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Parmesan cheese

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We won’t beat about the bush: Parmesan cheese is made from juices found in baby cows’ stomachs. The cheese is created from cow’s milk, then aged for 12 months, with ingredients such as rennet and whey added to the mix – rennet being an enzyme that’s taken from the fourth stomach of an unweaned calf. Gross.

Gummy bears

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Delicious as they may be, gummy bears hide a gross secret. A key ingredient in these delicious candies is gelatin, which derives from cattle bones, pig skin, and cattle hide. Thankfully, many candy companies are starting to offer vegan alternatives, boasting the same great taste – without the yucky ingredients.

Hot dogs

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Hot dogs are an alluring snack for when you’re on the go. Their contents, however, may make you think twice before you next reach for this fast food. The meat comes from different leftover cuts of beef, pork, and chicken. Essentially, manufacturers grind down and combine all of the animal parts the butcher didn’t deem worthy of selling solo.


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Figs are seemingly a delicious, innocent fruit, right? While they are indeed healthy and colorful, they harbor a dark secret… Wasps spend their larvae stage within its skin. If the fig is male, a wasp will climb its way inside and lay its eggs. If the fruit is female, a wasp will sneak inside and pollinate the fig, but die within its fruity prison.

Ground beef


The process of making ground beef is enough to turn your stomach. The cows are stunned and slaughtered, and their internal organs are then pulled from their bodies. The carcass is then cut in half and hung in a chiller, where it’s sprayed with chemicals before being ground up into the meat we consume.


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Although doner kebabs may taste delicious, their ingredients may not be. The late-night staple is made from leftover scraps of meat – including facial muscles and sinew (tissues that attach muscle to bone). Scooped up and bunched together, the meat is then molded into one big slab before being slowly cooked.



Oregano is an extremely versatile herb and staple ingredient in any kitchen. If you’re an arachnophobe, however, you may want to switch to another seasoning. Spider mites are fond of invading oregano plants, sucking the juices out from their leaves. Maybe give the plant an extra wash before you add it to your next dish.


Photograph by Beatriz Moisset, distributed under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license.


Berries are an easy way to add nutrients and vitamins to your diet. Regrettably, you often get more than you bargain for when you sprinkle these sweet fruits on your breakfast cereal, as they contain roughly four insect larvae in every 100 grams that you consume.

Chicken nuggets

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To make chicken nuggets, the breast is stripped away from the chicken, before being trimmed. The breasts are then ground up and blended, with chicken skin other offcuts being added to the mix. As tempting as they may be as a late-night snack, the inclusion of icky chicken bits is enough to put anyone off.

Jelly beans


Jelly beans are tasty, colorful, and oh-so shiny. Unfortunately, that sleek shine is derived from shellac, a resin secreted by female bugs after they drink tree sap. In other words, every time you eat a jelly bean, you’re eating a small trace of bug poop. Yuck.

Red velvet cake

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Red velvet cake may be a delicious snack, a perfect choice for a naughty treat at the end of the week. You may want to rethink your cake of choice, however, as red velvet cake is made of ground-up beetles – yuck! In fact, any food with bright red coloring has traces of beetles, the insects’ crimson pigment providing the vivid scarlet coloring.

Vanilla ice cream

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What’s better than having a refreshing, sweet ice cream at the end of a beautiful summer’s day? Not eating beavers’ anal glands, that’s what. Yep, ice cream hides a dark secret – it gets its sugary taste from castoreum, a disgusting combo of beaver anal gland secretions and urine.

Wendy’s chili

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Wendy’s chili is allegedly made from leftover patties that are rehydrated and stored out back, before being diced up and shoved in the next chili that’s ordered. While it may taste delicious, the thought of dried-out chunks of meat being thrown in your chili is enough to make anyone rethink their order.

Chewing gum

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The rubbery texture of chewing gum is due to lanolin – a secretion from the wool of sheep. What exactly is lanolin? The human equivalent is when your nose feels extra waxy or shiny… Gross. The compound is a common ingredient in lotions and moisturizers, and, also, chewing gum.

Greek yogurt

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We all think of yogurt as being a healthy snack, perfect when it’s paired with fresh fruit and granola. Some Greek yogurts contain traces of gelatin, made by boiling animal skin, ligaments, and bones. Yogurt also harms baby cows. Adult cows are impregnated, then their babies are immediately taken away from them, leaving the adult producing milk that was intended for their young.


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Say it ain’t so! As tasty as bread is, the packaged type you find at the supermarket contains L-cysteine… most commonly synthesized from human hair. The stray strand of hair you found on your kitchen counter? You may as well whack it in your sandwich.

Corn oil

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Fresh corn is fine, it’s products derived from corn oil that you’ve got to watch out for. Corn starch, oil, and syrup should be avoided at all costs. The oil is derived from components that are energy-rich but low in nutrients, with some claiming it’s even worse for you than sugar. Yikes.

Anything from McDonald’s

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McDonald’s food is hardly known for its nutritional value, favoring taste over nourishment. It doesn’t end at being unhealthy, though – the fast food chain is littered with stomach-churning secrets. Their shakes are filled with over 50 chemicals, their salads have more calories than a cheeseburger, and their self-order screens have traces of fecal matter. One unlucky diner even found a chicken head in her wings.

Canned mushrooms

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Fancy a side of maggots with your mushrooms? That’s exactly what you might be biting into if you cook canned fungi. The FDA allows up to 20 maggots for every six 100-gram portions – a shockingly high amount. That’s not all, the FDA also allows 74 mites for the same serving. It might be best to leave those canned mushrooms on the shelf in the future…

Salad dressings

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Salad dressings are a quick way to spice up any salad. You may want to think twice before you reach for the bottle, however, as the dressings are full of titanium dioxide – a compound also found in paint. The dioxide contains traces of lead, which is highly toxic. The amount in your dressing is safe according to the FDA, but it’s still a gross thought.


