The biggest food lies
How do BEAVERS GET INTO your VANILLA PUDDING?
Hardly anyone would suspect that beavers serve a purpose beyond gnawing trees and building dams; they also produce a natural flavor the food industry uses—castoreum. This secretion is extracted from the rodent’s egg-size castor sacs near the base of its tail. To access the secretion—which beavers use when grooming their coat or marking their territory—the animal is killed and the pair of black wrinkled glands found between the pelvis and the anus are removed and dried. Following this treatment the castoreum contained in the sacs is processed into vanilla flavoring and used to refine dishes. Currently castoreum is permitted as a food additive in the U.S. In Europe the process is generally prohibited because beavers are protected by conservation laws. But the planned free trade deal with the U.S. ( TTIP) may mean castoreum will end up on the European market—as an import.
World Power Food Inc. largely dominates the offerings in our supermarkets. Most people aren’t bothered by that. There’s a false sense of security about the abundance of food. But do we really know what we’re eating? On closer inspection, it soon becomes clear: We are being deceived— every day.
How do you BAKE BREAD using HUMAN HAIR?
It doesn’t matter whether it’s bread rolls, loaves, or cake—in order to keep the dough that’s used to make industrially produced baked goods pliable, smooth, and workable, the amino acid L-cysteine is added to it. The organic compound is obtained either by fermentation of bacterial cultures or from human hair. And in China a whole industry has emerged around the procurement of the hair. Collectors sweep up hair from salon floors and sell it to wholesalers by the bag. The material is delivered to sorting facilities where the hair is separated from dirt and debris by hand—a desirable and well-paying job in China. After this is finished, the tons of clean hair get delivered in pressed bundles to yet another production facility—and liquefied in large vats of acid. Finally dried and processed into powder, these hair remnants are supplied to industrial bakeries. Though in Europe the use of human hair in baked goods has been banned since 2013 on ethical grounds, the food industry found a substitute in the form of pig bristles, horse hooves, and chicken feathers.
Why are PEOP PEOPLE chewing A ANTIFREEZE?
PropylenePropylen glycol is a liquid organic compoundcompo made of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. This member of the alcohol family is typically used as an antifreeze agent—in solar collectors, for example. But antifreeze is not the only way propylene glycol is utilized. The substance is permitted for use as an additive in a range of products, from chewing gum and baked goods to personal care items and cosmetics.
How do you F FAKE a FISH?
If you think y you’re eating wild salmon, think again.aga A report recently issued by Oceana,Oc an international nonprofit advocacyadv group that focuses on the protection and restoration of marine habitats, indicates that 20% of wild salmon samples in stores had been mislabeled, as was nearly 70% of the fish served in restaurants. This initial research reveals consumers may be purchasing farm-raised salmon when they are shelling out more for what they think is responsibly caught wild fish—and this is especially applicable to fish caught during winter months.
In some cases, the stuff you find at the supermarket is really a beast of another nature: Particularly in Europe, the “salmon” may actually be Alaska pollock or even trout. “So what?” you might thinking. As long as there’s some fish in there, it does not matter where it comes from. But that’s where things start to get a bit fi shy—because, strictly speaking, Alaska pollock does not exist. It is an invention from the 1980s. Pollock is actually cod. But it was renamed because it could sell better under the new name. No deception, then— only a brilliant marketing gimmick dreamed up by the food industry. If it weren’t for just one problem: the color! Cod does has a crucial flaw; it doesn’t feed on any crustaceans, which means its flesh has a white hue—not the rosy pink of a salmon! That’s what led the food companies to come up with a second trick—in order to conceal the first one: Dye the white codfish ( aka pollock) red. The main dye used for this purpose is cochineal red A, which is derived from crushed insects and has been associated with allergic reactions as well as eczema and asthma.
How many FLYFL EGGS are there in MY SOUP?
In the UnitedUn States 100 grams of peanutpeanu butter contains an average of 30 insect fragments and one or more rodent hairs, while 100 grams of tomato juice can legally contain up to 10 fly eggs or two maggots. The fecal content is also regulated: Per 50 grams of flour one instance of rodent droppings is permitted. The FDA considers a certain amount of contamination by foreign matter (“defect levels”) acceptable. In fact Ohio University research reveals the average American unwittingly eats up to 2 pounds of insect parts a year.
What does M MOLD TASTE like?like
The answ answer: whatever you want it to taste like. It is actually possible to use bacteria or enzymes to modify many organic source materials to simulate the taste of strawberries, peanuts, or beef. A range of various substances can serve as an organic basis—such as sawdust, or organic remains from slaughterhouses, or even mold. The trick: As long as the starting material has been formed in a natural way, the flavoring agent that is produced from it for use in foods can be called “natural flavor.”
Can CAKES c cause CANCER?
The term bu butylated hydroxyanisole ( BHA) re refers to a mixture that the food in industry uses as an antioxidant. For example, it can be used to keep the fat in a cake mix from reacting with oxygen and becoming rancid. The problem: Studies with mice have shown that ingestion of more than a certain dose can lead to liver cancer. Although BHA has been banned in Japan and many European countries such as the UK, the substance is still permitted for use as a food additive in the U.S., although California has recognized it as a carcinogen.
Why is GM CORN so TOXIC?
