Random Links/Information

SittinGrumpy

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OK I know another fucking random thread but I didn't think this fit anywhere else. Links of things I want to share, good information etc.


Fabulous Freebies 2011


There are some good ideas in here.
 

SittinGrumpy

Guest
What's REALLY in Your Food?

taken from menshealth.com


What's really in your ... Chicken McNugget


You'd think that a breaded lump of chicken would be pretty simple. Mostly, it would contain bread and chicken. But the McNugget and its peers at other fast-food restaurants are much more complicated creatures than that. The "meat" in the McNugget alone contains seven ingredients, some of which are made up of yet more ingredients. (Nope, it's not just chicken. It's also such nonchicken-related stuff as water, wheat starch, dextrose, safflower oil, and sodium phosphates.) The "meat" also contains something called "autolyzed yeast extract." Then add another 20 ingredients that make up the breading, and you have the food industry's chemical—we mean, fast-food meal—called the McNugget.

Still, McDonald's is practically all-natural compared to Wendy's 30-ingredient Chicken Nugget or Burger King's 35-ingredient Chicken Fries.


What's really in your ... Wendy's Frosty


Wendy's Frosty requires 14 ingredients to create what traditional shakes achieve with only milk and ice cream. So what accounts for the double-digit ingredient list? Mostly a barrage of thickening agents that include guar gum, cellulose gum, and carrageenan. And while that's enough to disqualify it as a milkshake in our book, it's nothing compared with the chemist's list of ingredients in the restaurant's new line of bulked-up Frankenfrosties.

Check out the Coffee Toffee Twisted Frosty, for instance. It seems harmless enough; the only additions, after all, are "coffee syrup" and "coffee toffee pieces." The problem is that those two additions collectively contain 25 extra ingredients, seven of which are sugars and three of which are oils. And get this: Rather than a classic syrup, the "coffee syrup" would more accurately be described as a blend of water, high-fructose corn syrup, and propylene glycol, a laxative chemical that's used as an emulsifier in food and a filler in electronic cigarattes. Of all 10 ingredients it takes to the make the syrup, coffee doesn't show up until near the end, eight items down on the list.


What's really in your ... Filet-O-Fish

The world's most famous fish sandwich begins as one of the ocean's ugliest creature. Filet-O-Fish, like many of the fish patties used by fast-food chains, is made predominantly from hoki, a gnarly, crazy-eyed fish found in the cold waters off the coast of New Zealand. In the past, McDonald's has purchased up to 15 million pounds of hoki a year, each flaky fillet destined for a coat of batter, a bath of oil, a squirt of tartar, and a final resting place in a warm, squishy bun. But it seems the world's appetite for this and other fried-fish sandwiches has proven too voracious, as New Zealand has been forced to cut the allowable catch over the years in order to keep the hoki population from collapsing. Don't expect McDonald's to scale down Filet-O-Fish output anytime soon, though; other whitefish like Alaskan pollock will likely fill in the gaps left by the hoki downturn. After all, once it's battered and fried, do you really think you'll know the difference?


What's really in your ... Salami Sandwich

Salami, the mystery meat: Is it cow? Is it pig? Well, if you're talking about Genoa salami, like you'd get at Subway, then it's both. Most mass-produced salami is made form slaughterhouse leftovers that are gathered using "advanced meat recovery," which sounds like a rehab center for vegans but is actually a mechanical process that strips the last remaining bit of muscle off the bone so nothing is wasted. It's then processed using lactic acid, the waste product produced by bacteria in the meat. It both gives the salami its tangy flavor and cures it as well, making it an inhospitable place for other bacteria to grow. Add in a bunch of salt and spices—for a total of 15 ingredients in all—and you've got a salami.


What's really in your ... Fast-Food Hamburger

It comes from a cow, yes, but before being stuffed in the bun of a Whopper or Big Mac, fast-food hamburger patties pass through the hands of a company called Beef Products. Beef Products specializes in taking slaughterhouse trimmings traditionally used only in pet food and cooking oil and turning them into patties. The challange is getting this by-product meat clean enough for human consumption, as both E. coli and salmonella like to concentrate themselves in the fatty deposits. So how does Beef Products go about "cleaning" the meat? With an approach similar to what you might use in your bathroom—by using ammonia.

See, the company has developed a process for killing beef-based pathogens by forcing the ground meat through pipes and exposing it to ammonia gas. And not only has the USDA approved the process, but they've also allowed those who sell the beef to keep it hidden from their customers. At Beef Products' behest, ammonia gas has been deemed a "processing agent" that need not be identified on nutrition labels. Nevermind that if ammonia gets on your skin, it can cause severe burning, and if it gets in your eyes, it can blind you. As an ingredient in one of the foods we consume most, our government doesn't even deem it important enough to inform eaters of its presence.

