The Horrifying Truth About Food

Warning: Do not eat when reading this.


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Make sure to check the ingredients to know what foods to avoid.

Juliette Fournier, Photojournalist

Most people know that some foods are better than others. However, not many realized that some of the delicious foods eaten every day can also contain strange ingredients that are extremely unappetizing and could potentially be harmful.

For all the meat lovers out there, here’s some bad news. In some meats and hot dogs, there is a substance known as pink slime. This is leftover meat sometimes containing crushed bones and cartilage from the animal, which can cause mad cow disease. Moreover, some animals also are treated with medicine and staph bacteria. One staph bacteria, called MRSA strain, is a flesh-eating bacteria. Horridly, this can cause an infection in a person’s body or even death. About nineteen thousand people are killed per year due to MRSA. These problems can be avoided by sticking to grass-fed meat.

Milk is another problematic food with harmful substances. Cows are often injected with rBST and/or rBGH growth hormones to make them produce more milk. Not only is this harmful to the cows but it is harmful to humans as well. These hormones can cause pus to be inside the milk that people consume, and they have been linked with some forms of cancer. Stay away from inorganic milk or milk that does not specifically mention “rBST free.”

Obviously, sweets are unhealthy due to their sugar content but they also contain disgusting ingredients. Some candies, such as jelly beans or any hard-coated candies, are coated in something called shellac, a sticky liquid produced by bugs. Although it is not necessarily harmful, it’s not something that should be in food. Red food coloring is another food that contains a bug called the cochineal insect. It can be found in some candies, yogurts, juices, pastries, and numerous others.

Another ingredient, castoreum, can also be found in various sweets and gum to enhance strawberry and vanilla artificial flavors. It is actually glands that come from beaver glands. In addition, citrus-flavored sodas can include bromine, a flame retardant used for furniture. This product can cause skin lesions and memory loss. Fortunately, some soda companies have stopped using bromine in their drinks.

These various substances can be found throughout much of the food around us. Finding out that these are inside everyday meals made Sarah Ruggles (10) “question the food [she] eats and what’s in it.” Food should be enjoyed by everyone, and no one should have to question whether it’s safe to eat.