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-   -   Beaver Butts Emit Goo Used for Vanilla Flavoring (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=87338)

A Turtle Named Mack 02 October 2013 09:45 PM

Beaver Butts Emit Goo Used for Vanilla Flavoring
 
Just in time for holiday cookie season, we’ve discovered that the vanilla flavoring in your baked goods and candy could come from the anal excretions of beavers. Beaver butts secrete a goo called castoreum, which the animals use to mark their territory. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration lists castoreum as a “generally regarded as safe” additive, and manufacturers have been using it extensively in perfumes and foods for at least 80 years, according to a 2007 study in the International Journal of Toxicology.

“I lift up the animal’s tail,” said Joanne Crawford, a wildlife ecologist at Southern Illinois University, “and I’m like, ‘Get down there, and stick your nose near its bum.’”

http://newswatch.nationalgeographic....lla-flavoring/

GenYus234 02 October 2013 09:49 PM

So? It's not like many people don't eat other animal secretions with gusto. Candy is often coated with ground up beetle shells.

Cervus 02 October 2013 10:08 PM

I thought this was fairly common knowledge.

Little Pink Pill 02 October 2013 11:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GenYus234 (Post 1772799)
So? It's not like many people don't eat other animal secretions with gusto. Candy is often coated with ground up beetle shells.

Dude. Not the same. I'd eat a whole beetle before I'd lick a spoon full of mammal anal secretions.

I just gagged a little bit remembering that time my dog had an impacted anal gland...

Quote:

Due to such unpleasantness for both parties, castoreum consumption is rather small—only about 292 pounds (132 kilograms) yearly.
That means for everyone all together, right? RIGHT???

GenYus234 03 October 2013 01:17 AM

They're anal secretions only because the glands are near the anus. Which would make a hen's egg more of an anal secretion.

Little Pink Pill 03 October 2013 02:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GenYus234 (Post 1772846)
They're anal secretions only because the glands are near the anus.

Except this:
Quote:

Because of its close proximity to the anal glands, castoreum is often a combination of castor gland secretions, anal gland secretions, and urine.

Dropbear 03 October 2013 02:28 AM

You know I'm pretty sure it's processed in some way.

They don't just have beavers in pens, take them out as needed and rub the beaver's bum on the top of a cake. ;)

(Although I can totally picture the beaver mentally going: "Oh no, here we go again...")

Dropbear

DaGuyWitBluGlasses 03 October 2013 02:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GenYus234 (Post 1772799)
So? It's not like many people don't eat other animal secretions with gusto. Candy is often coated with ground up beetle shells.

Grossness aside: i take issue with the fact that this can be labelled as Natural Flavoring.

If you get something that is raspberry / vanilla flavor, and labelled as 'natural flavor', i think it's reasonable to expect it to be flavor that came from raspberry bushes/fruit and vanilla beans/orchids.

Guidelines should change so that Castoreum should be labelled as simulated flavor. (Unless perhaps if its flavouring product based on meat-byproduct)

Canada also allows it to be a 'natural flavour', but might not allow such food to be called natural as a whole, nor labelled "contains only natural ingredients"
If i'm reading this right:
http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/...4ae.shtml#a4_7

thorny locust 03 October 2013 01:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaGuyWitBluGlasses (Post 1772854)
Grossness aside: i take issue with the fact that this can be labelled as Natural Flavoring.

If you get something that is raspberry / vanilla flavor, and labelled as 'natural flavor', i think it's reasonable to expect it to be flavor that came from raspberry bushes/fruit and vanilla beans/orchids.

It might seem reasonable at first glance; but that isn't what the term means. And, while I don't know how much the castoreum is processed, I don't see how the stuff itself is any less natural than raspberries are.

And I don't really see how it's an issue, except for strict vegetarians. When people eat hamburger, do they think the meat that's been ground up for this has been carefully selected so that none of it comes from parts of the animal near the anus? And then there's eggs. Hens, being birds, have one opening for everything.

