There’s some pretty foul things in the processed food we eat – especially food sold commercially. If you don’t see what’s going into your food, you can be pretty sure there’s gross stuff in there. Understanding what goes into your food may just turn your stomach the next time you sit down to enjoy a tasty meal of processed food:
Most people rush to the counter to snag a bowl of Jell-O, but what they’re eating is probably pig-skin. That’s right, the gelatin that makes your Jell-O wobble so beautifully is usually taken from pig skin – though other animal skins are used. Gelatin can also be found in candies, yoghurt, many types of frosted cereal, and even some sour creams.
This gas is odorless and colorless, but the deadly gas is used to pack your meat. It is piped into the packaging to keep the meat nice and red, and it can actually mask the fact that the meat has spoiled.
Mechanically Separated Meat
“Meat products” are the leftovers of meat, but it’s mechanically separated meat that’s really the gross stuff. The meat that’s still on the bones is usually shoved through a sieve at high pressure, and it turns into a pink paste-like substance that’s as gross as it sounds. It’s then used to make hot dogs and other processed meats, but the bits of bone and cartilage in the “meat” are pretty awful!
You know that processed food can be dangerous and unhealthy, but the meat you eat may be as well. Salt-water is injected into the meat to “plump it up”, or make it look larger than it is, weigh more than it really should, and taste better. Plumped chicken can contain more than 300 milligrams of heart-stopping sodium.
Viruses are actually sprayed on processed food these days, as they help to kill off the bacteria that would spoil the food. The good news is that they don’t actually bother the human body too much, but it’s a pretty awful though to consider that you’re eating a helping of viruses with your baloney sandwich.
You know how your candies usually look so bright and shiny? This is shellac, a substance that comes from an insect- the Kerria lacca insect from Thailand. It may look beautiful, but consider the fact that you’re eating bug secretions – gross!
Pink slime is similar to mechanically separated meat, except the meat and bones are spun through a centrifuge rather than being pushed through a strainer. The fat on the meat is melted, the meat is spun, and the result is a pretty awful-looking pink slime that is added to around 10 billion pounds of ground beef every year. It’s treated with ammonia before being added, which makes it even more awful!
Ammonia isn’t just used to clean your toilets, but it’s also used to kill germs on your meat. Ammonia helps to stop the meat from spooling during the processing, so you’re basically eating the chemical when you bite into that tasty pre-packaged burger.
BPA – or Bisephenol A – is a chemical that is used in the lining of cans and plastics – though most modern plastics have had the BPA removed. When acidic foods – such as canned tomatoes – come in contact with the BPA, it’s likely that it will leak into the processed food. BPA is linked to prostate and brain problems – particularly in small children.
Do you know what’s in your soda? Aside from all the sugar and carbonation, there’s sodium benzoate – the thing that gives your soda the sting. The preservative is believed to be safe by the FDA (meaning it’s not going to end up killing you), but it has been linked to hyperactivity in kids. It’s not just in your soft drinks, but it’s in your juices, jams, dressings, pickles (woe unto us!), and even condiments.