Who’s ready for some horror stories about the way food is processed? Some people don’t really want to know how the sausage gets made because frankly, it’s gross.
From rodent-based food additives to chemical preservatives to non-food elements showing up on our plates, we usually have no idea what actually goes down at the manufacturer. Time to look behind the curtain, people. Let go through and find out how these foods are made.
1. canned mushrooms
Canned mushrooms should be a reliable shortcut when you’re cooking dinner, but it’s not worth it when you realize that the FDA has specified that each can may legally contain 20 or more maggots.
Yep, maggots – those wiggly white worms that grow up in rotting meat, or on mushrooms apparently. There are acceptable levels of insects, rodent hairs, and other “objectionable material” for all of our processed foods, but mushrooms happen to be one of the worst offenders.
2. chicken nuggets
The rumor that chicken nuggets are made with pink slime is false, but the real process for making them isn’t too much better.
The meat that they are based on is in fact ground chicken breast. But, it only makes up about 50% of the nugget – the rest is ground chicken skin, bone, blood vessels, and connective tissues, plus fat. They also contain some salt, sugar, starch, and “binders and fillers”, whatever they are.
3. coffee creamer
Liquid non-dairy creamers have the color and consistency of cream but are entirely made of oil. That velvety mouthfeel is achieved with thickening agents and emulsifiers such as carrageenan, an ingredient that tends to cause inflammation and digestive issues.
Other texturizers include cellulose gel and cellulose gum, tasty fillers derived from wood pulp or cotton. Powdered creamers are so removed from actual cream that they are flammable, and that’s on top of tasting disgusting.
4. mountain dew
Long the favorite of caffeine junkies everywhere, Mountain Dew is so chemical-laden that you wouldn’t want to drink the dew off of any mountain it came from. That powerful citrus flavor is created with a chemical called brominated vegetable oil or BVO.
And by the way, BVO is also used as a flame retardant. Besides Mountain Dew, it shows up in the sodas Squirt, Fanta Orange, Sunkist Pineapple, Gatorade Thirst Quencher Orange, Powerade Strawberry Lemonade, and Fresca Original Citrus.
BVO has been banned in foods from Europe and Japan, but not the good old USA. Overexposure to BVO had led some people to need medical attention for skin lesions, memory loss, and nerve disorders. Get your caffeine some other way.