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Meat in a can is a handy, time-saving hack. However, that hack comes at a cost, as spam is filled with a high amount of chemicals and preservatives. Comprised of pork shoulder and leftover chunks of ham, the meat is then blended together with sodium nitrate to keep its pink color.

Raw oysters

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Before you cut open your oyster, swallowing it in a satisfying gulp, you may want to consider getting it cooked. While it may lose some of its flavor after being grilled, its raw counterpart can give you an array of illnesses, including vibrio infection, norovirus infection, and hepatitis A.


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Chocolate is filled with butyric acid, stemming from milk fats. In a process of lipolysis, the fatty acids of the milk decompose, resulting in a rancid, goaty taste. At tasty as chocolate is, the thought of decomposed milk fats is enough to put anyone off the sweet stuff.


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Jell-O is a sweet-tasting, soft and yummy treat. The last thing you’d expect the dessert to be made of is animal bones, skin, and tendrils – but that’s exactly what’s inside. Gelatin – the main ingredient of Jell-O – is essentially any part of a pig or cow that didn’t make it into your burger, scraped up off the slaughterhouse floor and processed for packaging.

Packaged chicken

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To make your chicken nice and plump, manufacturers pump it full of salt water, of all things. Thickening out the meat, the product is plumped with a high amount of salt content, which is bad for your health. The label may say it’s got an added “solution” or “broth” – but don’t be deceived, it’s salt water.

Worcestershire sauce

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This tangy sauce is made from fermented fish. Anchovies, to be precise – anchovies that have been fermented in vinegar for 18 months. The fish is turned into a purée, then added to “natural flavorings”. These flavorings have never been revealed to the public but if rancid year-old fish is anything to go by, it’s best left as a mystery.


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Beer has an ingredient in it called isinglass – a gelatin made from the swim bladder of fish. The compound is used to clarify the beer, keeping its clear, bubbly texture. Thankfully, the added chum doesn’t change the taste of the alcohol, but it’s still pretty grim to know you’re drinking fish bladder.

Deli meats

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Deli meats are pumped full of salt, helping them to seemingly last forever. Deli meats are made from all of the parts of animals that can’t sell on their own, including leftover tendrils and skin. It’s then blended with nitrates, which are known to cause cancer.

Canned spray cheese

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Spray cheese has a bright red warning on its label, due to its high levels of sodium citrate and sodium phosphate. After the so-called cheese has been pumped full of chemicals and preservatives, the dairy spray barely resembles actual cheese – becoming more likened to a heart attack in a can.

Tomato sauce

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Next time you go to pour a hefty dose of tomato sauce over your pasta, keep an eye out for bugs and maggots. There’s even been reported cases of fly eggs being found in the sauce, meaning you may have consumed insect eggs over the years without even knowing it! Yuck.

French fries

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It takes 19 ingredients to turn a potato into a delicious, golden French fry. Some of those ingredients are citric acid, dimethyl, and sodium acid. Some restaurants cook their fries in beef tallow – a meaty flavoring derived from beef fat. Certainly not ideal for vegetarians.


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Pork products are known to carry food-borne pathogens, such as E. coli, trichinella, listeria, and salmonella. Furthermore, every time you bite into a sizzling slice of bacon, you’re putting yourself at risk of consuming a pork tapeworm… Yikes. Furthermore, bacon is pumped full of salt water and chemicals in order to increase its shelf life.

Processed cereals

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You may think that breakfast cereals are a healthy option to kickstart your day. However, the process through which they’re made strips them of any nutritional value. To get them into shape, the prep process denatures fatty acids, removes synthetic vitamins, and diminishes its amino acid. Basically, you’re eating nothing of value.

Vegetable oil

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Cooking with vegetable oils essentially releases a whole host of toxic chemicals into your bloodstream. They’re comprised of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). During the refining process, these acids are stripped of all their antioxidants. Furthermore, these PUFAs are chemically altered when exposed to heat, bringing out their toxic potencies.

Orange juice

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If you think orange juice is good for you – think again. The fruit juice contains almost as much sugar as a glass of Coca-Cola. Most orange juice would also be undrinkable if it wasn’t for their “flavor packs” – heaps of synthetic chemicals created to ensure that each glass of OJ tastes exactly the same.

Peanut butter

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Shockingly, the FDA allows a jar of peanut butter to contain one or more rodent hairs, and 30 or more insect fragments per 100 grams before it is considered to pose a health hazard. Studies have shown that, on average, a jar of peanut butter contains around four rodent hairs.

Ready meals

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Ready meals are good for a quick, easy meal. They’re also good for raising your blood pressure, helping you to gain weight, and clogging your arteries. The meat within these meals are the offcuts – essentially all the gross bits they can’t sell on their own. These uncooked meats can home deadly forms of bacteria that can cause severe food poisoning.


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Marshmallows are made primarily from gelatin – congealed yucky parts of animals that can’t be sold as meat. Sugar and corn syrup is then added to the mix, both of which are incredibly bad for your health. Furthermore, toasting these sweet tweets over an open flame can actually turn them toxic.

Pop tarts

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Pop tarts are comprised of a whopping 14 grams of sugar, mainly stemming from the lashing of corn syrup. Studies have shown that the overconsumption of pop tarts can lead to heart attacks, strokes, cancer, dementia, and diabetes. It’s hardly surprising, then, that they contain next to no nutritional value.


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Spinach is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. You may be dismayed to learn, then, that a single unit of canned or frozen spinach may have 50 mites inside – with the possibility of homing the larvae of spinach worms. Yuck. If in doubt, go fresh – just ensure you thoroughly wash your produce.