Food science can be a great science to go into if you’re interested in the safety of food, even the processing, harvest, and availability of food, but it can be super gross too. And that’s what we’re going on about today, so maybe put the snack down until after you read these gross facts nobody asked for.
A lot of foods contain vanilla flavoring, but did you know that the vanilla flavoring in some foods actually comes from a secretion made by beavers? Probably not, but now you do. While the ingredient label may read, “natural flavors” what they really mean is castoreum, which comes from the castor sac scent glands of male or female beavers, which is located near their anus. The more you know, huh?
(image via: wikipedia)
Ahh, honey. We love it in our tea, drizzled on our toast, and sometimes just a stick to suck on when we want something sweet. Did you know honey is basically bee vomit? Okay, not really but kinda. Allow us to elaborate. Honey is made from nectar, but bees have to get the nectar from Point A to Point B so they store it in their stomachs to do so. Then they have to yack it back up to actually create the honey.
We love mushrooms in an array of foods, and we’ve been known to purchase a can of mushrooms every now and again if we aren’t feeling like slicing and dicing fresh ones, but now that we know about the whole maggot thing, we aren’t so sure anymore. Oh, you didn’t know? According to FDA regulations, canned mushrooms can actually contain “over 20 or more maggots of any size per 100 grams of drained mushrooms and proportionate liquid” before they aren’t suitable for our consumption. Yikes.
(image via: medical news today)
And speaking of what the FDA considers suitable for consumption, berries can contain up to 4, yes 4, larvae, which is just shy of a ½ cup.
There’s no sugar-coating this one, hotdogs can contain traces of hair, skin, nails, and various meats. In fact, a study found that 2% of the hot dogs tested contained traces of human DNA. (source) And if that wasn’t bad enough, 10% of the hot dogs tested that were branded as “vegetarian” contained meat.
(image via: olive magazine)
We’re peanut butter fanatics, or at least we were, we should say. According to the FDA, the average jar of peanut butter may contain 4 or more rodent hairs. And up to 30 or more insect fragments. But any more than that poses a health risk.