Food companies might advertise natural flavours, low calories, and vitamins A through Z, but they’re much less likely to promote their use of fish bladders, sand, or human hair.
The cochineal beetle, for instance, is often found in red food dyes used to colour everyday food and drink products, including Starbucks’ Strawberry Frappuccinos and smoothies before the coffee chain phased it out following an uproar from the vegan community.
See what other unsavoury ingredients are in some of your favourite snacks and beverages.
Laura Stampler originally wrote this article.
Between yogurt, maraschino cherries, jams, cakes, and tomato products, you've probably consumed at least one pound of red dye in your life. That means that you've also ingested at least 70,000 cochineal beetles, according to a petition on Change.org.
Isinglass, or dried fish bladder, gives beer its golden glow. The BBC did a whole segment on the substance, which is primarily used in British beers.
Gelatin is made from collagen, which is boiled down animal connective tissue. Today, gelatin most likely is made from pigskin.
Sodium bisulfite is used in most toilet boil cleaning agents. It's also used to extend the shelf-life and bleach out the discoloration of potato chips.
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