla and raspberry flavorings. It’s used more so in perfumes than food products these days, but still worth a mention.
Meat glue is a thing. There’s a claim that supermarkets sometimes use a powdery substance called “meat glue” to stick scrap pieces of meat together to give the appearance of larger steaks. The “glue” actually resembles marbling, so consumers are none the wiser.
Farm-raised salmon is actually not pink, but why do they sell it that way? Wild-caught salmon is bright red but the farm-raised variety is gray. The fish is dyed pink to disguise the gray color and make it more appealing to purchase.
Raw almonds contain cyanide — lethal levels, it turns out. There was a 2014 recall of raw almonds because people perceived them to be healthier, when in fact they contain cyanide, which the FDA reported even small amounts consumed could cause symptoms like “dizziness, headache, nausea and vomiting, rapid breathing, rapid heart rate, restlessness, and weakness.” And if you ate large amounts, the symptoms include: “convulsions, loss of consciousness, low blood pressure, lung injury, slow heart rate, and respiratory failure leading to death.”
Check out the full run-down of interesting food facts at HealthyWay.com.