1. Pink slime, which is the product of ammonia-treated beef, is used as a filler in beef products.
After meat is treated with ammonium hydroxide, it’s put through an apparatus to produce a lean meat product called Lean Finely Textured Beef by the FDA, but it’s more well-known to the public as pink slime. It’s often added to ground beef to reduce its overall fat content.
2. Hair, skin, nails and different kinds of meat can be found in hot dogs.
Although it was alleged in 2015 that hot dogs were found to contain traces of human DNA, the headlines were ultimately dismissed as being misleading. The products tested were found to contain traces of human hair, skin, and nails.
3. Certain vanilla flavors come from glands located next to a beaver’s butt.
Castoreum is an ingredient that’s made with secretions from glands located next to a male or female beaver’s anus. Castoreum has been used in perfumes and as a food additive since the beginning of the 20th Century. Apparently, the brown, fragrant slime smells wonderful…
4. Jelly beans are often coated in insect secretions.
Shellac is the stuff that’s usually used to coat jelly beans. The rather gross thing about it, however, is that it’s made out of a secretion made by the female Kerria lacca insect, which is found in India and Thailand. Shellac is often described as confectioner's glaze or food additive E904 on food labels.
5. Ammonia is used to kill bacteria in low-grade beef.
Ammonia, as in the stuff that’s in your household cleaning products, is often added to meat as an antimicrobial agent. This practice is deemed safe by the FDA.
6. Canned mushrooms are allowed to contain maggots.
The FDA says that it’s tolerable for there to be “over 20 or more maggots of any size per 100 grams of drained mushrooms” before it can be deemed defective.
7. Figs tend to have at least one dead wasp inside of them.
Seeing as figs are actually flowers as opposed to being fruits, they need to be pollinated, and that’s where the warm and fuzzy fig wasp comes in. Female fig wasps lay their larvae inside of male figs, then die inside of them before relying on her female babies to burrow out and continue the cycle.
The only problem is that they end up reproducing inside female figs, which can’t support a wasp’s reproductive cycle, resulting in them dying there. Luckily, female figs have the ability to break down a wasp carcass using an enzyme called ficin.
8. Gummy candy is often made from pigskin, cattle bones and cattle hide.
Gelatin is a virtually colorless and tasteless water-soluble protein that’s prepared from collagen. The collagen in question is extracted from the skin, bones and connective tissues of animals, usually pigs and cattle.
9. Red food dye is sometimes made out of crushed beetles.
If you see carmine or natural red 4 written on a food label, then you should know that the food coloring contained in the item is made from – wait for it – ground up and boiled cochineal bugs. Starbucks vowed to stop using cochineal extract back in 2012, after vegetarians went berserk when they found out what was in their Strawberry and Crème Frapuccino.
10. The average jar of peanut butter contains four rodent hairs.
The American Food and Drug Administration stipulates that a typical jar of peanut butter can contain up one rodent hair, as well as an average of 30 or more insect fragments per 100 grams of peanut butter before it’s deemed unsanitary.