12 Deeply Unsettling Food Facts You Wish You Didn’t Know

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1. Jars of peanut butter contain insect fragments and rodent hair.

According to the FDA, peanut butter can have 30 or more insect fragments per 100 grams and one or more rodent hairs for every 100 grams.

So, an 18-ounce jar has 510 grams, meaning that every jar is allowed to have 150-plus insect fragments and five or more rodent hairs.

2. On average, the estimated calories in restaurant food have 100 more calories than they claim.

A recent study out of Tufts University found that 20% of foods with listed caloric values are actually 100 calories or more than what was stated on the menu.

3. Packaged meat is often injected with salt water to “plump it up.”

Out of all packaged meats, roughly 30% of poultry, 15% of beef, and 90% of pork are injected with a water solution to make them appear fuller. Luckily, the USDA is working to get those additives put on labels next year.

4. Babies would need to eat double the amount of manufactured baby food to get the same nutrients as a homemade meal offers.

A study by the University of Glasgow found that most manufactured baby foods — including those by Cow & Gate, Heinz, and Ella’s Kitchen — have much fewer nutrients than homemade meals. Additionally, many contain excess sugar, and babies would need to eat twice as much to get the same amount of energy and protein that meals prepped at home offer.

5. If your NFL team loses a game, you’re more likely to binge on junk food.

That’s according to a recent study that found cities whose football team had lost a game were more likely to up their saturated fat and calorie intake.

6. “Natural” vanilla, strawberry, and raspberry flavoring comes from a beaver’s anal gland.

 

The actual additive is called castoreum, which is the excrement from a beaver’s castor sacs. It’s not just used in some ice creams, it’s also an additive in ice tea, yogurt, gelatin, fruit-flavored drinks, and candy. Though, to be fair to castoreum, it’s FDA approved…

7. Candy corn is covered in insect secretions.

Candy corn, chewing gum, coffee beans, and jelly beans are covered in something called shellac, which comes from the secretions of the female Kerria lacca, an insect in Thailand. (It’s what gives the candy that shiny glow.) Notably, M&Ms is one hard candy that doesn’t use the stuff.

8. A full can of Coke has 9 teaspoons of sugar, which is more sugar than you’re meant to have in an entire day.

On average, a woman is recommended to have only 6 teaspoons a day, and men are recommended to stick to 9. Incidentally, it would take you 45 minutes of ballroom dancing to work off the calories in that can.

9. Canned pineapple on average contains 20% moldy fruit.

The FDA allows certain defects in food to slide by, so long as they aren’t hazardous to your health. And this particular one is caused by processing mold contamination.

10. Farm-raised salmon is dyed pink, because it’s normally gray.

While wild salmon gets that pretty pink color from its diet of krill, 95% of the Atlantic salmon that’s sold in grocery stores is farm-raised and dyed a shade of pink. The fish are fed pellets filled with dye to get their flesh the color of…flesh.

11. Cheddar cheese is dyed orange.

This one probably makes a lot of sense when you remember that milk, where cheese comes from, is not orange. Cheese dyeing started in the 16th century when farmers started to dye low-fat cheese orange with carrot juice to make it appear like more high-fat cheese, which commanded a higher price. Today, cheddar is turned orange with a vegetable dye called annatto.

12. 25% of bottled water is just tap water.

The Natural Resources Defense Council conducted a four-year review of the bottled water industry, and found that 25% of bottled water is nothing more than tap water in a bottle.

A further study from the World Wildlife Fund International found that “bottled water may be no safer or healthier than tap water, while selling for up to 1,000 times the price.”

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