Unless you're one of those people who likes to keep tabs on all the ingredients in the foods they consume on a daily basis, you're probably not aware of every little thing you eat, including the more unsavory components.
Fruit and vegetables are not likely to contain many nasty surprises compared to processed foods like sandwiches from grocery stores, cakes, and microwaveable ready meals, but that's where your luck ends.
And while you might have been vaguely aware that there are some "extra" bits and pieces in the items you purchase during your weekly shop, you probably didn't know just how nasty and offputting some of them really are.
Here are 10 weird foods you'd be crazy to try:
So, without further ado, here are the most disgusting things you definitely didn't know you were eating:
1. Secretions from beaver anal glands
Okay, brace yourselves for this one because it's quite sickening.
So there's an additive called castoreum which is often found in candy, alcohol, ice cream, chewing gum, cakes, meat products and raspberry flavoring. Weirdly enough, this very additive is found in a pretty unsavory source - beaver anal glands. Female beavers use this to attract a mate by marking their territory. It's usually listed as "natural flavoring" in the list of ingredients so it's no wonder hardly anyone knows about it.
Even the mere thought of chowing down on a piece of wood is painful (imagine all the splinters you'd get in your mouth!) But the thing is, cellulose, a dietary fiber which is extracted from wood, is used to reduce the amount of fat in food items such as bread and wraps.
Now, we've all been in the position where we've found a hair in our meal out in a restaurant, but it gets much worse than that. L-Cysteine is an amino acid found in human hair, pig hair and duck feathers. The idea of consuming L-Cysteine is not a very appealing one and yet it is often used as a flavor enhancer in pizza, bagels, and cake.
4. Oil or coal tar
While coal tar is not as widely used in food coloring as it was in the past, oil is still used as an alternative. It is found in most foods which are dyed artificially, and according to a Huffington Post report, it is found in raw materials in petroleum. This kind of oil is most commonly found in noodles, crackers, frozen fish and fast food.
Antifreeze (propylene glycol) may be useful as far as your car is concerned but it's certainly not very appetizing. However, it is often used in cakes to stop fat clumping together. Propylene glycol is also used as a flavor enhancer in baked goods and frozen desserts.
Cochineal, a kind of food coloring, is actually made by drying or boiling cochineal beetles. It is often used in various cakes.
You might want to avoid these foods if you have problems with acne:
We all love gummy bears right? Especially when we were kids. Well, it turns out that they're essentially just a combination of sugar, flavoring, and wax. Yes, that's right there is wax (no not ear or candle wax) in these yummy treats. It's carnauba wax to be specific - the kind of wax that's used to shine your car.
8. Flame retardant
Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO) is found in citrus soft drinks such as Mountain Dew. And manufacturers use it to prevent flavors from separating and rising up to the surface. But the truth is, it is potentially dangerous and when drunk excessively, it can lead to seizures.
Borax is a cleaning powder brand that is used to clean dishes, clothes, the kitchen and the bathroom. It's unlikely that you've ever consumed it unless, of course, you're "privileged" enough to have eaten caviar which it's supposed to preserve.
10. Jet fuel
BHT is a jet fuel additive which is also classified as an antioxidant and is used to preserve certain foods such as cereal.
So there you have it, it turns out you're unknowingly putting a lot of things in your mouth that you usually wouldn't.