Food News – Not for the Squeamish

When you get to the point of this post you are not going to believe it.  You are going to think that I was somehow duped into accepting the wildest most ridiculous rumour and that I haven’t checked it out thoroughly.  You will be wrong. 

Those were my exact thoughts when I was first told about this fact: many flavourings, including artificial vanilla and others, are derived from the liquid from the anal glands of beavers.

I know how it looks. It doesn’t seem possible. It’s as if someone said pudding is made from the marrow of horse bones or gummy bears are congealed whale snot.  But it’s true. The brown secretion is harvested from beaver colons and then used in flavourings. It’s believed the stuff smells the way it does – pleasant – because of the beaver’s diet of bark and leaves. The upside is that the beaver doesn’t have to die for this extraction to occur.  The downside is that because it’s a “natural” substance food manufacturers can get away with calling it “natural” flavouring on the labels of some vanilla and raspberry products. It’s also used in some perfumes.

I don’t know about you but the next time I need some vanilla extract I’ll be looking for “pure” and not “natural” on the label.


4 thoughts on “Food News – Not for the Squeamish”

  1. Yuck! A friend goes to Honduras yearly and brings back Vanilla. Honduran Vanilla is not alcohol based and is made from vanilla orchids grown there.

    I guess I’ll stick with “pure” and/or Honduran from now on. Thanks for the warning!

    1. I think I’ll switch to Honduran vanilla myself! I mean, we’ve eaten this stuff for years and it hasn’t harmed us. But the IDEA of it…horrifying.

  2. Beef bathed in ammonia gas, red dye made from crushed beetles used in many foods, L-cysteine used in a dough-conditioner to make it more pliable is derived from dissolved human hair and duck feathers, cloned calf stomachs used in the production of most cheeses, shocking amounts of maggots and mites and droppings and mice or rat parts and insects and more that are allowed in almost all canned and processed foods and cereals. We eat many or all of these things daily so either suck it up and tuck in or start growing your own fruits and vegetables, catching your own fish, hunting your own meat, churning your own butter, baking your own bread, making your own pasta and even distilling your own water. At least some of these ingredients are natural and harmless. If you start looking into chemicals used in fertilizers and preservatives and insecticides and sweeteners it will turn you off food altogether!

    1. I knew about the red dye and the ammonia in beef but not the other ones. They probably won’t kill us but it sure looks like there’s a lot going on that most people aren’t aware of.

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