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Interview with FDA Spokesperson - Part One

Interview with FDA Spokesperson - Part One

For some time now I have been wondering what are the specific responsibilities of the F.D.A. – the Food and Drug Administration? So I went to their official website to examine their mission statement. It reads as follows:

"FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation."

Official portrait of Mr. I. M. Clueless courtesy of the artist, Rene Magritte

Official portrait of Mr. I. M. Clueless courtesy of the artist, Rene Magritte

That seems to be forthright. The F.D.A, an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for protecting the public health by – among other things – overseeing our food supply. That’s their official mission

However, after you read what I have learned, you may begin to believe that F.D.A. actually stands for Filthy Disgusting Additives that this credulous agency allows to be added to our food supply. True! I am not joking.

I anticipated interviewing a genuine FDA official to find answers, but they all appeared to be on vacation. So I have created a fictitious representative as a spokesperson to voice their thoughts since I can read their minds long distance. (See my hubs "Interview with Channing Tatum" and "Interview with Genghis Khan" if you doubt I can accomplish that feat.)

Let’s call this representative Mr. I. M. Clueless. And let’s look at seven disgusting, repellent, repugnant, distasteful, loathsome additives approved by the F.D.A.

Will you have fries with that?

Will you have fries with that?


#1 – Pink slime in your hamburger

me – Let’s get right down to business, Mr. Clueless. Everyone was shocked when we learned about a mystery substance, pink slime, hiding in processed meat.

Mr. Clueless – Just a moment! I am insulted by that term, pink slime. The substance you refer to used an additive with ammonia to prevent hamburger from rotting too quickly. Beef trimmings were heated, compressed and then exposed to bacteria-killing ammonia.

To try to make the meat ‘safer,’ industry typically puts the beef through an ammonia gas bath. What is wrong with that?

me – Now be honest, Mr. C. Would you want your odds-and-ends hamburger dipped in ammonia before you ate it? I rest my case.

Healthy Hint: If you want a safer option, search for organic, pasture-raised meats which you can generally buy directly from local farmers.

At the hospital I won’t have to phone 'ya' . . . if you don’t eat hamburger sprayed with ammonia. (You can groan now.)

Dactylopius coccus insects feasting on cactus

Dactylopius coccus insects feasting on cactus

#2 – Bug juice in your candy

me - Let’s look at some other nasty, gross, disgusting additives that the FDA approves in the food we eat. What about bug-juice in some of the candy we buy?

Mr. Clueless – Are you referring to the resin secreted by the lac insect?

me – Yes, I am referring to the small, gray insect which turns red when crushed. It is known as the Dactylopius coccus which is often incorrectly referred to as a beetle.The female secretes a substance called confectioner’s glaze. It’s used to make the hard shell on many candies shiny.

Mr. Clueless – Well, for your information that shellac resin is also used to coat medicated pills and coffee beans and to provide a waxy sheen on apples.

Scroll to Continue

me – Thank you, that’s very comforting information.

Mr. Clueless – And if it were not for this plentiful desert beetle, I mean insect, found in Mexico and South America, we would not have carmine, the red food coloring for fruit juice as an example. And for the red color in many cosmetics.

me – Unfortunately, you are correct.

Healthy Hint: Be careful what you eat in any case . . . and what you use to decorate your face.

Canned mushrooms a la maggots

Canned mushrooms a la maggots

Fresh Portobello mushrooms

Fresh Portobello mushrooms

Sliced sweet onions

Sliced sweet onions

#3 – Mushrooms a la maggots

me – How do you feel about eating mushrooms accompanied by maggots – those tiny, rice-shaped fly larvae that feast on rotting foods?

Mr. Clueless – I’ll have you know that the Food and Drug Administration legally allows up to 19 maggots and 74 mites in a 3.5-ounce can of mushrooms.

me – Maggots may be useful in the medical world and they do constitute a source of protein.

But most people think it's gross and disgusting to eat them unknowingly with mushrooms. I prefer fresh mushrooms with onions myself.

Healthy Hint: This is just a tiny suggestion . . . examine mushrooms before ingestion.

Is nothing sacred?


#4 – Beaver anal gland juice for flavor

me – Even juice from an anal beaver would be preferable. But this substance known as castoreum produced by the beaver's anal gland is bitter, smelly, and orange-brown in color.

In nature, it is combined with the beaver's urine and used to mark its territory. Double Ugh!

Mr. Clueless – For years, castoreum has been used by processed food companies here and abroad as a flavoring for strawberry, raspberry and vanilla flavors in a variety of candy, chewing gum, gelatin, pudding and ice cream.

me – True, and this gross ingredient does not show up on their labels. Instead it is listed as natural flavoring. Natural, yes, as well as gross. (laughing out loud)

Mr. Clueless – What the devil are you laughing at?

me – I was just thinking … what adventurous scientist discovered this use … and how?

