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Why Am I Eating This Crap??

March 9th, 2012 by MomsLA

I read an article recently about ingredients that are in food. Things of which we aren’t aware. One of those items was, wait for it . . .

A beaver’s anal gland ‘juice’. A semi-aquatic, nocturnal rodent’s undercarriage. Seriously? It turns out that this is a component of the ‘natural flavor’ ingredient you will find on many fast food and processed products you consume. Natural flavor.

Photo credit: Smithsonian Institute/National Zoo

What exactly IS that? And how natural is it? Not at all as it turns out. It’s an additive that flavors everything and makes you want more. Even chocolate. Once I digested this information, I read more.

This is a dark, bitter juice. No shit.

I can’t get past this. I want to know who the bright light bulb was sitting around thinking about how to improve food. “Hmm, what could the missing ingredient be?” (Taps fingers and ponders intensively.) “I know!”

Uh huh.

Once this crucial discovery was made, how did they test it? “Honey, I’m whipping up a new batch of . . . well, can you just tell me what you think of this?” 

Hey Mikey, he likes it.

Ok, so it IS a ‘natural’ ingredient. It’s in nature. But it’s NOT natural for my mouth. I am not on a pedestal here for Vegans, carnivores or anyone else for any other reason.  I am aware that there are plenty more shudder-inducing ingredients in our food. And I can’t speak for anyone else, but I want nothing in my food that’s been at the business end of anything.

I did a quick scan of what was in our pantry and refrigerator. Much of what I found was no longer palatable. To my mind anyway. After picking up some fresh fruit and veggies at the market and reviewing what I could still eat, I realized, this isn’t how I would normally approach dieting. But hey, ‘natural’ side effect. If everyone is grossed out as I am, I’ll be responsible for revolutionizing the weight loss industry.

You’re welcome.

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Lexi blogs at Thirty Fingers and Thirty Toes about triplets, step-parenting and random thoughts & opinions.

MomsLA (502 Posts)


  1. I have nothing to say but WTF? Thank you for telling us this as I embark upon another diet – this post will definitely help me abstain from such “natural” foods. Ack!

  2. OMG your commentary was making me laugh so hard!

    Actually, those ingredients you mentioned don’t bother me at all, but I’m cut from the same cloth as Andrew Zimmern of bizarre foods.

    It is synthetic ingredients and chemicals that get my gag reflex going.

  3. Lexi, you crack me up! But still…ew. I just read about a diet where a woman lost 40 pounds by not eating anything “from a box” – i.e. nothing processed or manufactured. Now that I think about this, that might have to be my new diet. : )

  4. I never eat anything that lists “natural flavoring” as an ingredient. I’m allergic to a fruit (monkfruit) that is in too many things under this guise. But even before the allergy, I was suspicious of the generalization. Let’s be a little more specific, shall we? Lots of stuff is natural. It ain’t all good!

  5. Wow….why is it not labeled as such? I don’t like the vagueness of the ingredient labels….scary….

  6. You do have to watch that even though it says natural it really isn’t.

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