Food additives they don’t tell you about

If you ever wonder about all the things they don’t tell you about on those nutritional information stickers, well… here is a list of “5 Horrifying Food Additives You’ve Probably Eaten Today.”

Carmine can also be identified on food labels as Crimson Lake, Cochineal, Natural Red 4, C.I. 75470 or E120. We mention that because we’re guessing you’ll want to check for it in the future after reading this.

Oh, and that thing we said about how we’d stop mentioning that you eat bugs? We totally lied. If you’re eating something red right now, or if you have recently, have a gander at the label.

There is a strong chance it was made with carmine. And what’s that? Are you sitting down?

Carmine is made, literally, from ground-up cochineal insects, which is just a more harrowing way of saying mashed red beetles. Because you’re dying to know more, the insects are killed by exposure to heat or immersion in hot water and then dried. Because the abdomen region that houses the fertilized eggs contains the most carmine, it is separated from the rest of the body, ground into a powder and cooked at high temperatures to extract the maximum amount of color.

To me the real problem here is not that we’re eating insects and whatnot, it’s the fact that these things are kept under wraps using code-words like “natural flavors.” Just more lies at your local grocery store.

7 thoughts on “Food additives they don’t tell you about

  1. Tristan January 14, 2009 at 05:16

    This is well known. There are artificial alternatives of course.

    It is natural – in the sense that its not synthesised, so no lie there, there’s just several classification systems to name these things.
    I know it as E120 (being from Europe) and cochineal. The others I would probably know if I were concerned about it.

    Its one of those things people tell you when you’re young, trying to gross you out. Vegetarians know about it so they can avoid it. I don’t use it as a colouring because my wife thinks its gross, we use an artificial version.

    No fuss to be made, except some people don’t know about it – just as some people (admittedly far fewer) don’t know that milk comes from cows (or beef for that matter).

  2. Francois Tremblay January 14, 2009 at 05:23

    Like I said, my main issue is not the ingredient itself, but the fact that it’s hidden from the average consumer for profit.

  3. Ali January 15, 2009 at 13:50

    happy 19 January (200th birthday of Proudhon) to all anarchists!

  4. Anarcho-pragmatiste January 16, 2009 at 15:17

    What’s your position about GMO labelling?

    I have no problem with GMO’s but I have problem with Monsanto-like property violation.

  5. Francois Tremblay January 16, 2009 at 15:23

    I agree with that position as well!

    (it seems we’re on a roll of agreement today)

  6. Anarcho-pragmatiste January 16, 2009 at 17:46

    But what about GMO labelling?

  7. Francois Tremblay January 16, 2009 at 23:44

    What about it? My position is that products should be labeled with all the information needed by the consumer.

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