We at Foodfacts.com take much time to research and discover the controversial ingredients present in a great portion of our food supply. Labeling in the US and many other countries continues to stump consumers because there is little specific information regarding the exact information of some ingredients. Often, people are mislead most by the term “natural” when it is present on a nutrition label. However, we want you to think twice before believing these manufacturers, and further educate yourself prior to making food choices.
Natural vanilla flavoring is used as an additive in a variety of products. Ice cream, seltzer waters, yogurt, candy, milk, bread, and many other products commonly use natural vanilla flavoring to mimic the taste of pure vanilla beans. Some may even think that vanilla bean was used to prepare the product, but unfortunately we can never be too sure. In fact, “natural vanilla flavors” is a listing for an additive you may be unaware of, which is Castoreum.
“When castoreum occurs in a food, it does not have to be listed by its name. It is considered a “natural flavor” and may be so designated on a food package according to the Code of Federal Regulations.”
What is Castoreum?
“Castoreum extract… is a natural product prepared by direct hot-alcohol extraction of castoreum, the dried and macerated castor sac scent glands (and their secretions) from the male or female beaver. It has been used extensively in perfumery and has been added to food as a flavor ingredient for at least 80 years. Both the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regard castoreum extract as generally recognized as safe (GRAS).”
Yes, that definition summarizes that castoreum is derived from glands of a male or female beaver. Although many top manufacturers of flavors and fragrances say castoreum is no longer used as a food additive, few products have found they do contain this ingredient.
Check your labels!
Foodfacts.com is teaming up with our friends over at Dietsinreview.com to look into the future of meats! In less than one year from now we could be reading the food review of the world’s first in vitro hamburger. Yes, you read that right. (Check out our blog on Meat Glue)
As an answer to our globe’s growing population and increasing meat consumption, scientists in the Netherlands are very close to debuting their meat grown from stem cells of healthy cows. The scientists have been working to grow muscle tissue from a small number of stem cells they’ve extracted from the cattle.
As awkward as this process sounds, the researchers believe it’s going to be beneficial for the world. As the trends lead us to believe that the world’s meat consumption is expected to double by the year 2050, this man-made meat will be able to be produced without the need for livestock.
The meat is expected to be more affordable and lead to the sustainability our growing population needs. In vitro meat production could lead to a 35 to 60 percent reduction in energy consumption. Land requirements for farming would decrease by 89 percent and the production of greenhouse gas would decrease due to non-conventional farming.
This product does not stand alone in its unique nature. In 2009, strips of pork were grown using a similar stem cell method and fish fillets have been grown in a lab from the muscle tissue of goldfish.
What a brave new world we live in. “It’s too difficult to farm these days, you say? Well, let’s just grow a burger in the lab!” These practices are still in the very early stages and it’s unclear when or if these products will be available to the public.
As the information is still limited regarding this meat production, I, for one, am curious what the taste test will reveal. I am also curious who else is making today the day they become a full fledged (slightly grossed out) vegetarian?
Article Provided by: Lacy Jaye Hansen
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