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12 Disgusting “Natural” Ingredients in Your Food

The “natural” label on your food items doesn’t mean that


every ingredient is going to be organic or be derived from
plants, but in many cases it’s far from it. Natural products
can still contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs),
toxic pesticides and herbicides, growth hormones, and
antibiotics.

1 - Coal Tar
Processed foods can contain a variety of different dyes in
an effort to make the product more appealing. Tatrazine
is a dye which is derived from coal-tar, also known as
yellow #5, which has been linked to hyperactivity in
children. According to the International Agency for
Research on Cancer, mixtures that contain more than 5%
crude coal are considered a group 1 carcinogen. There are
a myriad of different food products which contain Yellow
#5: Kraft macaroni and cheese, candy like Butterfinger,
Smarties, Starbursts, and Lollipops. It’s also found in skim
milk, various brands of butter, yogurt, orange-colored
snacks like Cheetos and Doritos, and more.
2 - Carrageenan
Carrageenan is an ingredient which is typically found in
dairy and non-dairy products like almond milk and
coconut milk. Commonly found in ‘natural’ labeled
products, it is derived from red seaweeds and used to
hold together ingredients or thicken solutions. Some
studies have suggested that carrageenan may trigger a
number of responses in the body that lead to
inflammation of the intestines. It is well-known (and
documented) that chronic or long-term inflammation can
lead to the development of arthritis and a myriad of other
illness like Crohns disease, Colitis, and more.

3 - Beaver Anal Glands


beaverCastoreum is an ingredient which is commonly
used to flavor strawberry, raspberry, and vanilla ice
cream. It comes from the secretion of female and male
beaver anal glands, it has been FDA approved as a food
additive labeled as a natural flavoring. It’s also used in
alcoholic beverages, gelatin, pudding, soft candy, hard
candy, gum, baked goods, and more.
4 - Boiled Beetles
Crushed, boiled, or dried beetle eggs or wings, are used
to produce beetle juice. This juice is then used as food
coloring and often referred to as Carmine. Purple, pink,
orange, and red food coloring can all derive from this
insect. This ingredient or food coloring has been known to
produce allergic reactions in some people. It’s commonly
found in Skittles, ice-cream, yogurt, candy, waffles,
lemonade, and grapefruit juice. This product is just
culturally “icky,” but safer than others on this list.

5 - Hydrolyzed Protein
This protein is a “pre-digested” protein that has been
soaked in synthetic stomach-like acid, so that is broken
down into its component amino acids. This process is
supposed to make it easier for the human body to digest.
It also allows for MSG to enter into food without having
to be labeled accordingly. Common food items that
contain this are Knorr Noodle Sides, Funyuns, and various
workout proteins.
6 - Rodent Hair
If you’re a fan of boxed macaroni and cheese, it may be
unpleasing to learn that you’ve most likely consumed a
rodent hair or two in your time. Each mac and cheese box
may contain one rodent hair per 50 grams, while the FDA
also says that peanut butter may contain an average of
one rodent hair per 100 grams.

7 - Borax
Sodium Tetraborate, better known as Borax, is an additive
that is known for its preservative and acidity control
qualities. It’s also referred to as E285 and has been
banned from the U.S. and Canada. However, it is still
present and commonly used throughout the EU. Borax is
used in a variety of household cleaning and laundry
products, for pottery and more. High intake of this
additive has been linked with the onset of cancer. Foods
that are found to contain it are Caviar, Asian Noodles,
Rice Dishes, and Bakso (meatballs)
8 - Arsenic
Scientists have found traces of arsenic in various food
items for years. Known to be generally hazardous to
humans, this carcinogen has been turning up in food
items like various beers and wines quite commonly. The
brewers and makers use diatomaceous earth to filter
their products which may contain iron and metals, so it
may be smart to opt to go with unfiltered drinks instead.
It has also been found in rice, juice, and cereal. The FDA
has also allowed for arsenic-based products to continue
being used in both chicken and swine feed.

9 - Sheep Secretions
Lanolin (wool wax or wool grease) is a yellowy oily
substance which comes from the inside of the sheep
wool: secretions from sheep. It is used to make Lanolin, a
greasy substance that breastfeeding mothers use. Listed
as “gum base,” it’s of course found in gum, as well as in
Vitamin D3 supplements. The extraction can be
performed by squeezing the sheep’s harvested wool
between rollers.
10 - Goat Stomach
Rennet is a complex of enzymes (functional proteins) that
is produced and extracted from the inside of a stomach
from either a goat, calf, or sheep. It is used in the making
of cheese, as it gives the product a better texture. Dried
and cleaned stomachs of young calves are sliced into
small pieces and then placed into saltwater or whey,
along with vinegar or wine to lower the pH of the
solution. After several days pass, the solution is then
filtered. The crude rennet that remains in the solution is
then used to coagulate milk. Roughly 1 gram of this
solution can normally be used to coagulate 2 to 4 liters of
milk. This method is still used by various traditional
cheese-makers.

11 - Human Hair
L-cysteine is a food additive which is commonly derived
from cow horns, chicken, and duck feathers. Much today
however, is harvested from human hair in China. Popular
fast-food chains like McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, and
Burger King, all approve of L-cysteine as a food additive. It
is generously used in a variety of different bread
products. To be honest, the only thing gross here is where
it potentially comes from: L-cystein is an essential amino
acid that your body regularly builds into proteins.
12 - Shellac
Another food additive which is derived from the
excretions of the Kerria Iacca insect, Shellac, is commonly
found in the forests of Thailand. Shellac is the resin which
gets secreted by the female lac bug, and it is processed
and sold as dry flakes. These flakes are dissolved in
ethanol to make liquid shellac. It is used as a brush-on
colorant, food glaze, and wood finish.