Lainie 03 October 2013 01:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Pink Pill (Post 1772815)
I just gagged a little bit remembering that time my dog had an impacted anal gland...

Too bad that doesn't smell like vanilla.

Mickey Blue 03 October 2013 02:01 PM

"Honey come's from a bee's behind, milk comes from a cow's behind, and don't even get me started on toothpaste!"

GenYus234 03 October 2013 02:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Pink Pill (Post 1772849)
Except this:
Quote:

Because of its close proximity to the anal glands, castoreum is often a combination of castor gland secretions, anal gland secretions, and urine.

Is it the urine part you are referencing? Because urine would make it urinary (or renal) gland secretions by something more than simple proximity to the urinary tract. It still doesn't make them anal glands secretions other than the fact they are near the anus.

Lainie 03 October 2013 02:10 PM

The part LPP quotes also says "anal gland secretions."

JoeBentley 03 October 2013 02:12 PM

*Shrugs* I don't get how this is shocking. Looked at literally at lot of our foodstuffs have a "Really, who was the first person to try that?" angle to them that we've gotten over simply because we're so used to them. I've heard dozens of standup comedy bits that basically go "Who was the first person to think eating the thing that fell out of a chicken was a good idea?" or some such.

Honey is bee vomit. The entire food category of "dairy" outside of milk itself is basically dozens of various ways to eat/drink milk that has gone bad.

Mickey Blue 03 October 2013 02:22 PM

The logical side of me agrees with Joe (and most of the people here) for much the same reasons.. The less logical side of me would not buy "Beaver Ass Juice! Smells just like Vanilla!" so I get the idea of thinking something like this is 'gross' even though we eat plenty of things that would be just as gross, maybe worse, if they weren't common.

JoeBentley 03 October 2013 02:25 PM

That's why food language is so often very euphemistic. We need to be verbally and emotionally separated from the origins of our food in some cases.

It's why we eat beef, pork, and poultry not cow, pig, and chicken.

GenYus234 03 October 2013 02:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lainie (Post 1772937)
The part LPP quotes also says "anal gland secretions."

Which are from glands that are only called "anal glands" because they are near the anus.

CenTex 03 October 2013 02:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mickey Blue (Post 1772933)
"Honey come's from a bee's behind, milk comes from a cow's behind, and don't even get me started on toothpaste!"

Milk comes from a cows mammary glands which, while located between a cows hind legs, aren't anywhere near their "behind" ;)

Mickey Blue 03 October 2013 03:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeBentley (Post 1772946)
That's why food language is so often very euphemistic. We need to be verbally and emotionally separated from the origins of our food in some cases.

It's why we eat beef, pork, and poultry not cow, pig, and chicken.

I'd give ya beef and pork in most cases, but chicken is used all the time; fried chicken, chicken tenders, chicken breast, chicken thighs, chicken stock, chicken noodle soup, etc, etc..

Little Pink Pill 03 October 2013 03:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GenYus234 (Post 1772955)
Which are from glands that are only called "anal glands" because they are near the anus.

I don't know about beavers, but in dogs they are right at the opening of the anus, between the external and internal sphincter muscles, and in humans they are actually inside the anal wall. It's a scent marker for fecal matter, used socially for some species but I'm pretty sure in humans its main purpose is to signal "Don't Eat Me."

Here's a video of a Doug's* sacs being expressed. They aren't just near the anus, they belong to the anus.

You probably already know this, but those glands aren't the same as the castor sacs on beavers. Castor sacs combine with urine to scent mark, apparently, while anal sacs mark feces. Beavers have both, and according to the article, all that fluid (castor sac fluid, anal sac fluid, and urine) is getting mixed up together and then added into my food.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lainie (Post 1772910)
Too bad that doesn't smell like vanilla.

:lol: That would certainly make it a less objectionable experience! But then someone might start squeezing dog bottoms to flavor baked goods.




*Wow, autocorrect. Dog's sacs, not Doug's sacs!


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