Add to the gross-out factor the fact that after moving through this lengthy industrial process, a single beef patty can consist of cobbled-together pieces from different cows all over the world—a practice that only increases the odds of E. coli contamination. So if you're set on the challange of eating fresh, single-source hamburger, pick out a nice hunk of sirloin from the meat case and have your butcher grind it up fresh. Hold the ammonia.


What's really in your ... Betty Crocker Bac-Os Bits


We've all been there before: A big bowl of lettuce or a steamy baked potato is set out before us and the sudden desire for a bit of smoky, porky goodnes pervades. We try to resist, but we grab for the bottle anyway: Mmmm ... bacon.

Not quite. If it's Bac-Os you grab for, just know that there's not the slightest whiff of anything pork-like to be found in the bottle. So what are you those little chips you've been shaking over your salads? Well, mostly soybeans. The bulk of each Bac-O is formed by tiny clumps of soy flour bound with trans-fatty, partially hydrogenated oil and laced with artificial coloring, salt, and sugar.

But here's what's really odd: Hormel makes a product called Real Bacon Bits, and as the name implies, it's made with real bacon. And gram for gram, the real bacon actually has fewer calories than Betty Crocker's Bac-Os. the difference is only 5 calories, but still, if Hormel can make a nutritionally superior product using real bacon, then why would you ever choose the artificial one that's loaded with partially hydrogenated soybeal oil?


What's really in your ... Betty Crocker Bac-Os Bits

We've all been there before: A big bowl of lettuce or a steamy baked potato is set out before us and the sudden desire for a bit of smoky, porky goodnes pervades. We try to resist, but we grab for the bottle anyway: Mmmm ... bacon.

Not quite. If it's Bac-Os you grab for, just know that there's not the slightest whiff of anything pork-like to be found in the bottle. So what are you those little chips you've been shaking over your salads? Well, mostly soybeans. The bulk of each Bac-O is formed by tiny clumps of soy flour bound with trans-fatty, partially hydrogenated oil and laced with artificial coloring, salt, and sugar.

But here's what's really odd: Hormel makes a product called Real Bacon Bits, and as the name implies, it's made with real bacon. And gram for gram, the real bacon actually has fewer calories than Betty Crocker's Bac-Os. the difference is only 5 calories, but still, if Hormel can make a nutritionally superior product using real bacon, then why would you ever choose the artificial one that's loaded with partially hydrogenated soybeal oil?


What's really in your ... Subway 9-Grain Wheat Roll

Okay, so you're probably not in the habit of ordering a la carte hero rolls at Subway, but there's a good chance you've eaten at least a few sandwiches built on this bread. The good news is that Subway actually delivers on the nine-grain promise. The bad news: Eight of those nine grains appear in miniscule amounts. If you look at a Subway ingredient statement, you'll find every grain except wheat listed at the bottom of the list, just beneath the qualifier "contains 2 percent or less." In fact, the primary ingredient in this bread is enriched wheat flour, which is refined wheat stripped of its better qualities then supplemented with nutrients. Plus, high-fructose corn syrup plays a more prominent role than any single whole grain.

So outside the nine grains, how many ingredients does Subway use to keep this bread together? Sixteen, among which aren't exactly items you'd find in the average baker's pantry: DATEM, sodium stearoyl lactylate, calcium sulfate, and azodiacarbonamide. But here's one that's a little unnverving: ammonium sulfate. This compound is rich with nitrogen, which is why it's most commonly used as fertilizer. You might have used it to nourish your plants at home. And Subway does the same thing: The ammonium sulfate nourishes the yeast and helps bread turn brown. What, did you think that dark hue was the result of whole grains? Hardly. It's a combination of the ammonium sulfate and the caramel coloring Subway adds in to darken its bread and deceive its customers. Seems like Jared might frown on that sort of subterfuge.


What's really in your ... Skittles

"Taste the rainbow?" We're not sure what rainbows are made of (light, no?), but we doubt it's the unsettling mashup of sugar, corn syrup, and hydrogenated palm kernel oil used to construct these neon orbs. That explains why every gram of fat is saturated and each package has more sugar than two twin-wrapped packages of Peanut Butter Twix.

To achieve that color spectrum, Skittles brings in a whole new list of additives. When a Skittles ad tells you to "taste the rainbow," what it's really telling you to do is taste the laboratory-constructed amalgam of nine artificial colors, many of which have been linked to behavioral and attention deficit problems in children. A few years ago the British journal Lancet published a study linking the artificial additives to hyperactivity and behavioral problems in children, which prompted the Center for Science in the Public Interest to petition the FDA for mandatory labels on artificially colored products. The FDA's response: We need more tests. In the meantime, there's a very large-scale test going on all across the country, and every Skittles eater is an unwilling participant.


