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5 frightening ingredients found in our food

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Many people are becoming more conscious with what they are eating. Organic and natural foods are ever more popular. Sometimes, however, those ingredients have complicated names to mask what it truly is, natural or not.

Even worse, sometimes the ingredients contain toxic ingredients. Do you think you know what you are eating? Here are the five most frightening things you might be consuming unknowingly:

Titanium Dioxide
Titanium Dioxide Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Titanium Dioxide

Titanium Dioxide is a common ingredient found in sunscreens and paints. Processed salad dressings, icings and coffee creamers now often include this ingredient to keep their foods looking whiter. Titanium Dioxide is a mined substance and a component of titanium, a metallic element that is sometimes contaminated with lead.

What you should eat instead? Eat real food. Be wary of larger food corporation’s processed foods with heavy additives.

Human Hair
Human Hair Mireya Acierto/Getty Images

Human Hair

 L. Cysteine is an amino acid that is used as a preservative and is found in commercial bread and popular fast-food chains such as McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts and Burger King. Crazier still, the majority of the hair used in food comes from hair salons and barbershops in China. Imagine the horrible smell that must come with cooking hair (Have you ever accidently lit a piece of your hair on fire with a lighter? The odor is not very pleasant.) 

What you should be eating instead? Unprocessed whole grains are the best choice. You can buy them in bulk very cheap at the supermarket and make your own, delicious baked goods anytime at home.

Flesh-Eating Bacteria
Flesh-Eating Bacteria Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Flesh-Eating Bacteria

Meats found in grocery stores often include heavy metals, veterinary medicines and bacteria such as staph and the deadly MRSA strain. The overuse of antibiotics in industrial agriculture has provided a breeding ground for superbugs in our food. MRSA kills 19,000 people a year in the US. This equals more deaths annually in the US than AIDS. In addition, half of the grocery store meat contains staph bacteria, according to a study conducted by the Journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases.

What should you eat instead? Organic, grass-fed meats and eggs are a much healthier option.

Castoreum Joe Raedle/Getty Images


Castoreum, which is the anal gland juice of a beaver, is commonly found in processed food and beverages with vanilla or raspberry flavoring. This stinky substance is found in beaver urine and used for territorial markings. Since it is a natural ingredient, it is often hidden in the list of ingredients under “natural flavoring.”

What you should be eating instead? Vegans and Vegetarians need to steer clear of processed vanilla and raspberry flavored foods and beverages. Foods and beverages with unprocessed ingredients are always the best option.

Non-Stick Chemicals
Non-Stick Chemicals Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Non-Stick Chemicals

Popcorn bags have an industrial nonstick chemical (perfluorinated chemicals) that are often used to coat pots, pans and baking sheets. The general idea is that this coating prevents sticking and leakage.  A 2012 study conducted by Journal of the American Medical Association reported that the chemicals in popcorn bags damage the immune system. These chemicals are now linked to high cholesterol, sperm damage, infertility, and ADHD.

What you should be eating instead? Popcorn made in a pot on the stove or an air popper provides the most natural and non-toxic way to enjoy this delicious treat.