42 of the Most Disgusting Things In Your Food, Part 1

It’s no secret there are some pretty exotic dishes out there. I guess “exotic” depends on your culinary repertoire, but I don’t think many people consider things like cow’s tongue, snails, and chocolate covered crickets an every day food affair.

But that’s not what we’re talking about here. These are things that you can find in your food that I’d be willing to bet you wish weren’t there. Things like fertilizer, viruses, mold, beetles, and more. The worst part? These disgusting things are actually allowed to be in your food.

Click through to see some of the most disgusting things you didn’t know you were eating. (Find Part 2 here.)

  • Nasty Stuff in Your Food 1 of 22
    Nasty Stuff in Your Food
    Warning: you may wish you never knew this.
  • Castoreum 2 of 22
    Beaver anal glands used as berry or vanilla flavoring in some pudding and gelatin. It's usually listed on the label as "natural flavoring". While it is natural, it's also gross. Photo credit: Pixabay
  • Titanium dioxide 3 of 22
    Titanium dioxide
    A paint pigment. It's also used in sun block. Found in salad dressing and coffee creamers to make them whiter. Photo credit: iStockphoto
  • Sodium bisulfate 4 of 22
    Sodium bisulfate
    A chemical used to extend shelf life in chips and other snacks. It's also used in toilet bowl cleaner

    Photo credit: iStockphoto
  • Silicon dioxide/silica 5 of 22
    Silicon dioxide/silica
    A sand used as an anti-caking agent and found in fast food meat fillings. Photo credit: iStockphoto
  • Caramel coloring 6 of 22
    Caramel coloring
    Artificially made with ammonia and sulfites, which have been associated with lung, liver, and thyroid cancer in animals. It's on California's list of substances known to cause cancer. You can find it in dark colas as well as some soy sauces and beers. Photo credit: iStockphoto
  • Blue #2 7 of 22
    Blue #2
    An indigo-colored dye that causes brain gliomas (tumors) in rats. Photo credit: iStockphoto
  • Potassium bromate 8 of 22
    Potassium bromate
    An oxidizing agent used to make some breads, which has shown to be carcinogenic. Photo credit: Pixabay
  • Carrageenan 9 of 22
    A gel extracted from seaweed that's used as a thickener. It's used in some meat and dairy products, as well as some soy, almond, and coconut milks. While seaweed doesn't sound too bad, it's been linked with colitis (a gastrointestinal disease) and allergic reactions. Photo credit: Pixabay
  • Interesterified fat 10 of 22
    Interesterified fat
    A fat made to replace trans fats, although early studies show they probably have similar negative side effects. Photo credit: iStockphoto
  • Acesulfame potassium 11 of 22
    Acesulfame potassium
    A calorie free substitute also known as Ace-K, Sunnet, or Sweet One. It's 200 times sweeter than sugar. It can cause tumors and trigger other medical disorders. Photo credit: Pixabay
  • Glyphosphate 12 of 22
    A broad-spectrum herbicide used to kill weeds that's used on corn and soy crops. It's linked to obesity, birth defects, learning disabilities, and infertility. Photo credit: Pixabay
  • Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) 13 of 22
    Brominated vegetable oil (BVO)
    A flame retardant chemical found in citrus drinks like Mountain Dew, Fanta orange, and Gatorade. Too much bromide can lead to skin lesions, nerve disorders, and memory loss. BVO can also raise cholesterol and triglycerides. Photo credit: Pixabay
  • Shellac 14 of 22
    The same stuff that's used to make furniture shiny is also used to make candy and fruit shiny. Oh, and it comes from the Lac beetle. Photo credit: Pixabay
  • L-cysteine 15 of 22
    An amino acid made from hog or human hair and duck feathers used to help the texture of baked goods. Photo credits: Pixabay
  • Cellulose 16 of 22
    A nice name for sawdust. Plant fibers and wood pulp used to make ice cream creamier and keep shredded cheese from getting stuck in clumps. It can also help thicken foods like chocolate milk. Photo credit: Pixabay
  • Lanolin 17 of 22
    The same oil from sheep that's used in lotions and other beauty products is also used to soften chewing gum. Photo credit: Pixabay
  • Ammonia 18 of 22
    More commonly used as a strong cleaner, ammonia is alsofound in some ground beef, peanut butter, and chips. Photo credit: Pixabay
  • Cloned cow stomach 19 of 22
    Cloned cow stomach
    A cheaper, genetically modified alternative for rennet from calves' stomachs for making cheese. Photo credit: Pixabay
  • Paraben 20 of 22
    You might recognize the name paraben as something you've been told to avoid in beauty products. Well, they're in your food too, as a preservative. Certain types of parabens have caused reproductive issues in rats. All I know is that if I don't it on my face, I certainly don't want it in my body. Photo credit: Pixabay
  • MRSA 21 of 22
    The deadly antibiotic-resistant virus? Yeah, it's been found in meat. A lot of it. Photo credit: Pixabay
  • Isinglass 22 of 22
    Dried fish bladder used to give beer a golden color. Oy. Photo credit: Pixabay

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