10 of the most bizarre secret ingredients you don’t know are in your everyday things.
Woah. Who knew.
1. Ice Cream
Take a lick of that drippy, refreshing... beaver secretion? Yeah, that's right. The male North American beaver marks its territory by urinating on things. Along with the urine, it secretes a liquid called castoreum, which gives off a sweet scent. Castoreum also enhances the intensity of vanilla flavor, which is why this extract, made in the beavers anal glands, is used to flavor vanilla ice cream. (Its not listed in the ingredientsits one of the natural flavors.) Trappers harvest the scent glands and sell them to additive companies.
2/10. Shredded cheese
Get ready for a big one! Cellulose, or virgin wood pulp that is more commonly identified as sawdust, is an ingredient found in shredded cheese. It keeps the shreds from clumping up. Cellulose also appears in Kraft Parmesan Cheese.
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A multivitamin is a good way to start your day off right. But an ingredient you won't find on the bottle is sheep oil.
If you take a multivitamin supplement that contains Vitamin D3and most commercially available adult vitamins doyoure also consuming a byproduct of wool. The vitamin contains a chemical called cholecalciferol, a derivative of lanolin, a waxy oil that is extracted from sheeps wool.
4/10. Artificial fire logs.
Chestnuts roasting on the open fire? More like peanuts roasting on the open fire. Literally. If you have a peanut allergy, you might want to stay away from light-and-burn artificial fireplace logs. The composite quick-burn material contains peanut shells and skins, which burn and become airborne in the smoke, and then can be inhaled.
Check out some more weird ingredients on the next page!
5/10. Thin plastic shopping bags
Do you like carrying your groceries in a nice little pouch of animal fat? Plastic grocery bags are manufactured with an innate slipping agent to reduce friction, allowing the bags to be grabbed easily and opened without sticking to each other or themselves. What makes the best slipping agent? Animal fat.
6/10. McGriddle Sandwiches
How's your hair remover taste? Both the maple syrup-flavored griddle cakes and the egg patty of this breakfast sandwich contain sodium acid pyrophosphate. Generally regarded as safe by the FDA, its used to maintain color and moisture in protein-heavy products (like eggs) and acts as a cheap alternative to yeast in manufactured baked goods: Coupled with baking soda, it makes bread rise. Elsewhere, sodium acid pyrophosphate aids the removal of hair, dandruff, and feathers in hog and poultry processing. Its also an effective stain remover, particularly when applied to leather goods.
Continue to the next page for more bizarre ingredients!
7/10. Healthcare products.
Does your pain and itch cream create a warm, soothing sensation? It must be all the pepper juice! Oleoresin capsicum is the active ingredient in pepper spraywhen you spray the stuff in a bad guys eyes, oleoresin capsicum is what makes his eyes burn, swell, and redden. That same ingredient is present in personal products that create a warming sensation to let you know theyre working, like pain and itch creams.
On a hot afternoon, there's nothing better than a nice cold glass of fish bladder. 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.
9/10. Chewing gum
Who knew chewing the oil from a sheep's wool could be so fun! Yep, that's right. Lanolin, a goopy, oily secretion found in sheep's wool, is an FDA-approved additive used to soften chewing gum. It can also be found in cosmetics, sunscreen, and baby products. Unbahhhlievable!
10/10. McDonald's cilantro-lime and orange glaze dressings.
Mmmm, nothing better than drizzling your crunchy salad with insect attractant. Why? These salad dressings and sandwich glazes contain propylene glycol alginate. Its considered safe for human consumption in small dosesbut its illegal to use in cat food, because the FDA doesnt think its safe for cats. Propylene glycol is also used as an agent in bug traps because it both attracts and traps beetles.
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Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.