6 Questionably True Things That You Didn’t Need To Know
I clicked a link to an article called 6 Disgusting Things You’re Eating (And You Don’t Even Know It!), and was utterly disgusted – but not because of the “omg icky grooosss” factor. Actually, nothing they said was news to me except for the bread/softening agent thing. No, I was disgusted because aside from the rampant fear-mongering (omg no food is safe! everything will give you cancer!), and the body-policing (maybe this will help you stop eating ice cream, you fatty mcfatface), and the typos and grammatical errors (hello, title), it was also, for the most part, fairly bullshit.
You may wish to peruse that atrocity to get a general idea of why I’m so incensed. I’ll wait here.
You’re done? Good. So.
The chewing gum/lanolin thing? Lanolin is in a LOT of stuff. It isn’t “sheep sweat.” And there are no studies that I could find that link chewing gum with breast milk issues.
Cellulose contains sawdust? Really? Are you sure you don’t mean that some cellulose used in (usually low-calorie, you hypocrite) food – mostly bread, by the way – is derived from sawdust? Yeah, that’s a little different. Also, the usage of the word “sawdust” generally conjures up the image of concrete floors cluttered with bent nails, toolboxes, and bootprints. But what sawdust is, literally, is just plant fiber. Just because it’s the stalk of a tree and not the stalk of a broccoli doesn’t mean it’s inherently dirty or bad.
Castoreum? How is that any grosser than gelatin (derived from hooves) or, for that matter eggs (WHICH ARE CHICKEN EMBRYOS, IN CASE YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN). Additionally, it is not used by many major companies, and in fact, only 300 pounds of it are consumed in a year. Let’s compare that to the amount of high fructose corn syrup consumed each year: 9.2 MILLION TONS. Yeah.
Frankly, the closest thing to actual, non-stretched truth is the factoid about the canned mushrooms. All canned vegetables may have some insects in them. The FDA considers a certain amount of different types of “filth” per portion to actually be PART of the food because, as our author states, nature isn’t sterile. It’s not just canned mushrooms, though. It’s all canned vegetables – OH WAIT, IT’S ALL VEGETABLES. Literally any food you can buy is considered clean as long as it maintains a certain ratio of food-to-bugs. Cuz shit happens. The official website says: “The FDA set these action levels because it is economically impractical to grow, harvest, or process raw products that are totally free of non-hazardous, naturally occurring, unavoidable defects. Products harmful to consumers are subject to regulatory action whether or not they exceed the action levels.”
And, more importantly: “The defect levels do no represent an average of the defects that occur in any of the products–the averages are actually much lower. The levels represent limits at which FDA will regard the food product “adulterated”; and subject to enforcement action…”
As evinced by the fact that there isn’t a HUGE UPROAR about bugs in everyone’s food. Seriously, you think we wouldn’t hear about it if someone found goddamn 19 maggots in their 3.5oz can of mushrooms?!
Anyway, you eat stuff you don’t mean to all the time. Depending on your diet, you will consume up to a pound of bugs each year. And you’ve never noticed it (unless you swallow one while biking, eurgh). So why suddenly be grossed out about it now? What about all the OTHER, actually crummy stuff that you eat without meaning to? I’m looking at you, fake sugars and chemical derivatives.
Lastly, this may shock some to hear, but some people eat bugs ON PURPOSE. This isn’t just developing countries or native cultures, either. “A total of 1417 species of insects have been recorded as being eaten by over 3000 ethnic groups.” This includes Americans, Canadians, and New Zealanders. Bugs are very closely related to foods that we pay top dollar for, such as lobster, crab, or shrimp. In short, if you’re eating the right ones, there’s nothing wrong with bugs.
Actually, there’s nothing wrong with most of the things she listed (except for the jellybeans thing, chemical colourings aren’t my best friend). If you’ve never cared before, don’t suddenly decide that some foods are “icky” because some misinformed fitness nut on the internet told you they were. Just sayin’.