It’s not melted sugar like traditional caramel. It’s actually synthetically made by reacting sugars with ammonia and sulfites, – a process which has been linked to thyroid issues, liver sluggishness, Leukemia and even lung cancer. In fact, the Centres for Science and Public Interest (CSPI) has it on their “list of additives to avoid”, stating there is clear evidence of it being a carcinogen. Regardless, many sweet & sour sauces still use it. Bon appetit!
MSG (Monosodium Glutamate)
You thought it was gone? And especially taken off Chinese food menus? Wrong. It’s used as a flavour enhancer and seasoning agent in many (most) fast food joints, just called something different. It can cause headaches, nausea and weakness, even chest pains. It’s usually disguised as a yeast extract, or many of the ingredients that include the word “hydrolyzed” – such as most chicken nugget recipes, french fries and even in pizza.
Otherwise known as Silicon Dioxide or Silica, is often used as an anti-caking agent in many fast food meat-based products such as chili and processed beefs. Funny enough (well, not really) it’s also used in ceramics, cement, and packaging items to prevent mildew. Think twice next time before having a fast food chain’s Chili Salad!
Otherwise known as “cellulose”, wood pulp is used to thicken and stabilize foods, and provides some added fibre. Feeling like a Beaver already? It’s usually used as a cheaper alternative to oils and flour. Oh yes, and also makes ice cream even creamier. May also be called Carboxymethyl Cellulose, or Cellulose Gum. (Generally speaking, if you cannot pronounce it, don’t eat it!). Otherwise, you can have a taste of it in fast food’s popcorn chicken, frosty’s, or nacho chips.
Feathers and Human Hair?
Also called “L-cysteine”, this amino acid is made of duck feathers and(or) human hair, and it’s used as a ways to improve the texture of baked goods. No it will not harm you, but it’s just… gross. Next time, think twice before ordering a fast food ‘Apple Pie’.
Can you say that ten times fast? It’s a type of silicone used to keep oil in the deep fryers foaming, which we suppose it makes it last longer. Yum. And it’s also used in silly putty, makeup and industrial oils. And in most fast food french fries, fish sandwiches, and nuggets. Doesn’t that make up for a happy meal?... Anyone?...