7 Things: Intrigues #5 – Food Additives

If you’ve read this blog any time in the past few years, you probably know that I have a special pissy spot for monstrous food companies who build Frankenfoods from a little sprinkle of real food and a whole shit-ton (this is a new word for me!) of non-foodstuffs, and for the FDA approval process, which really seems to go, “Yeah, go ahead. Let’s see what it does to people.”

Overdramatic? Maybe. Or maybe I’m thinking not only of the food additives that were once approved by the FDA and then banned AFTER they had proven track records of causing a range of cancers, but also these food additives that of 2009 were banned in the EU, but still available in the US, and three years later, guess what?, are STILL available in the US. Lookie right here —> ‘Cause we like our food to do us harm! Do your worst, corn and soybeans! Though, some European countries have started to cave to GMOs. Just say no, EU! You’re our last best hope.

Anyway, this isn’t just another fake-food bitchin’ post. Though, I do enjoy writing those. This is an intrigue post, so let’s get to the mystery.

Earlier this year, there was a big stink when the world discovered that PepsiCo buys flavor enhancers from a company that uses cell lines that were taken from an aborted fetus to produce their drinks. It was the pro-life Right, of course, that made a news story of this. Probably some big Christian spokesman with a cigar dangling from his lips, sipping a Diet Mountain Dew, and being like “I can’t believe they put little aborted baby bits in my favorite non-alcoholic drink. Slurp Slurp.”

But that’s not the point. Nor is the point the morality or skeeviness of using cell lines from fetuses. While I admit, it does sound nasty, I also admit that I don’t know the science, so it’s probably not.

My intrigue when it comes to food additives – so many of which contain things as unappealing as insect shells, hair or fungus – is… what made someone decide to put these things into food in the first place?

“Ah man, I need to shower. I’ve totally got fungus growing between my toes.”
“Wait! Don’t shower yet. I know JUST what to do with it.”

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