Healthy Hint: Take a look at the labels on food products you purchase. The term, ‘natural flavoring,’ is used extensively without further explanation. (See “MSG and Fat Rats and Us”)

Candy flavored from a beaver gland that's anal . . . by many folks would be considered insane-al.

Birth of a bagel

Birth of a bagel

Book about Food Additives

#5 – Human hair or duck feathers in your food

me – Many people get upset when they find a single hair in their food. That’s why it’s so traumatic to learn that L-cysteine, an amino acid made from dissolved human hair or duck feathers, is found in so many of the baked goods we eat.

Mr. CluelessL-cysteine is an important ingredient used as a commercial dough conditioner to improve the texture of breads, bagels, rolls, pizza and cookie dough and other baked goods.

Some L-cysteine is synthesized in laboratories but most of it comes from a cheap and abundant natural protein source – human hair.

me – Where does all this hair come from?

Mr. Clueless – Most of the hair is gathered from the floors of hair salons and barbershops in China. Other cheap sources of L-cysteine include duck or chicken feathers, cow horns and petroleum byproducts.

me – I’m sorry I asked. It also occurs to me that eating something derived from the human body violates Muslim beliefs. And human hair and duck feathers pose an ethical dilemma for vegans, too.

Healthy Hint: If you want a healthier option, you can avoid ‘L-cysteine’ by eating products that are Kosher or gluten-free.

Avoid eating food with hair from a head . . . by learning to bake your bagels and bread.

The swim bladder is an elongated balloon-like organ which a fish inflates and deflates to control its buoyancy in the water. It is also in this … and many other fine ales.

The swim bladder is an elongated balloon-like organ which a fish inflates and deflates to control its buoyancy in the water. It is also in this … and many other fine ales.

#6 – Fish bladders in your beer

me – I hate to be the one to tell you this, since it may remove the happy from your happy hour, but you ought to know this largely unpublished news. The bladders of fish are widely used in the beer and ale brewing process.

Mr. Clueless – You are correct. A form of collagen called isinglass is made from the dried swim bladders of fish. This substance clumps with the yeast in the beer and then sinks to the bottom of the barrel, allowing for a much clearer brew.

Healthy Hint: Because isinglass combines with the dregs of the barrel, it usually can’t be detected in the final product.

Don't be upset by beer with a fish bladder . . . the more that you drink, the less it will matter.

Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew

Other sodas containing BVO

Other sodas containing BVO

Label on bottle of Mountain Dew

Label on bottle of Mountain Dew

Better choices - Pepsi or Coca-Cola

Better choices - Pepsi or Coca-Cola

#7 – Flame retardant in your soda

me – A synthetic chemical called BVO is a flame retardant that slows down the chemical reactions that cause a fire. It has been banned in food throughout Europe and Japan. Why does the FDA allow it to be added to Mountain Dew and other citrus-flavored drinks?

Mr. Clueless – Reports from an industry group in 1977 helped the FDA establish what it considers a safe limit for BVO in sodas.

me – Yes, but that data is more than 35 years old.

Mr. Clueless – True, but BVO is only found in 10% of the sodas sold in the U.S.

me – That’s no excuse whatsoever. A few teenagers who went on soda binges have needed medical attention for skin lesions, memory loss and nerve disorders. Those are all symptoms of overexposure to bromine.

Mr. Clueless – Without an emulsifier such as BVO, the flavoring would float to the surface. The FDA limits the use of BVO to 15 parts per million in fruit-flavored beverages.

me – But a recent study by the National Cancer Institute states that sodas are the largest source of calories for teenagers between the ages of 14 to 18. That indicates a lot of soda is being consumed by our youth.

Take a look at the list of ingredients on a Mountain Dew bottle and you will note BVO, brominated vegetable oil, is listed. Other popular sodas containing BVO are Squirt, Fanta Orange, Sunkist Pineapple, Gatorade Thirst Quencher Orange, Powerade Strawberry Lemonade, or Fresca Original Citrus.

Healthy Hint: If you don't want to drink soda with BVO . . . choose Pepsi or Coke instead and you're good to go.

Thank you, Mr. Clueless, for your involuntary but significant participation as a spokesperson. I may need you again when I gather additional information to report on your noble agency’s endorsement of the following:

• Staph bacteria in meat • Medicated fowl • Cellulose in cereals • Paint chemicals in salad dressing • Cloned genes in cheese • Sex hormones in milk • Fake food dyes • Evil popcorn bags (True!)

© Copyright BJ Rakow, Ph.D. 2012. Rev. 2015. All rights reserved.

Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So." Includes most-needed, valuable information for older workers.

