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Diet Write
by DietWrite, Diet.com's Diet and Fitness News Reporter

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by Diet.com contributor Jasmine Benger

Pink slime, beetle shells, beaver glands, and wood pulp. These ingredients aren’t exactly what one pictures when thinking of a healthy, delicious meal. Unfortunately these are, in fact, some of the ingredients that the public consumes when they grab a snack at a convenience store or stop to pick up quick a dinner at a drive-thru restaurant.

The Huffington Post recently published an article, entitled Gross Ingredients in Processed Foods, which cites ten food additives or ingredients that are currently being used in the US food supply. This article highlights the need for the American population to really stop and think about what they’re eating and putting into their bodies. While to date there are no harmful side effects of the ingredients that the article lists, it's still something that a health conscious individual should consider when shopping at the grocery store.

While being aware of odd food ingredients and food additives is not always an easy task, this article calls for a fairly simple solution. The author (*and myself) believe that the best way to get food companies to stop putting these ingredients into our food is to simply stop consuming them. In order to stop eating these ingredients you must always read the ingredient label and remember that, generally speaking, the fewer the ingredients listed, the healthier and less processed the food item is. If you ever find yourself not knowing what a certain ingredient is, look it up and find out for yourself what it is and why it’s in your food of choice.

• Ammonium Sulfate - a salt compound used to add texture to foods. It is also found in fertilizer.
• L-Cysteine -Amino acid made from duck feathers and human hair that is used as a dough conditioner.
• Silicon Dioxide: Similar to sand (used as an anti-caking agent in Wendy’s chilli)
• Titanium Dioxide: Used to lighten foods (in color). Found in sunscreen, frosting, and salad dressing
• Azodicarbonamide: Found in hamburgers and plastic rubbers
• Shellac-A shiny coating found of candies such as Jelly beans. Shellac is made from the secretions of a Thai beetle
• Bone Char: Rarely used as of this time, made from ground cattle bones and used primarily to give sugar its “white” color
• Cellulose: Plant fiber, usually made from wood pulp. Used as a thickening agent in several foods

For the full article click here.

For more info about unusual ingredients in your food, take this fun (though slightly unnerving) Diet.com Quiz: Hidden Critters in Your Food

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