Sunday, January 29, 2006

...And Then I Threw Up in My Mouth a Little


I was catching up on my newspapers this morning when I ran across an article in the Wall Street Journal concerning the use of the female Cochineal Beetle to make red dye for some popular foods such as Yoplait Thick & Creamy Low Fat Strawberry Yogurt and Tropicana Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice. As of now, companies are allowed to call the colorings carmine and cochineal (the colors derived from the ground up dried beetles) "color added" or even "artificial color." Too bad I lost my appetite for my waffles after reading this.

Thanks to the watchdogs, the Center for Science in the Public Interest and a group of people who are allergic to the insect are pushing for changes in describing the ingredient in food labels. The article goes on to mention that vegetarians and Jewish people who eat kosher are also against its use. Let it be known that this carnivore is not thrilled with the use of this product either.
But unless you research every ingredient you eat, most people won't know what carmine and cochineal are if they are printed on a label.

I realize this is only the tip of the iceberg with regard to unsavory "natural" ingredients in our prepared foods. I know the FDA allows a certain amount of animal fragments and rodent hairs to be in peanut butter and cereal. This alone is enough to make me want to start making my own peanut butter since my daughter eats a peanut butter sandwich EVERY SINGLE DAY. I've been trying really hard to implement more wholesome and organic foods into our menus at home, in spite of the cost and my husband's annoyance. Knowing that the same rodent hair and animal parts are going into the organic peanut butter we buy doesn't make me feel any better.

I guess my husband is right when he says that just because something is labeled
natural or organic doesn't necessarily mean it's GOOD. A beetle, after all, is organic.

13 comments:

Kristen said...

ohmigod. gross. This is one reason I stopped eating meat, the sanity or lack thereof in the whole processing part of it - but to think of the rodent hair and feces in the peanut butter - we eats lots of natural and organic peanut butter here, and you're right - same rodent hair as in the non-organic stuff. Eww. Unfortunately, I don't think there's any way to get away from this stuff unless we start making all of our own food. And I think I might be way too lazy for that.

The June Cleaver Diaries said...

Eeeewwww.

I'm going to be off food altogether soon.

kimmyk said...

That's just plain nasty.
Now I'll be watching for that.

I'm seriously thinking about bread and water as a permanent diet.

MetroDad said...

I am never drinking yoplait or grapefrui juice again. Ever! Ewwww!

LoryKC said...

The FDA has similar allowances for chocolate but I can still only avoid that for so long...
My son also eats a PB&J EVERY day. I guessit's extra protein?!?!
Yikes. Maybe I should stick to water.
(After I move next to a mountain stream, collect it myself, boil it and then put it through a filter...
Sorry! That's a whole other discussion!)

LoryKC said...

While deciding whether to go get a glass of water or juice now, I linked to you over at my blog. Hope you don't mind!

Misfit Hausfrau said...

Thanks LoriKC!

theyellowwallpaper said...

Oh, GOD! I had no idea! You just gave me shivers.

Jess Riley said...

Yes yes yes, I got the shivers, too!!!!! I need to go find my happy place now.

Ditsy Chick said...

Gag, oh that is nasty and I could live with never knowing what goes into my food. I find it better that way....

Hänni - Nutrition Nazi Fo Real said...

Woah creepy.

Organic peanut butter tastes really good btw - bugs or no.

But seriously, yeah you should be freaked out by the BUGS IN YOUR YOGURT (ewww!), but if I were you, I'd be just as upset about the neurotoxins in your diet coke (nutrasweet anyone?), the growth hormones in your milk, or the toxic cocktail of chemicals in your edy's double fudge ice cream.

There are sooo many reasons to make food from scratch, even though - admittedly - doing so is a major PIMA.

TB said...

I guess I operate under the assumption (which is probably mistaken) that if it hasn't killed me in the last 34 years, it's okay to keep eating it.

That's not to say that we haven't switched to organic dairy and that when I have kids, I will do everything in my power to make sure they aren't ingesting insects, rodent hair and whatever other vile substances sneak into our food.

Suburban Turmoil said...

Ewwwww. I hope they at least wash their little legs before they use them.