Sweet treats are everywhere on Valentine’s Day. Who doesn’t love candy, baked sweet treats, and ice-cream? What if you found out you were eating the extract from the anal glands of a beaver, or ground up beetles? Well….you are!
One of the biggest reasons that I feed my family whole, real food is because then we know what we are eating. The pre-packaged foods at the store are filled with garbage. Here is just a little insight into what those ingredients are…
- Castoreum: from the anal glands of the Beaver. Used in vanilla and raspberry flavoring and can legally be labeled “natural flavoring” on the food labels.
- L-cysteine: a dough conditioner that is sometimes made from human hair, but more commonly made from duck feathers. Used in breads and baked goods.
- Red food coloring (Carmine, Crimson Lake, Cochineal, or Natural Red #4): made from ground up cochineal beetle. Red #40 is derived from coal.
- TBHQ: also known as butane! Used in chicken nuggets to keep them “fresh” tasting. Who knows how old they might be…but they still taste fresh. Also used in frozen dinners, crackers/chips, and most foods with a “long shelf life”.
- Propylene glycol: also known as antifreeze! Used as a stabilizer for baked goods and as a solvent for substances such as flavorings and colorings that are not readily soluble on their own. “Found in ice-cream, energy drinks, food coloring, artificial flavors, chips, soy sauce, fried onions, flavored syrups, icing, canned coconut milk, salad dressings, cake mixes, chicken bullion….its actually found in over 1,200 food items! And not all of them listed it as an ingredient. For example, a food’s ingredient list may include “artificial butter flavor”. The butter flavor is made with propylene glycol, but since it came into the factory pre-made and was added as an ingredient in the process of another food, that manufacturer is not obligated to list sub-ingredients.” (source)
- Vanillin: also known as wood pulp. That’s right, its a byproduct of the pulp industry. Used in artificial vanilla flavor.
- Cellulose: also derived from wood pulp (and cotton), a byproduct of paper manufacturing. Used in shredded cheese to keep it from sticking together, and also can be found in ice cream.
- Shellac (Confectioner’s glaze): derived from secretions of the Kerria lacca insect. Used to make jelly beans, and other hard-coated candy look shiny.
Just some fun facts to know before you dive into those treats!