Everybody has some foods that they consider to be guilty pleasures. These snacks might not be all that nutritious to eat, but they’re fine if you only enjoy them as a treat every once in a while.
But did you know that, sometimes, even the healthiest foods out there can be hiding some pretty gross stuff? Forget junk food—even some fruits have horrifying secrets!
While you might think you know what’s in the food you eat, you likely don’t know the whole picture. These 20 foods might be tasty, but after reading this you’ll never want to eat them again!
1. Marshmallows: They may taste delicious, but what’s hiding inside of them isn’t. While marshmallows used to be made from plants, they are now made of gelatin. In order to make gelatin, the skin, bones, and hooves of pigs and cows are boiled down. Hope you don’t have plans to enjoy S’mores anytime soon.
2. Ready meals: Food that’s ready to eat is a great option if you’re constantly on the go with no time to cook for yourself. However, they aren’t what they seem. Even the items marketed as “fresh” usually contain products that have been frozen for years before being thawed and cooked for your enjoyment!
3. Vanilla ice cream: Real ice cream is made of a mixture of milk, sugar, cream, and eggs, while mass-produced ice cream from the grocery store often contains a stabilizer called castoreum. That’s a chemical produced by beavers… and it’s secreted through their anal glands to help mark their territory. Yum.
4. Beer: Is there anything better than cracking open a cold one on a hot day? You might want to opt for water instead once you learn that a key ingredient to help make beer more clear, called isinglass, is used in the product… and it comes from dried fish bladders. Still thirsty?
5. Red candy: If you love the taste of red Skittles, you might want to skip this one. Most red candies get their bright color from a dye called carmine, which is actually made of crushed insects. This is not even a joke—go look it up!
6. Jelly beans: You know that bright glossy sheen on your jelly beans? It comes from shellac, an ingredient also found in hairspray and on your car to help make it shine. It comes from a resin found in trees created by insects. Lesson we’ve learned here today? Avoid all candy.
7. Canned mushrooms: Grabbing canned mushrooms might seem like a great shortcut for cooking, but it’s also a shortcut to grossness. The FDA will allow a can of mushrooms on the shelves so long as it contains no more than 20 maggots. That’s right: not “zero,” but “no more than 20.” That’s 20 too many maggots.
8. Packaged beef: If you’ve ever bought beef packaged as “thinly sliced lean beef,” what you’ve actually purchased is known in the industry as “pink slime.” This sludge is processed with quick bursts of ammonia every five seconds to kill bacteria… as well as our desire for burgers.
9. Salad dressing: Sometimes you need a little dressing to make a salad sing. Unfortunately, most salad dressings contain a nanoparticle called titanium dioxide, which turns it white. This nanoparticle is also found in sunscreen. Studies have indicated that overconsumption of the stuff can lead to stomach cancer.
10. Pringles: There isn’t enough potato in Pringles for them to legally be called potato chips. Instead, mostly wheat and corn are used to make these addictive snacks. The factory process is so intense, in fact, that they have virtually no nutritional value at all!
11. Fountain drinks: While nothing quenches quite like a fast food fountain drink, you might want to think twice before diving in. Studies have revealed that 50 percent of fountain drink machines are contaminated with fecal bacteria.
12. McDonald’s McRibs: This rare menu item is a cult favorite for fans of the fast food chain, but did you know that it’s hiding a gross secret? The McRib contains azodicarminamide, a chemical that is also used to make yoga mats. Namaste, McRibbers.
13. Oranges: They may be fruit, but they are still hiding something. “Citrus red 2” is a dye that has been banned in the U.S. for being carcinogenic… except that it’s still sprayed onto oranges to make them look brighter. Orange you glad you knew that?
14. Chocolate bars: The FDA has no problem with your sweet tooth, provided your chocolate bars contain fewer than 60 bug parts and one rodent hair. Frankly, while chocolate is delicious, even one rodent hair is one too many. (And don’t get us started on the bug limbs.)
15. Shredded cheese: If you’ve ever used this stuff on tacos or in other recipes, you might have noticed that it doesn’t melt… it burns. That’s because in spite of being called cheese, “wood pulp” is actually one of its primary ingredients.
16. Chewing gum: Gum is a great way to leave your breath smelling fresh, but it’s also a great way to eat a sheep. That’s right—chewing gum is only chewy because it contains lanolin, a sheep-based product. and if your gum is sheep-free, it’s got rubber in it instead.
17. Sandwich bread: Everyone has a loaf of this around so that they can enjoy a sandwich, but did you know that it contains L-cysteine, which is used to help extend its shelf life? What’s worse: this stuff is made from synthesizing human hair. Ick!
18. Coffee creamer: If you don’t take your coffee black, you should know that liquid creamers aren’t cream at all: they are entirely made of oil. Powder creamers aren’t any better; they’re so far from being cream that they’re actually flammable.
19. Cheese: Ah, yes, sweet, sweet cheese. Safely vegetarian, right? Wrong. Most cheeses contain rennet, which is—prepare to be horrified—an enzyme found inside the stomaches of nursing cows. The only way to get it is by killing the mother.
20. Mountain Dew: Who doesn’t love this citrusy soda? Sadly, it’s not exactly good for you. To keep the citrus flavor from rising to the top, a chemical called BVO is used. This chemical has another purpose: it’s also a serious flame retardant, and you’ve been drinking it.
Can you believe that so many of your favorite foods are actually hiding such disgusting secrets? Chances are you’ll never be able to eat any of them again!
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