This is pretty hideous!
Men’s Health magazine ran a piece on
the 5 grossest things we’re eating.
Here’s what they said:
1. Grain Products
Why they’re gross: Many packaged breads and baked goods
contain L-cysteine-a non-essential amino acid made from dissolved human
hair (often from China) or duck feathers (mmmm). Food manufacturers use
the ingredient as a commercial dough conditioner, meant to improve the
texture of breads and baked goods.
Why it’s bad: Eating
something derived from the human body violates the religious and ethical
beliefs of Muslims and vegans. Plus, eew! If you want to avoid
ingesting hair and feathers-and really, who doesn’t?-try eating
unprocessed whole grains like oats and brown rice, and make your own
baked goods whenever possible. (Search: Which whole grains are the healthiest?)
Why it’s gross: Depending on where your shrimp comes
from, it could be tainted with chemicals used to clean filthy
shrimp-farm pens. Just as disgusting, farmed shrimp from overseas is
often full of antibiotics, mouse and rat hair, and pieces of insects
Why it’s bad: Only about 2 percent of all imported
seafood is inspected, meaning this nasty stuff is making its way onto
your plate. Contaminated shrimp tends to come from critters imported
from overseas shrimp farms, so if you’re looking for safer-and more
appetizing-options, choose domestic shrimp. (Search: Make sure you’re eating the healthiest seafood in the sea).
3. Salad Dressing
Why it’s gross: Big food corporations often add the
chemical titanium dioxide-commonly found in paints and sunscreens-to
processed foods like salad dressing, coffee creamers, and canned icing
to make them appear whiter.
Why it’s bad: Titanium
dioxide is a component of the metallic element titanium, a mined
substance that’s sometimes contaminated with toxic lead. Plus, most
white dressings (like cream-based ranch) aren’t great for you anyway.
Both your health and your waistline will fare better if you go with an
olive oil- or vinegar-based salad topper instead. Or, better yet, make
your dressing at home.
4. Jelly Beans
Why it’s gross: Many artificial food dyes-found in
hundreds of everyday foods-are made from petroleum-derived materials.
Food producers use these chemical dyes in cereals and candy to make them
more “fun” for kids, in pickles to make them appear fresher, and in
place of real ingredients in a variety of other packaged foods. Betty
Crocker Carrot Cake Mix, for example, is actually a carrot-free product,
with “carrot flavored pieces” cooked up from corn syrup and artificial
colors Yellow 6 and Red 40.
Why it’s bad: Orange and purple
food dyes have been shown to impair brain function, and other dyes have
been linked to ADHD and behavioral problems in kids, as well as
brain-cell toxicity. And not only are these additives potentially
hazardous, but they’re also a rip-off! It’s cheaper for food companies
to use fake dyes in place of real ingredients, so you end up with food
frauds like Tropicana Twister Cherry Berry Blast, a “juice” product
without a trace of cherry or berry juice (check out our full list of the 20 Worst Drinks in America). Get your brightly colored foods from the produce aisle only!
5. Canned Mushrooms
Why they’re gross: The FDA legally allows 19
maggots—tiny, rice-shaped fly larvae that feast on rotting foods—and 74
mites in every 3.5-ounce can of mushrooms. Bon appetit!
Why it’s bad: While
maggots do have their place in the medical world—they can help heal
ulcers and other wounds—most of us would agree that they don’t have a
place in our mouths. Opt for fresh mushrooms instead, and if you need
another reason to ditch canned goods, consider this: Most are lined with
bisphenol A (or BPA), a plastic chemical that causes unnatural hormonal
changes linked to heart attacks, obesity, and certain cancers.