What’s in Your Food? You Might Be Surprised.

big purple marble

Have you heard of the “five-second rule?”

Carbon Monoxide

When meat packagers place meat in that plastic packaging, they inject carbon monoxide into the package, too. The carbon monoxide keeps meat a healthy-pink, instead of allowing the fresh meat to oxidize and turn a less-than-appealing brown.  The process is considered safe for humans. Just don’t hold the meat under that carbon monoxide detector in your kitchen, or close the garage door and spend time with the groceries in your car.

We’re just kidding. But we do question the safety levels of this process.


Oh, this bugs us. The shiny coating on jelly beans and other candies is actually shellac. And shellac is…bug juice. The kerria laca, an insect found in Thailand, is the source of the coating. The female of the species secrets a substance onto tree branches to protect their larvae. Collectors scrape the substance off the branches and use it in the making of nail polish, furniture protection, and candy coating.The ingredient list may not say “bug juice.” It might say “confectioner’s coating.”


Bisphenol A (BPA)

Manufacturers once used BPA in many hard plastic items including baby bottles and water bottles. Today, most manufacturers have removed BPA from their product materials, or have changed  their packaging. However, BPA is still found in some lined metal cans used for food.



Nope. It’s not castor oil.

This food additive is considered safe for human consumption, although it is mainly used in perfumes because of its expensive processing requirements. But it can also be found in fruit-flavored candy, gums, vanilla, and ice creams.

Do you want to know what it is?

Beaver. Specifically, the beaver’s scent glands.

Apparently, it smells like raspberries.

Now that you are completely grossed out, we’ll also tell you that “beaver smell” doesn’t appear on the ingredient list. It will probably be listed as “natural flavoring.”

big purple marble,
Do you smell something?

Wood pulp

Wood pulp, or cellulose, keeps shredded foods like cheese or vegetables from sticking together. It’s also used as a filler for some food items.

Beavers love wood, but humans can’t digest cellulose.  It boggles our minds that someone would consider it a logical option for food.


There are more surprises in our foods, but we’ll just end here.  Check out BBC’s story on crazy food ingredients for more information.


Feature photo by Ryan McGuire of Pixabay.

Beaver photo by Steve Raubenstine of Unsplash.

Play. Explore. Expand. Follow us on social media: