BEAVER. ANAL. GLAND.
You read that correctly. Beaver anal gland. Not something I ever thought about before. Until I was forced to. And those three little words have convinced me that I will never again put anything non-organic, labeled "natural flavors" in my mouth again.
There is a TON of crap in processed foods. That's not really shocking. What is disturbing and shocking is that a company can yell "Natural Flavors" on their labels....and no one, NO ONE, monitors what that means. There are no rules for that phrase. Seems a bit odd. Seems hard to believe. And you will be amazed at what Big Ag is calling natural.
Let's start at the end. Literally.
Beaver Anal Gland (known as castoreum) is what they use for "natural" vanilla and raspberry flavorings. Think back to the last time you had a fruit juice, or pudding, or CAKE MIX and it touted the natural flavoring label and wasn't organic....you may want to keep a bucket next to you if you continue reading. I know I needed one after reading this list. I mean, besides being totally disgusting...what if you're a vegan?
L-cysteine- that word doesn't sound very offensive. Except that it's human hair and feathers. And it's used in BREAD. It's a dough conditioner that makes the bread apparently have better taste and texture (I beg to differ). You know who uses it? SUBWAY. Eat fresh my a$$.
Carmine- crushed abdomen of the female Dactylopius coccus, an African beetle-like insect. It's used as a red dye, in things like ruby red juices, candies, and yogurts (thanks Yoplait and Tropicana). Ummmm. I'll pass.
Above is just the highlights reel. There are a total of 15 things on this particular list....these just happened to be my favorite.
To read the full list from Rodale, and you should, go here!
Carageenan is another one to be on the lookout for. The problem is, this one is actually natural, AND it's used in organic foods (also found in Toms from Maine children's toothpaste). It's made from seaweed and is used to keep foods from separating, but it's been found to cause bowel inflammation, leading to other not so great things.
More about Carageenan, and high fructose corn syrup here.
And really. Is anybody buying those crap commercials stating how corn syrup has gotten a bad rap and it's just as natural and good for you as sugar? So many things wrong with that sentence.
THIS. READ THIS.
I know I'm asking you to read an awful lot of extra stuff in here, but I didn't think this post would be all that effective if it was just me yelling about how awful this stuff was. So I'm backin it up with science. I'll give the highlights from the above. But really you should read these.
"Not-from-concentrate orange juice is processed with “flavor packs” to artificially ensure that each bottle tastes exactly the same." Do you know how pissed I was when I bought a crap ton of oranges in order to make the hubbs some fresh-squeezed oj, and he told me it didn't taste very "orange-y". What the hell?? It was made out of ONLY ORANGES. Then, I read about this. And now, I get it. (I hate oj, always have - until I started squeezing it myself- so I had no idea what he was talking about). And they DON'T HAVE TO TELL YOU IT'S IN THERE. Dirty Liars.
"The canning process for soup is so violent that companies grow huge, super-tough carrots for the soup so they won’t disintegrate." Why? What about soup canning needs to be that violent? And also, most soups are made with MSG, even when they say they are not. Awesometastic.
"Coffee creamer is made of corn syrup and (hydrogenated, trans-fatty) vegetable oils." For the caffeine junkies out there, that will take a cup of coffee anywhere, even when those little I-don't-need-to-be-refrigerated creamers are the only kind available. And all those flavored ones that are refrigerated. Just, don't.
"Shredded cheese is packed with cellulose — aka refined wood pulp — to keep it from clumping." Perfect.
I heart food babe, and here's what she had to say about it. Watch the video. Trust me.
"Givaudan is the largest flavor manufacturing company in the world. They pride themselves on making flavors that are irresistible – starting from mother nature, taking something as simple as a strawberry and then destroying everything mother nature intended for it." "It might be ingenius chemical wizadry to them. But I call it WARFARE. Is it too far to say they are using chemical warfare to slowly kill us one by one...?"
Re-watching this video right now makes me want to punch these ass hats in the throat. SHAKING RAGE. I have to remind myself, a lot, that I am a Christian and I am called to love others. Because most of the time? I want to lock these people in a room and force feed them their chemical flavorings until they get the diseases that are killing our children.
WHY CAN'T WE JUST EAT THE FOOD THAT HAS THAT FLAVOR? You know what tastes a million times better than powdered roast chicken flavor? A ROAST CHICKEN. ARRRRGGGGHHHHHHHH!
But it's all about the benjamins, right?
Am I too white to pull that off?
GRAS- Generally recognized as safe
Did you need more reasons why not to trust the FDA? The above article gives you a bunch more.
"Opium poppies were used by the ancients for pain relief; only when opium was refined and mixed with tobacco in the 17th century did it become addictive. Bolivians have used coca leaves for millennia as a home remedy for aches and pains; it was only when cocaine was refined and concentrated to high doses that it became addictive and poisonous. Even marijuana has beneficial properties, e.g. preventing nausea and vomiting with chemotherapy; 18 states currently allow medicinal use, and Colorado and Washington have adopted recreational-use statutes. What about our food? Paracelsus would argue -- real food is food, but processed food is poison. Literally. "
"First: A substance can become GRAS in two ways: a) "general recognition of safety through experience based on common use in foods requires a substantial history of consumption for food use by a significant number of consumers" 21 CFR 170.30(c); or b) "generally recognized, among experts qualified by scientific training and experience to evaluate its safety, as having been adequately shown through scientific procedures ... to be safe under the conditions of its intended use" 21 CFR 170.30(b). The operative phrase here is "intended use."" GRAS was never intended to give the food industry free reign to add any substance in any amount to our food supply. "
"Second: Before 1997, a food company had to petition the FDA to get a substance on the GRAS list. Now all it has to do is convene a meeting of scientists (paid by the company -- talk about conflicts of interest) to sit in a room and declare a substance is GRAS. And they don't even have to tell the FDA they did it. Of the 10,000 items on the list, 3,000 have never undergone review, and for an estimated 1,000, the FDA was not even notified.""Worse yet, the FDA does not systematically reconsider the safety of GRAS substances as new information becomes available; and even if it wanted to, it couldn't because it has been underfunded by Congress for decades. GRAS has simply become a back door for the food industry to add substances to our food supply without FDA approval."
I'm sure some of you think I've gone all government conspiracy theory. Maybe I have. It's becoming abundantly clear that the big ag companies ARE DESPERATELY trying to hide information- why else would they spend MILLIONS on trying to ensure that GMO food does not have to be labeled? If there's nothing wrong with it, what's the big deal? You label a food when it has nuts in it. And soy. And gluten. So why not GMO? Call me crazy, but I actually like to know what I'm ingesting.
And what I've learned sickens me. Or at least, it did until I did something about it.
So please don't think I'm rude if I refuse to give babygirl the snack you offered her. I sincerely appreciate your generosity. But I CANNOT UN-KNOW this. And I hope you can't either. Because without our dollars buying their business, Big Ag will have to change. Lord knows something has to, or we're gonna find ourselves in even worse shape than we are now.
Have you watched TV lately? Here's the line-up:
Kids! Eat frosted chewey gooey yummies! Drink this obnoxious colored beverage! SO GOOD! Go beg your parents for it!
Are you fat? Do you want your life back? Eat our meal plans! Not a veggie or fruit to be found but all these celebrities are real skinny now! EAT IT! LOOK LIKE THEM!
Accu Check NAAA-NOOOO! You're the one I choose! (YUP. A cheery little jingle for a diabetes blood checker. You know. An awesome little gadget that has a cool new look for all the teens and kids that now need to check their levels due to Type 2 Diabetes).
When did we let the greedy rat bastards completely take over? Let's take our food power back.