We are what we eat. But if the recent brouhaha over Maggi noodles has proven anything, it's that we probably have no idea what we're eating. In an effort to educate, here are five foods that may have nasty ingredients that you wouldn't know of, yet.
1. Chewing gum
What you think you’re eating (or, chewing)- a gum with lower calorie count as compared to candies, that cures bad breath and curbs your appetite, right? Well.
What you’re really chewing on to- is most probably sheep sweat. That's right, all gums contain lanolin (wool wax) or paraffin wax and such, similar ingredients. That’s not all, almost all chewing gums replace sugar with aspartame, which is an excitotoxin. It causes overexcitation of neurons in the brain until they burnout, which can result in lower IQ. The long term effects of aspartame include Diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
What you think you’re eating- a little bit of protein and fibre, and a whole lot of carbs.
What you’re really eating- cancer causing potassium bromate or potassium iodate. The dough improvers are commonly used across the baking industry as maturing agents in breads.
What you think you’re drinking- barley, yeast and water, fermented to perfection into a refreshing alcoholic beverage.
What you’re really drinking- barley, yeast and water, fermented to perfection into a refreshing alcoholic beverage ... with some, surprise surprise! Your beer may also include monosodium glutamate, or MSG, which has effects similar to aspartame. Other additives may include isinglass (made from dried fish bladder) and insect-based dyes. Refreshing, no?
What you think you’re eating- soluble fibre (meaning, lower cholesterol. Yay!) and immunity-boosting antioxidants like quercetin.
What you’re really eating- sugar cyanide compound that converts into toxic hydrogen cyanide, IF you chew on the seeds, that is. Small doses of cyanide will result in dizziness, headaches and vomiting. Bigger doses, though, can harm the kidney and cause breathing problems, and in rare cases, even death.
The good news, however, is that our body has the ability to detoxify low doses, so a seed or two won't harm. But, you do need to keep the seeds away from children and pets.
What you think you’re eating- calcium, vitamin A, C and K, and a lot of antioxidants - all that good stuff, packaged into that yummy tart, pudding or jam.
What you’re really eating- poison. More specifically, oxalic acid - the same thing that’s rubbed onto marble sculptures to give it a shine. Oxalic acid is also commonly used as a cleaning and bleaching agent, as well as a rust remover.
So, how do you stay safe? Make sure NEVER to consume rhubarb with its leaves. The stalk, as such, is not harmful.