Why would anyone want to modify crops—such as corn and soy—at the genetic level? What’s wrong with those original, already highly cultivated, plants? The fact is: Above all, it is industry that benefits from fabricating these genetic mutants. By influencing the genetic makeup of a plant it’s possible to make soy, for example, resistant to the broadspectrum herbicide glyphosate— so the poison can be deployed en masse across the soybean fields. And glyphosate has only one goal: to kill plants. Since GM plants are able to grow and thrive despite a continual rain of herbicide, genetic modification can lead to uninhibited use of substances like glyphosate. The problem: The toxin is gradually deposited in these resistant plants and makes its way into the feed of cattle and pigs bound for slaughter and thereby ends up on our plates. And this might be dangerous—even for humans. Glyphosate is strongly suspected of damaging intestinal flora so harmful pathogens can no longer be held at bay: Of particular concern is the bacteria Clostridium botulinum— which causes botulism. Botulinum neurotoxin is one of the most lethal substances on Earth— so much so that 50 grams would be enough to wipe out all humankind.
Are you CHOMPING DOWN on SHEEP SWEAT?
Sheep have an integrated function for the maintenance of their wool. A waxy substance called lanolin is secreted from sebaceous glands in the skin. The substance is obtained by washing out sheep’s wool with chemicals after it has been sheared. The food industry is interested in it for another reason: The compound can bind many times its own weight in water (water-in-oil emulsion). But how does this secretion from sheep skin end up in our mouths? Simple: Lanolin—which is primarily used in cosmetics—may be used as a food additive in chewing gum. That’s not only unsavory, it can be dangerous: When the sheep’s wool is washed out the surfactants can remain and cause allergic reactions.
Why are CHIN CHINESE BABIES GROWING B BREASTS?
In the U.S.U.S the use of hormones in livestocklivesto farming is permitted. Sex hormones,hor for instance, are given to synchronize or halt estrous cycles. Growth enhancers like ractopamine present still more threats to health. Use of these has been permitted by the World Trade Organization ( WTO) since 2012, but they are banned in Europe. For good reason: Nobody knows exactly how dangerous the systematic use of growth hormones is. Reliable studies on the subject are still in short supply. But in China cases have been recorded of infant females growing breasts after being fed with milk powder derived from hormone-treated cows. And animal studies have indicated that growth hormones can cause malformation of sexual organs. As controversy continues to swirl in the U.S. about hormones in meat, the issue may also crop up on Europe’s horizon: While the use of growth hormones in feed is forbidden in Europe as is import of hormone-treated meat, the proposed free trade agreement ( TTIP) between the U.S. and Europe could result in the renegotiation of such import restrictions.
What does FI FIRE RETARDANTRETARDAN taste like?
If you’ve drunk citrus-flavored soft drinks in the U.S. in recent years, you probably already know. That’s because brominated vegetable oil isn’t just a substance that beverage manufacturers include in drinks so the flavor gets evenly distributed— it’s also used as a flame retardant in upholstered furniture and garments that protect against fire. The oil is banned throughout the European Union because it is associated with developmental issues, neurological damage, and infertility. But in the U.S. that is not the case; BVO has been used in the soft drink industry since 1931 and the FDA considers
the substance to be safe for use as a food additive, though restrictions exist regarding the concentration. But if the TTIP free trade agreement is approved, Europeans might also be imbibing BVO in their fizzy drinks.
How does the PESTICIDE TRICK wor work?
In the U.S U.S. we’ve long been used to all the fruit and vegetables on store shelvesshe looking totally immaculate. We have the widespread usage of pesticides to thank above all else for those giant bright red peppers. But pesticides have a drawback: They can make us ill—even very ill. Studies have pointed out possible consequences: cancer, infertility, autism, asthma, and Alzheimer’s. The good news: The Environmental Protection Agency evaluates all the pesticides in use and establishes a threshold for the residue of each one. The bad news: Pesticide rules are subject to a loophole, regarding the so- called “pesticide cocktails.” The trick: While the EPA sets a limit for how much of each pesticide can be present in a food item, there is no limit to how many pesticides can be used. Thus limits can be bypassed by combining various pesticides into a “cocktail”—each pesticide comes in under the limit, but altogether they yield a high concentration of toxins. Around 25% of food products that do not exhibit high single-pesticide values are treated with concoctions. Food chemists warn of dangerous interactions, but the use is legal and intensifies long-term accumulation.
How do you F FERTILIZE with NEUR NEUROTOXINS?
Have you ever wondered how most of the tomatoes, peppers, or grapes in t the supermarkets can be about the same size? The fact is, in nature almost nothing grows so uniformly. How does the food industry do it? The answer is sobering: by using chemical growth regulators. One of these is ethephon, and it is used to maximize revenue potential. In the U.S. the substance is permitted for use on a range of produce, from apples and grapes to walnuts and wheat. The problem: Ethephon acts like a neurotoxin that can lead to acute health problems even in small doses (1.65 mg per kg). Symptoms include diarrhea, irritation of the skin and mucous membranes, as well as neurological damage ( manifesting as depression or motor impairment).
Why don’t BU BURGERS get MOLDY MOLDY?
In 1999 a very interesting—but quite unint unintentional—experiment began. AmA man from Utah buys two burgers. He eats one and puts the other in his jacket pocket for later—and forgets about it for a year or so. But against all expectations the burger is not spoiled—it looks exactly the same as it did on the day he purchased it. How can that be? The answer: No one knows. The reason likely lies in the burger itself. It doesn’t pertain to the traces of 38 pesticides that according to the FDA are found in every burger patty. The key is salt! The burger meat is so heavily salted that it does not spoil. That’s why a cheeseburger can still be sold as fresh even after it’s been sitting on the counter of a fast-food restaurant unrefrigerated for several hours. i
i CAKE Fatty foods often contain butylated hydroxyanisole. In large quantities it can trigger an extreme degree of cyanosis.