Pink Slime is Only the Beginning! 24 Disgusting Things You Probably Didn’t Know You Were Eating

Pink Slime, manufactured foods, disgusting foods, food health, food safety

Pink Slime is Only the Beginning!

Do you know what you are eating? Of course you do, right? You are buying a food product and putting it into your own mouth.

But do you really know what you are putting into your body?

If you aren’t making most of your food from scratch or at least being very careful about what you purchase, chances are you are consuming some pretty scary stuff.

I am going to cut right to the chase in an effort to help steer you onto a road of better health. Below I outline some of the scariest ingredients found in many of those convenience foods that you have come to not only rely on, but also enjoy.

My intention is to open your eyes to the damage that the packaged food industry is causing YOU. They don’t care about you or your health. They pretend to with clever marketing and all kinds of food labeling tricks. But the fact of the matter is that they are selling products with some really scary and downright disgusting ingredients/additives.

Let’s do this, shall we?

I’m going to start with the ingredients that aren’t so obvious. These are things in foods you are consuming that you probably have no clue are in there. These items are not written out in lay-person terms on that nutrition label.

1. Hek 293 (Aborted Human Fetal Kidney Tissue Cells)

Sorry if this one disrupts your day but the fact that FETAL TISSUE is actually used in the creation of ANY consumable product is shocking and appalling on so many levels! Senomyx, the company responsible for this atrocity, states that “the company’s key flavor programs focus on the discovery and development of savory, sweet and salt flavor ingredients that are intended to allow for the reduction of MSG, sugar and salt in food and beverage products. Using isolated human taste receptors, we created proprietary taste receptor-based assay systems that provide a biochemical or electronic readout when a flavor ingredient interacts with the receptor.”

What Senomyx is NOT telling  the public is that they are using HEK 293 – human embryonic kidney cells taken from electively aborted babies to produce those receptors. So what products are you consuming that have been developed using fetal tissues?  Head over to this article to find the 19 drinks, and you are probably consuming at least one of.

2. Beaver Anal Glands as Flavoring

The anal glands of a beaver, known in the ingredient labeling world as castoreum, are used to enhance the flavor of raspberry candies and sweets.

3. Beetle Juice in Sprinkles and Candies

You know that shiny coating on candies like Jelly Bellies or Starburst? Or the sprinkles on cupcakes and cookies? That shine is made possible by the secretions of the female lac beetle. The substance is also known as shellac and commonly used as a wood varnish.

4. Crushed Bugs as Red Food Coloring

Carmine or Carmic Acid are pretty common ingredients in most any product with a “non-natural” red hue. How do manufacturers get this beautiful color? They kill thousands of bugs at a time (all varieties) and the dried insects are boiled to produce a liquid solution that can be turned to a dye using a variety of treatments. And trust me, there is nothing healthful about those “treatments.”

5. Coal Tar as Red Food Coloring

Coal tar is listed as number 199 on the United Nations list of “dangerous goods,” but that doesn’t stop people from using it in food. The coloring Allura Red AC is derived from coal tar and is commonly found in red colored candies, sodas, and other sweets.

6. Sheep Secretions in Bubble Gum

The oils inside sheep’s wool are collected to create the goopy substance called lanolin. From there, it ends up in chewing gum (sometimes under the guise of “gum base”), but also is used to create vitamin D3 supplements. Lanolin isn’t the most horrible additive out there but if you are a vegan/vegetarian, you may be unknowingly consuming an animal product.

7. Fertilizer in Bread

While chemical fertilizers inevitably make it into our produce in trace amounts, you would not expect it to be a common food additive. However, ammonium sulfate (a common fertilizer) can be found inside many brands of bread, including all of Subway’s sandwich rolls. The chemical provides nitrogen for the yeast, creating a more consistent product.

8. Human Hair and/or Duck Feathers in Bread Products

Do you love your morning bagel or English muffin? Enjoy that “healthy” whole grain bread? Chances are, it contains either human hair or duck feathers, and it’s your guess as to which. The substance, called L-cysteine or cystine, is used as a dough conditioner to produce a specific consistency. While artificial cysteine is available, it is cost prohibitive and mostly used to create kosher and halal products.

9. Sand

Sand is hidden in all kinds of food products under the innocent name of silicon dioxide. Manufacturers use sand as an “anti-caking agent,” especially with fast foods products that need to last for days and days over a heater.

10. Insect Fragments and Rodent Hair

FDA laws allow for an average of 30 insect fragments per 100 grams of processed peanut butter. In that same half cup of peanut butter, you’ll also find at least one rodent hair (on average).

11. Pink Slime

If you have been paying attention to the news this year, the term “pink slime” may not be news to you. In a nutshell, “pink slime” is the term used for a mixture of beef scraps and connective tissue (formerly used only for pet food and rendering) that is treated with ammonia hydroxide to remove pathogens like salmonella and E coli. These so-called “Lean Beef Trimmings,” are then added back into ground beef products to make it “affordable,” appealing to the consumer’s eye (since it will be a nice, bright, “fresh” pink color), and leaner in fat content.

