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Old 28 July 2011, 05:05 PM
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Default Everyday foods made with disgusting ingredients

...Is any of this real?
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Old 28 July 2011, 07:50 PM
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Pudding Crawl Pudding Crawl is offline
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True, variously; some of them aren't really 'ingredients' though. Sugar may be processed with bone char, but it isn't necessary 'made with' it. Castoreum seems real enough, although once again probably undergoes a great deal of processing. It sounds like natural musk or ambergris.

Shellac is made from lacquer secreted by insects. It undergoes a fair amount of processing, probably more than cochineal (for a more obvious squashed-bug product), so it's not like the insects are used whole and mashed then painted onto sweets. It's the same stuff used as food glaze, French polishing, and hat stiffening.
Lanolin is indeed secreted by sheep, but it ends up mostly in the wool, so it's not like you suck it out a sheep's nose. It's an ideal emollient. It shouldn't be a surprising ingredient in gum, but that can also contain petroleum and latex, so can you afford to be squeamish? Not really a 'food', strictly.
Who's surprised by gelatine being made from hooves?* It seems a sensible way to use up the whole animal. If I have any leftover bones, I boil them to make stock. Personally I much prefer the texture of agar to gelatine, but some people probably think seaweed is disgusting too.

I have no way to personally check if Wendy's chilli is notably full of sand. However, silica- technically the same as sand, although probably not recognisable- is a common additive. Truthfully they could have put 'aka ROCKS' becaue it occurs as big lumps o'quartz too.
Cellulose isn't really 'basically sawdust' any more than it is 'basically cotton' or paper or leaves. If it works to prevent clumpy shredded cheese (i.e. grated? You can buy it premade?) and is non-threatening, why not?

Bread... well, Wiki sez:
The majority of L-Cysteine was once obtained industrially by hydrolysis of human hair, but in recent years 80% is produced from duck feathers. Due to marketing restraints with Jewish Kosher and Muslim Halal however, it is now possible to get synthetically produced material, albeit at a higher price
Overall, perhaps the best summary is: 'synthesised from' is not necessarily the same as 'contains'.

ETA potentially relevent stuff:

*I kno, not actually hooves. I like Mr. Burns' description tho.

Last edited by Pudding Crawl; 28 July 2011 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 28 July 2011, 08:08 PM
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Welcome to the boards!

Just off the top of my head, several of them are pretty accurate. Let's see:

1. Confectioner's glaze is in fact made with food-grade shellac.

2. Not quite. The food additive is the purified castoreum, while the "mixed with urine" part is what beavers do in the wild to mark territory.

3. Possibly - some sugar is still refined using this method.

4. Yep. It's also why most gelatine isn't kosher.

5. Wendy's does in fact recycle unpurchased hamburgers into their chili. Silicon dioxide (as an anti-caking agent) is found in many commercial prepared spice mixes, including chili powder.

6. I didn't know this one - lanolin, a common cosmetic component, may be used as a plasticizer for chewing gum base.

7. Yep. Also known as cochineal extract.

8. Pretty much. Again, it's an anti-caking agent; just read the ingredients on just about any prebagged shredded cheese.

9. Didn't know this one either - apparently, the ingredient is more commonly made from duck feathers (not that the article's author would find that any more appealing.)

10. Well, yeah, just google "mechanically separated chicken" for plenty of videos and posts on the subject.

Given that most of us have been consuming these products for years, maybe we need to rethink our definitions of "disgusting."

ETA: Semi-spanked!
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Old 28 July 2011, 08:36 PM
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geminilee geminilee is offline
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That is pretty much my take, musicgeek. Why is the OMG sawdust!! so much more "disgusting" than the incredibly spoiled milk product it is keeping from clumping together? Why are boiled bones more "disgusting" than animal flesh? I figure if something tastes good and I am not avoiding ingredients because of medical/religious/moral reasons, then what does it matter what it is made of? If it were very unhealthy it would either be caught by the FDA or people would notice everyone dropping dead.
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Old 28 July 2011, 08:48 PM
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Though I like peanut butter, I try not to think that it has an average of up to 210 parts of insects and up to 7 rodent hairs per 700 grams.

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Old 28 July 2011, 09:21 PM
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Wow, thanks guys, you really are a mine of information!
And that's right, thinking about it, in many cases it's hard to determine why some things are labelled "disgusting"
Also, thanks for the welcome!
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Old 28 July 2011, 11:02 PM
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Spit Take

Just think how much dihydrogen monoxide goes into the food (and beverages) we consume!
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Old 28 July 2011, 11:43 PM
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GenYus234 GenYus234 is offline
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Originally Posted by geminilee View Post
Why is the OMG sawdust!! so much more "disgusting" than the incredibly spoiled milk product it is keeping from clumping together? Why are boiled bones more "disgusting" than animal flesh?
Why is cow's milk fine, goat's milk pretty okay, dog milk odd, and human milk gross?
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Old 29 July 2011, 02:36 PM
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Holly: Nothing wrong with dog's milk. Full of goodness, full of vitamins, full of marrowbone jelly. Lasts longer than any other milk, dog's milk.
Lister: Why?
Holly: No bugger'll drink it. Plus of course the advantage of dog's milk is that when it goes off, it tastes exactly the same as when it's fresh.
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Old 29 July 2011, 03:49 PM
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That quote is why I use dog's milk as an example.
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Old 12 April 2012, 06:09 PM
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Comment: Is this true??

Castoreum comes out of a beaver's behind -- it's extracted from their anal
glands -- and is used to make artificial raspberry flavoring. Try not to
think about that next time you order the diet raspberry tea. Found in:
Artificially raspberry flavored products such as cheap ice cream, Jell-O,
candy, fruit-flavored drinks, teas and yogurts.


Also discussed here:
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