If you’re hungry right now, you won’t be after you read this article. There are some pretty horrendous facts about fast food and other food favorites out there if you’re willing to dig a little. Keep reading to learn about 10 disgusting food facts that McDonald’s and other food giants likely don’t want you to know about.
Photo credit: Magic Madzik, Flickr
10 The average fast food patron eats 12 pubic hairs in a given year
We’ve all got the occasional hair in our food at one point or another. Ingesting unwanted hair is more likely to occur at fast food restaurants… and it’s not just the hair that grows on the top of heads that you need to worry about.
9 A strawberry McDonald’s milk shake contains 50 artificial flavors
Apparently, real strawberries are expensive. So fast food companies like McDonald’s choose to use a ridiculous concoction of 50 chemicals to effectively imitate the flavor of one real-world food. These chemicals include ethyl acetate, phenythyl alcohol and solvent.
8 This is where chicken nuggets come from
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 to type of meat it once was.
7 There are bugs and rodent hair in your peanut butter
FDA laws allow for an average of 30 insect fragments per 100 grams of peanut butter. In that same half cup of peanut butter, you’ll also find at least one rodent hair (on average). Yum! Now that’s good eating!
6 Shellac is an important ingredient in jelly beans
Shellac is a type of finishing product that is typically used to improve the shine of wood and furniture. However, it can also be used to improve the shine of certain foods, such as jelly beans. Where does shellac come from? Why, it’s secreted by an insect in Thailand called the Kerria Iacca of course!
5 Various viruses can be found on processed lunch meat
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. So, basically, viruses are purposely being added to your food to improve shelf life.
4 If not for one ingredient, drinking a can of Coke would make you vomit
While cocaine was long taken out of Coca-Cola long ago, the current formula is still formulated to get you high. Each can of Coke contains 10 teaspoons of sugar. This is 100 percent of your recommended daily intake. In normal circumstances, the extreme sweetness of this much sugar would immediately cause you to vomit uncontrollably. However, since all that sugar is addictive and keeps you coming back for more, Coca-Cola adds phosphoric acid -– an ingredient that cuts the sweetness to manageable levels.
3 Processed cheese is less than 51 percent cheese
A more accurate name for Kraft Singles and other packaged cheeses is “cheese-like substance.” Any cheese product labeled as processed or pasteurized includes additives, chemicals and flavorings that account for up 49 percent of the total product. As a result, that cheap cheese in your grocery store has just enough real cheese in it to allow companies to call it cheese.
2 Fast food salads contain chemicals used in antifreeze
Choosing to “eat healthy” at a fast food restaurant isn’t necessarily 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.
1 Chicken McNuggets contain beef
Many fast food chicken items contain beef additives used to enhance flavor and juke health stats. Chicken McNuggets, the Wendy’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich, and KFC Grilled Chicken Sandwich are a few examples. Check the ingredients, and you’ll see no sign of such atrocities. That’s because such beef additives are listed as “extract” or “essence.”