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Christina Brinson, Staff Member

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Exposed!!!

The ugly truth behind the foods we’ve have eaten our whole life without knowing.

Many of us seem to be unaware of the contents of the food we eat. However, sometimes you may prefer not to know. It can be pretty shocking to find out what you’ve been eating your whole life has a bizarre and flat out “just wrong” list of ingredients. Most of us like Jell-O; it’s giggly and fun to eat. We know it’s made from gelatin but have we really ever asked what is gelatin from? The answer is pigskin! That’s right, pigskin. Who would’ve thought that simple dessert would have such a surprising secret. This might be most shocking to vegetarians and vegans. Another product we don’t think about is Carmine, better known as red food dye. According to Amanda Gardner from Health magazine this dye comes from boiled cochineal bugs (a type of beetle). While Business Insider shocks us with the icky truth that from eating cakes, tomato products, candies, or jams we probably ingest 1 pound of red dye in our life. Which means that we may have eaten an estimated 70,000 cochineal beetles!

Also, if you thought our meat was safe, think again. Mechanically Separated Meat, more commonly known from the media as “White Slime”, is the process of putting the carcass of  animal (usually the bones with scraps of meat left on them) through a high-pressured machine. The result is very unappetizing as it includes bone, nerves, bone marrow, blood vessels, and scraps of meat. It began in the 1950s when companies tried to reduce the waste of product. By the sixties machines were made for this process and in the seventies MSM was very popular all over the world! However, in 1982 MSM started to be questioned for its health risks, and this limited the amount that was allowed in foods. Thankfully in 2004, the Food Safety Inspection Service’s regulations prohibited the use of “white slime” in human food. However, other odd systems of preserving our meat such as filling meat containers with carbon monoxide to make it look more appealing are still in place.

Another food you may want to be cautious about is mushrooms. According to the FDA 15 or more maggots are allowed in 100 grams of drained mushrooms! Believe it or not, an average of 75 mites can be included in mushrooms as well. Even The New York Times wrote an article that focuses on the regulations of what goes in our food from the FDA. This, by the way, is not for those of you who are squeamish!

This is only a small briefing of what goes on behind the scenes of our food system. I challenge you to delve into the process of how your food came to be sitting in your fridge. Hopefully you’ll choose more carefully when buying your next bite!

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