7 Things Hidden in Nutrition Labels That You Should Know About
by Matthew Gilligan
Believe it or not, there are a lot of very weird and unexpected things that end up in our food. Things that you probably don’t even want to know about…
But unless you have a background in this kind of stuff, you’re never going to know what a lot of the things on nutrition labels even mean.
After reading this list, you might find yourself inspecting your food labels a little more closely…
Here are some good examples of what I’m talking about…
1. Insects shells on purpose…
This one might be a little hard to swallow (hey o!), but it’s the truth. Some food coloring is used from…wait for it…insect shells.
Starbucks got called out for using it several years ago and stopped, but you’ll still find ingredients made from insect shells in some drinks and candy.
2. Bottoms up!
You might not be ready to hear this, but some beers and wines use isinglass in the filtration process.
What is isinglass? It’s an ingredient that comes from the organs of tropical fish. How does that sound?
Guinness stopped using isinglass in its process because of a public outcry to make their product vegan-friendly.
3. Here piggy, piggy.
Okay, prepare to get a little grossed out. We’ve all had Jell-O at some point in our lives (it’s been a while for this guy), but did you know that gelatin is commonly made from pigskin?
It’s true. And we apologize.
You’ve probably heard of arsenic before in regard to people being poisoned, especially if you ever watch any true crime shows about vengeful spouses.
But small amounts of arsenic also naturally appear in rice and some other plant-based foods due to how they are grown.
Dietician Kristin Kirkpatrick says,
“Low levels have not been found to be very concerning. However, if you want to take away all risk, then now is the time since rice alternatives are increasing by the day—from cauliflower rice to broccoli rice or rice made from veggies and lentils. S
ince many of those options are much more nutrient-dense they are a better alternative on many levels.”
Now you know!
5. Seaweed in question?
There’s a debate about whether red seaweed extract called carrageenan is harmful to people or not, but more testing is needed, so the FDA hasn’t made a decision on it yet.
Carrageenan is used as a thickening agent in dairy products and has been at the center of a debate about whether it is potentially carcinogenic.
These tests and decisions typically take years so we’ll have to wait on the decision about this one…
6. What’s in the salad dressing?!
Titanium dioxide is found in SUNBLOCK and it is added to some SALAD DRESSINGS.
Let that one sink in for a minute…
It’s added to salad dressings to give them a longer shelf life because it blocks light that are harmful to other ingredients.
I’ll take a side salad with the Sunblock Ranch, please.
7. Beware of the mustard.
Tartrazine is a very popular colorant in food: the second most popular, in fact. So why should you care? It’s a synthetic dye that is cheaper than natural food dye and has even been banned in some countries because it can cause allergic reactions.
Kraft removed tartrazine from its boxed mac and cheese in 2016, but it still remains in other products.