What's really in your ... Taco Bell Mexican Pizza

It's Italian, it's Mexican, it's ... well, it's got a whopping 64 different ingredients, so it's hard to tell just what exactly it is. On the face of it, this meal doesn't look too bad. There are two pizza shells, ground beef, beans, pizza sauce, tomatoes, and cheese. Even the nutritional vital signs, while high (540 calories, 30 grams of fat), compare favorably with most fast-food pizzas. It only gets scary when you zoom in on what it takes to stitch those pieces together. That's when you see all of those 64 small ingredients, including an astounding 24 in the ground beef alone. Yikes.

Now, some of those ingredients amount to little more than Mexican seasoning and spices, but there is a whole cluster of complex compounds such as autolyzed yeast extract, maltodextrin, xanthan gum, calcuim propionate, fumaric acid, and silicon dioxide. Any of those sound familiar? The last one might if you've spent any time at the beach. But chances are you normally refer to it by its common name: sand. Why does Taco Bell put sand in the Mexican Pizza? To make it taste like spring break in Cancun? Not quite. As it turns out, Taco Bell adds silica to the beef to prevent it from clumping together during the shipping process.

Is it usual to add silica to food? Yes. is it dangerous? Probably not. The mineral actually occurs naturally in all sorts of food, including vegetables and milk. Of course, inhaling it is a different story. Construction workers who breathe in too much silica dust on the job can develop serious lung problems such as bronchitis or silicosis. Guess that's another reason to eat slowly—you don't want to make the mistake of inhaling your silica.


What's really in your ... Baskin-Robbins Oreo Layered Sundae

Do your homemade sundaes carry swirls of vegetable oil? How about a sprinkle of thiamine mononitrate? What about a bit of nitrous oxide on top? Probably not, but that's exacctly what you're in for at Baskin. Actually, it contains gluts of soybean oil, palm oil, and hydrogenated coconut oil. Plus sugar shows up a staggering 11 times on the list of ingredients. All told, this 1,330-calorie sundae is made from a carefully balanced amalgamation of 79 different ingredients. Seventy-nine ingredients!

If you make a sundae at home, you're looking at 10 ingredients tops. Of course, you'd probably choose to leave out the polysorbate 80 and mono- and diglycerides--ingredients that Baskin relies on to keep other ingredients properly dissolved and certain fats from separating out. Sundae? more like a third period chemistry experiment gone awry.


What's really in your ... Nacho Cheese Doritos

To create each Dorito, the Frito-Lay food scientists draw from a well of 39 different ingredients. How many does it take to make a regular tortilla chip? About three. That means some 36 ingredients wind up in that weird cheese fuzz. Of those 36, only two are ingredients you'd use to make nachos at home: Romano and cheddar cheeses. Alongside those, processors rely on a cache of carbohydrate fillers such as maltodextrin, dextrose, flour, and corn syrup solids. Then comes a rotating cast of oils. Depending on what bag you get, you might find any combination of corn oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, and sunflower oil. Some of these will be partially hydrogenated, meaning they give the chip a longer shelf life and spike your cholesteral with a little shot of trans fat.

But for a brief moment before the fats and empty starches reach your stomach, your taste buds will enjoy the Doritos seasoning blend, which includes, "artificial flavoring," and a rather worrisome compound called monosodium glutamate. Monosodium glutamate, or MSG, is the flavor enhancer largely responsible for the chip's addicting quality. The drawback is that it interferes with the production of an appetite-regulating hormone called leptin. That's why a study of middle-aged Chinese people found a strong correlation between MSG consumption and body fat. What's more, the FDA receives new complaints every year from people who react violently to MSG, suffering symptons like nausea, headaches, numbness, chest pains, and dizziness—not to mention orange fingers.
 

proper stranger

Yaa!
Founder
Apr 23, 2011
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^^Thanks. That was very informative.
I may never eat fast food again. Or skittles for that matter.
Many more posts like that and I may stop eating altogether.
Someone point me in the direction of an I.V. please.
 

Zeabot

Californium
Founder
Oct 25, 2013
1,506
7
68
"Taste the rainbow?" We're not sure what rainbows are made of (light, no?), but we doubt it's the unsettling mashup of sugar, corn syrup, and hydrogenated palm kernel oil used to construct these neon orbs. That explains why every gram of fat is saturated and each package has more sugar than two twin-wrapped packages of Peanut Butter Twix.
All I read was "taste"