Food For Thought: Warning—Do not read while eating store-bought bread

Let me ask you something…
Would you purposely put a bowl of wood chips in front of your children in the morning, pour some milk on it, hand them a spoon and tell them to eat it?
How about slicing up some pizza topped with human hair clippings, swept off the floor of a barbershop in China? Yummy, right?
Let me tell you, if you knew half of what’s in the stuff you eat on a daily basis, you would probably lock yourself in a greenhouse until you could manage to grow all the food you need to feed yourself and your family for the rest of your days.
Between the stabilizers that are put in bread and bread products to keep it “safe” for human consumption past a certain date, to the chemicals used to rinse meat to “save” us all from E-coli poisoning, as a nation, we ingest some awfully nasty stuff in the run of a day.
I’ll explore this topic more in future posts, but for today, I’d like to tell you about a few common food additives that you probably would like to know that you’re putting into your mouth.
Cellulose. We’re all starting to get the message that we need to have lots of dietary fiber in our diets. This translates to big food companies trying to stuff more “fiber” into their products to get us to buy them. Well, guess what? When you see “cellulose” on your food labels it has most likely been taken from wood pulp or cotton. This won’t really hurt you physically, but when you consider that you paid for food made with wood…well…that hurts in its own way, now, doesn’t it?
L-cysteine. This one really grosses me out, people. I actually don’t want to get into it too much here because it’s seriously disgusting, so feel free to do your own Google search on this one. There is a ton of information out there. L-cysteine is a common ingredient that you’ll find in commercial bread products. It’s actually added to all kinds of baked products because it helps to speed up the process of industrial dough making. It’s found in everything from pastries to pizza. And guess what? It comes from an abundant, natural, and cheap source of protein. Human hair. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.
Cochineal extract and Castoreum. You know that pretty pink color in your Starbucks Strawberries & Creme Frappucino? It comes from bugs. Crushed bugs = cochineal extract. Why they don’t use…oh, I don’t know…strawberries to color their food I will never know. Speaking of ice cream, when you see the word “castoreum” on your “naturally flavored” strawberry or raspberry ice cream container, you’re actually eating a product containing liquid taken from the castor sac of a beaver, combined with beaver urine. It comes from the butts of beavers, folks. Mmmm, mmm, good!
That’s about all of this I can take for now! LOL!
So, learn anything new here today?
What’s for dessert?

PS–You can receive delicious menus (complete with shopping lists!) delivered right to your email inbox by subscribing to Dinner Answers today!

0 Responses

  1. I found you through Flylady!  I am trying to start my family of 5 on healthier eating habits and am told that this is the place to come.
    I really am interested in learning to make my own whole wheat bread but I do not have a bread maker and finances won’t allow for that purchase right now.  Any help would be appreciated!

    1. I have never had a breadmaker and make bread. I use the recipe from Mark Bittman’s “How To Cook Everything” which is really good. If you don’t have a bread machine, make bread on a weekend when you’ll be around all day.

    2.  Making bread is such a simple thing to do, and you don’t need a breakmaker! If you are gone during the day it is possible to have even better quality bread, because the most nutrient rich bread takes many hours to develop. You can start it at night before you go to bed, let it rise over night and knead it in the morning and let it rise again during the day. When you get home from work punch it down one more time, let it rise for about an hour and then bake it. You will use only about a teaspoon of yeast for this and about three/four cups of flour. I mix unbleached white flour and good quality whole wheat flour along with a little sugar, olive oil, salt and water. That’s it! You can gussy it up with rosemary and garlic powder, or sesame seeds on the top but it’s very simple! Let the yeast bloom with some warm water and sugar for about half an hour, mix in the rest of your ingredients and knead for about ten minutes. Let it rise in a large oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap overnight…you could refrigerate it if you prefer. When you get up knead it again for a few minutes and again oil the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. When you get home knead and shape into a loaf pan, let rise for about an hour and then put it in a 400 degree oven for ten minutes, lower heat to 350 and bake for about another half hour. It will be done when you rap on the bottom and it sounds hollow.

  2. Oh GROSS! I am so grateful for my Kitchenaid LOL I have an ice cream maker and honestly, I need to just routinely throw in a batch of ice cream to have on hand! Thank you for all of your dedication and information on keeping our families healthy!

  3. The majority of L-Cysteine was once obtained industrially by hydrolysis of human hair, but in recent years 80% is produced from duck feathers.

    1. At least if it’s produced from human hair there’s no cruelty involved, whereas duck feathers are either torn painfully from the live duck (as in down) or taken from ducks who have already been murdered so we can eat them! Give me the one made from human hair!

  4. Cochineal is used by handspinners to affect a beautiful red color on wool and other spun products. I was grossed out when I first heard that it is being put in food…don’t care if it is “natural”…at least they aren’t lying about that, BUT…I don’t want to eat cruched up bug, even if people in some countries do….Bleeeeeech!!!

  5. Eeew Eeeew!!  Okay, I have been trying to get more natural now I want a list to print out and see what to avoid when I am shopping.  I have a feeling we will be in for BIG changes.  I do have a friend who started to ban anything that had over 5 ingredients and esp. if they couldn’t be pronounced easily.  LOL

  6. If people only knew what they put in their mouths we might just start juicing for every meal. You are what you eat and obviously some of us are beaver asses”!!!!!! Reminds me of the pink slime debate.

  7. Further research found that L-cysteine is now 80% of the time made from duck feathers. Still gross but not human hair. The synthetic rout uses mutant e.coli bacteria.
    For castoreum they forgot vanilla as a flavor that uses it too.

  8. I’m not sure that I see much difference between eating crushed insects and castoreum and eating any animals at all. It’s all pretty disgusting. And check out what gelatine is. The raising of animals for us to eat (and drink their milk, eat their eggs) contributes to global warming, and uses many times more land than would be necessary for plant growing, thus contributing to world starvation. Apart from being appallingly cruel. If the world went vegan it would be a better place.

  9. Luckily I have never seen these ingredients in any food product i have eaten … I’ve seen cellulose in my mascara and in my Konjac sponge but never in something I’ve eaten.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *