Sunscreen in Salad Dressing
Many fast food salad dressings include titanium dioxide. The same chemical that is found in various paints and sunscreens, as well as in typical computer semiconductors.
Fertilizer in Sandwiches
When you have a sandwich at your local diner or fast food restaurant, you might be eating fertilizer. The chemical fertilizer, ammonium sulfate, is added to many commercial sandwich breads and buns in order to feed yeast in the baking process. I mean, what’s a little fertilizer in your food?
Yoga Mats and Shoe Soles
What does a bread bun have in common with your yoga workouts? Why, it’s azodicarbonamide, a chemical found in fast food buns, yoga mats, and the soles of sneakers. But that’s just the tip of the plastic iceberg. Some fast food meals are made up of 70-plus ingredients — most are hard to pronounce, and some are banned as food additives in Europe.
Propylene glycerol is found in antifreeze and, can cause skin and eye irritation. Fast food places use it in their pre-packaged salads to keep the greens crisp.
Beef and Pork in Yogurt
There are many benefits to be had by eating yogurt. It can keep you regular, supply some of your daily calcium and protein, and still tastes like dessert. But no one talks about how many popular brands of yogurt contain stearic acid and glycerin, which come from beef and pork by-products.
Ammonia in Hamburgers
Tainted beef isn’t just disgusting, it’s deadly. The fatty, low-quality meat served at fast food joints is more likely to contain E. coli and salmonella, so it’s treated in ammonia before being cooked and served. Yes, the same ammonia used to clean ovens and floors, and the same ammonia that can be poisonous if ingested, and harmful to exposed skin. If you think a burger smells gross when it’s cooked, imagine the chemical fumes when it’s raw.
Beef Fat in Snacks
When it comes to snack cakes, you really don’t want to know what you’re eating or where it comes from. They’re full of ingredients meant to last at least a month on the convenience store shelf, and can do so because they don’t contain any actual dairy products. Unlike, you know, actual cakes. That creamy center is actually made of animal shortening that contains beef fat.
Wood in Cereal…and Everything Else
Most of what you buy at the grocery store, from syrup to cereal, is made of wood. Cellulose comes in a variety of forms, but it all works the same way. It’s a cheap, organic filler used in place of real ingredients. Plus it adds fiber to meals, so it can be advertised as healthy. The issue isn’t that cellulose is bad for you. It’s that you’re paying for food, but eating wood.
The good news is that L-cysteine, a flavor enhancer and dough softener used in many breads, is all natural. The bad news is that it comes from hair and feathers. If you’re still reading this, the great news, or maybe it’s bad, is that the majority of the hair used, usually comes from humans just like you.
Most of the weird additives in our food are designed to keep them edible, or at least, salable, longer. Some food survival is the product of using silicon dioxide as an anti-caking agent. It is typically used in fast-food buffalo wings, and chili so they can stay in a heater for days at a time.
Many people think that takeout tacos taste like cat food laced with MSG and artificial flavoring. But it’s the rice you should be worried about. It’s covered in dimethylpolysiloxane, a clear, non-flammable chemical also found in adhesives and caulk. Talk about sticky rice.
Shellac in Candy
The shellac found in furniture polish and varnish gets its shine from the secretions of the sap-sucking shellac beetle, Laccifer lacca. That wouldn’t be too gross, if shellac weren’t also used in stuff we ingest. The polish is used to shine apples and give candy, like jelly beans, a nice gleam. Pills and tablets are also coated in shellac so they’re easier to swallow.
Bug Poison in Condiments
Love those fast food condiments? What about glazes for fast food salads? Well, it turns out that many condiments contain propylene glycol alginate. The additive is commonly used as a food thickener and stabilizer, as well as a killing and preserving agent in insect traps and a lubricant in a bunch of inedible treats, like massage oil. Propylene glycol is thus deemed safe for human consumption, but it is illegal to put it in cat food. Sounds like cat food may have higher standards than we thought.