12. Pink Paste

Before reshaping, foods like chicken nuggets, hot dogs, bologna and pepperoni look like a disgusting sludge of pink paste. This is done through a process called mechanical separation, which is a cost-effective way to “smooth out” bone remnants left after the de-boning process. The process results in excessive bacteria, which is fixed by washing the meat in ammonia. To cover up that delicious ammonia flavor, the meat is then re-flavored artificially and dyed to resemble the type of meat it once was.

Now what about ingredients that you see all the time on labels but that you ignore OR assume are perfectly safe?

13. Genetically Modified Ingredients

Not currently listed on the label because the GMO industry absolutely does not want people to know which foods contain GMOs. Nearly all conventionally grown corn, soy and cotton are GMOs. They’re linked to severe infertility problems and may even cause the bacteria in your body to produce and release a pesticide in your own gut. This is a huge topic and I suggest you read more about it here.

14. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

Loaded with “unbound” fructose and glucose molecules, studies have shown that the reactive carbonyl molecules can cause tissue damage that may lead to obesity, diabetes, and also heart disease. HFCS is made from genetically modified corn and processed with genetically modified enzymes. To make matters worse, studies have recently revealed that nearly half of tested samples of HFCS contained mercury.

15. MSG (Monosodium Glutamate)

A flavor enhancer that tricks your body into thinking there is more protein in the food than is actually there. MSG allows food producers to cut down on the quality and cost while making up for the loss of flavor caused by the omission of real ingredients by adding this flavor enhancer. This nasty stuff is HIDDEN in all kinds of foods that claim to be MSG free! Yeast Extract is the most frequently hidden form of MSG. Find out what else MSG disguises itself as by reading this chart.

16. BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)

This common additive used to prevent oxidation in a wide variety of foods and cosmetics is listed by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen” on the basis of experimental findings in animals. It is also used in jet fuels, rubber petroleum products, transformer oil and embalming fluid. As if this were not enough, the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) warns that BHT should not be allowed to enter the environment, can cause liver damage, and is harmful to aquatic organisms.

17. Phosphoric Acid

This is the acid used in sodas to dissolve the carbon dioxide and add to the overall fizzy-ness of the soda. Phosphoric acid will eat steel nails. It’s also used by stone masons to etch rocks. The military uses it to clean the rust off battleships. In absolutely destroys tooth enamel and wreaks havoc on your gut.

18. Polysorbate 60

Short for polyoxyethylene-(20)- sorbitan monostearate, this emulsifier is widely used in the food industry. Made of made of corn, palm oil and petroleum, this gooey mix can’t spoil, so it often replaces dairy products in baked goods and other liquid products. Did you read that? Petroleum. As in oil!

19. Yellow #5

Almost all colorants approved for use in food are derived from coal tar and may contain up tp 10ppm of lead and arsenic. Also most coal tar colors could potentially cause cancer. Yellow #5 isn’t the only problem food dye. They are ALL bad and ALL linked to very serious health issues, especially in children. Check out this list of foods that contain food dyes.

20. Propylene Glycerol

Think getting that fast food salad is a good idea? To prolong crispness, packaged salads are dusted with Propylene Glycerol, a chemical commonly found in antifreeze. In its concentrated form, the chemical has been known to cause eye and skin irritation.

21. Propylene glycol alginate (E405)

This food thickener, stabilizer, and emulsifier is derived from alginic acid esterified and combined with propylene glycol. It is typically used as a food additive but it has many industrial uses including automotive antifreezes and airport runway de-icers.

22. Bacteriophages

Food production companies have long sought ways to combat unhealthy microbes found on processed foods such as lunch meat and hot dogs. A few years ago, the FDA approved the use of bacteriophages (a.k.a. viruses) that help kill these dangerous microbes. Basically, viruses are purposely being added to your food to improve shelf life.

23. Hidden Beef Additives

Many fast food chicken items contain beef additives used to enhance flavor and alter health statistics. Check the ingredients, and you’ll see no sign of beef. That’s because such beef additives are listed as “extract” or “essence.” If you avoid red meat or are a “poultry only” vegetarian, you are actually unknowingly consuming beef.

24. Textured Vegetable Protein

Usually made of soy protein which is extracted from genetically modified soybeans and then processed using hexane, an explosive chemical solvent. It is widely used in vegetarian foods such as “veggie burgers.”

Are you shocked? Floored? Don’t care? Concerned? Want to stop putting these substances into your body? Would you like me to explore how you can take baby steps to not only better your nutrition but to avoid putting disgusting ingredients like these into your precious body?  Let me know in the comments.

For tips on choosing healthier, less processed and chemical-treated choices, read my food labeling tips:


  1. Ceburrell says

    I would LOVE more info!!! This makes you NOT want to eat ANYTHING!!!!! So scary. I'm going thru my head all the things I'm throwing away TODAY!!

  2. Carren says

    How does Senomyx obtain aborted fetal cells? Aren't aborted babies destroyed as biological waste?


  1. […] 4. Don’t be fooled into thinking that brown products are healthier than white products. Brown sugar is a gimmick — it’s just white sugar with brown coloring and flavoring added. Brown eggs are no different than white eggs (except for the fact that their shells appear brown). Brown bread may be no healthier than white bread, either, unless it’s made with whole grains. Don’t be tricked by “brown” foods. These are just gimmicks used by food giants to fool consumers into paying more for manufactured food products. […]