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Three gross ingredients that you don't know are in everyday foods

Have you ever looked through ingredient labels to certain foods and read something that you couldn’t pronounce?

What about those that state “natural flavors” and ever wonder “what does that mean and where does it come from?”

Some foods that we enjoy might contain some scary ingredients that help produce a certain flavor, texture or something else altogether in processed foods and in places that we might not expect. Some of the ingredients listed might actually surprise and/or scare you and make you think twice about digging into that bag of jelly beans.

I used to love Jell-O as a kid – and I bet you did too. Some cherry gelatin to soothe a sore throat sure helped and watching it jiggle was fun. But do we know what gelatin is exactly?

Collagen is responsible for making that gelatin shake and jiggle and many sources of collagen come from boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones in water from animals such as cows and pigs, according to the organization PETA. Other foods that use it can be found in frosted cereals, yogurt and sour cream.

Freaked out yet? It gets worse. Have you ever popped some sweet jellybeans or other hard candy in your mouth and thought twice about what exactly gives them that shine? You’re in fact enjoying some nice Kerria lacca secretions from a female insect found in Thailand according to the website Cracked.

And we see the label “natural flavoring” in most packaging but never fully understand what is truly is. While this gross product is often found in perfumes rather than our foods, some products slapped with a “natural flavoring” label might actually be from … get ready … the sac scent glands of beavers, located near the anus.

The FDA has spoken on behalf of using beaver scent glands as particularly safe for human consumption and shouldn’t be afraid of it, and as the U.S. National Library of Medicine wrote in 2007, it’s used for raspberry and strawberry flavoring. But that doesn’t help my stomach feel better.

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