9 Foods You’ll Never Buy Again Knowing How They’re Really Made
The food industry is growing and aside from the fact that we need to eat every day to survive, fewer people have the time to prepare a decent home-cooked meal. The solution to that? Processed foods. Before you pick up some ready-made food to eat, have you thought about what you’re really putting into your mouth? Below are foods that you are unlikely to eat again after knowing how they’re prepared.
Marshmallows are a favorite candy treat, especially amongst kids. They make for great deserts when mixed with ice cream, hot chocolate, cakes and fudge. Let’s not forget that marshmallows are a must-have for any camping trip. Despite its popularity, marshmallows are far from healthy. To begin with they’re not safe for vegetarians. It used to be made from the marshmallow plant. It’s how it got its name. Nowadays, marshmallows contain gelatin. Gelatin is made from boiling leftover bones and skins from cows and pigs. Yes. You may want to think twice before putting another marshmallow into your mouth. The gelatin is then mixed with other ingredients such as sweeteners and starch and beaten into a foamy mixture for the final product.
8. Ready-made meals
You may already know that ready-made meals are far from healthy, but you may not know just how unhealthy they are. Joanna Blythman, a reporter, uncovered how ready meals were prepared. Supermarkets selling these meals subcontract them to factories that aren’t even licensed to process food. Ingredients can come from several places, meaning by the time you’re microwaving the food, it would have passed through several different places. Be wary of ready made foods that are labelled as “fresh”. Yes, the food was fresh at the time of processing but by the time it makes its way onto shelves and into unsuspecting buyers homes, it no longer is.
This may surprise you seeing as vanilla seems to be everywhere and is one of the three main flavors in most deserts. Vanilla ice cream, shakes, cake, yogurt. You name it. An article in the Times magazine made a claim that vanilla could actually be from a beaver’s rear end. Typically, ice creams are made using cream, sugar, milk and sometimes eggs. A flavor such as vanilla contains a chemical called castoreum which is what beavers use to mark their territory. If you own cats then you may have already come across this chemical. Vanilla is typically extracted from vanilla beans, which can be expensive. So, manufacturers sometimes take shortcuts and use castoreum instead.
6. Commercial bread
This one seems farfetched, but commercial bread contains a preservative called L-cysteine which helps in increasing its shelf life. It is an amino acid that is found in chicken feathers and cow horns. However, the L-cysteine found in commercial bread comes from neither of those sources. Another common source of L-cysteine is human hair. The next time you eat a piece of commercial bread, you’re probably eating L-cysteine harvested from hair at local salons in China. You are better off buying fresh bread from your local bakery. Better yet, you can make your own at home. It’s fairly easy.
You would be hard pressed not to find beer anywhere you go in the world. It is a staple at parties, games, and a couple of boys’ nights. Beer has been a part of this world for the better part of seven thousand years and has evolved in terms of taste, with different flavors currently available on the market. Beer is made from barley. Barley is harvested, dried using heat and then it is boiling. During boiling, yeast is added. The end result is beer. Despite the main ingredients and techniques remaining the same, an extra ingredient has been added over the years. Isinglass is an ingredient added to beer to make it look lighter. Isinglass comes from dried fish bladder. Guinness is one brand that removed isinglass from its ingredients after several people protested.
4. Red candy
Did you know your favorite candy could possibly include a disgusting ingredient? Red candy, despite being pleasing to the eye, is made using an ingredient called carmine. Carmine is what gives the candy its vibrant red color. Carmine is obtained by crushing a couple thousand bugs. This ingredient isn’t just limited to candy alone, but anything else that may require a rich red color like jellies, yogurt, and even lipsticks!
This is another item that may break your heart, but it too contains an ingredient that is far from healthy. Have you ever wondered why jellybeans tend to have a sheen to them? That’s because they are made using heated liquid sugar, starch and glucose. The mixture is placed into mounds and left to cool for 20 hours. The jellybeans are then polished to a shine using shellac, which is a resin. Shellac is used in products that have a certain sheen finish like lipstick and hairspray. That doesn’t sound like something that should be going into your mouth.
2. Canned mushrooms
Did you know that there is a likelihood that the canned mushrooms you love purchasing contain live maggots? The US regulations on canned foods may be slightly less strict and there have been complaints of consumers coming across maggots in their mushrooms. If you need to eat mushrooms, you are better off purchasing fresh ones from an organic market.
1. Salad dressing
Sadly, salad dressing made it to the list too. If you’ve ever tried making your own salad dressing at home you already know how different it tastes from the store bought one. The reason is because in addition to the usual salad dressing ingredients such as vinegar, honey and salt, titanium dioxide is added too. It’s what gives salad dressing that white look. It also increases the dressing’s shelf life. It is an ingredient found in sunscreen and it has been shown to be linked to cancer by the Internal Agency for Research on Cancer.
As you were reading the items on this list, it probably hit you just how much you’ve been consuming dangerous ingredients. But now that you have an idea of what could be in your food, you can be more cautious about choosing what goes into your body.