  • MSG and Fat Rats and Us
    I commented earlier on the increase of obesity in the United States. That started me thinking. Could there be some chemical in our food that may be causing this tremendous obesity epidemic?
  • Obesity is Widespread
    I’m going to jump feet-first into the low fat vs. low carb diet controversy and let you know what I discovered. The first fact was mind-blowing. Did you know that the United States has become obesogenic?
  • Doughnuts are Good for You
    One of the most beloved foods in the United States is the doughnut or as it is popularly spelled, donut. Who invented the doughnut? Where did it come from? What is it made of? Why should you care?

Comments for Interview with FDA Spokesperson - Part One

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on May 06, 2015:

Hi, GmaGoldie - so nice to see you here, m'dear. Hope all is well with you. Loved your comment - this info certainly could be viewed as the ultimate excuse for beginning a new diet. Thanks for your visit. You might also like to peruse: 'Interview with FDA Spokesperson Part Two' and 'Part Three.'

Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on May 06, 2015:

You have the ultimate article for dieting! Oh, my! Great hub!

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on May 08, 2013:

It is sad, Bk, when we have to have such fear over the food we - as well as our pets - ingest. Our trust in the FDA is too often misplaced. I've tried to point out in this hub as well as Part 'Two and Part Three, some of the more common fallacies about our tainted food supply.

You hit the nail on the head. Why should Food and Drugs be administered by one agency? That does not make sense. Thanks for the visit and your very literate comments, m'dear.

BkCreative from Brooklyn, New York City on May 07, 2013:

Sigh! You know drbj - it was back in the 60s as we became aware of just how bad our food supply was becoming we were advised to "vary our poisons" - what an indictment of our nutrition. Yet this is how I live my life today - in fear of falling in love with one food because it seems like eventually it will be recalled.

Same goes for cat food. I give my kitty a wide variety of assorted foods - then check recalls online. Of the 4 canned varieties I was using 2 had been (quietly) recalled.

I've always felt there should never be an agency that mixed food with drugs. Food and Drug Administration - really? Why not a separate agency for food?

Thanks for telling us what we are often so much in denial about. Yes, we will be fed toxic garbage - and it's all legal. Sigh!

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 12, 2013:

Growing your own is good, Peg, and Coke - even though it can remove rust from chrome car bumpers (honest!) - settles one's stomach. For more nasty additive info including GMOs, take a look at Parts Two and Three in this series. Let me know what you think, m'dear.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on March 12, 2013:

This makes me want to grow all my own food and grind my own grain. But I'm still sticking with the Coke products that have kept my stomach probs to a minimum over the years. What about GMOs?

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on August 24, 2012:

Since I have lived on this planet longer than most, tirelesstraveler, I can genuinely attest to the fact that government seldom does ANYTHING better than creative people on their own. Thank you for the visit and the interesting comments. No apology is needed, BTW.

Judy Specht from California on August 23, 2012:

Sorry, when I read part 3 I was in a really bad mood and missed your humor. Truly creatively written, despite the despicable grossness of the subject. Glad I read part 3 first. You gotta wonder why we think government can do it better than anyone.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on August 03, 2012:

Hi, crissytsu, nice to meet you. There's more gross disgusting stuff, m'dear, just read Part Two.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on August 03, 2012:

I welcome your venting any time, nicomp, and appreciate your reminding us of the creative (?) accounting performed by our 'What's a Budget?' (?) leadership.

crissytsu from Texas on August 02, 2012:

Wow...I'm thoroughly disgusted now :P

nicomp really from Ohio, USA on August 02, 2012:

Oh, please. Don't even suggest that I am responsible for their budget increase. Remember that the federal budget, when there is one, which there hasn't been for 2 years, even though the US Constitution requires such, assumes a yearly increase for all departments even if they don't ask for it. They also consider a budget 'cut' to be a reduction in that yearly increase. It's accounting that would put the Middle Class in jail, but since Washington makes the rules...

Thanks for letting me vent. :)

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on August 02, 2012:

Look at it this way, nicomp. All that 'lovely' stuff is added to your food at absolutely no charge to you. I would write more but I am doubled up laughing at your 'infallible' FDA comment. Now they will seek a bigger budget for sure.

nicomp really from Ohio, USA on August 02, 2012:

Thank you SO much for the hairs and the juices and the slime in my food! All this time I thought the FDA was infallible just like all every other government agency. They must need a bigger budget.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 26, 2012:

You know, Dolores, I never thought of it that way. Ammonia could keep my burger clean. Unedible of course. But clean! But I do draw the line at maggots inside or outside my food.

BTW - your youngest son who once thought maggots were cute. What kind of work does he do these days? Just wonderin'.

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on July 26, 2012:

Hi drbj - what's the matter with you? Do you want your beer to catch on fire? And there's nothing like a little ammonia in your burger to keep it clean. And what could you possibly have against maggots? (Haha, as an aside, my youngest son once protested when I went ballistic over seeing maggots in my garbage can. He thought they were cute)

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 25, 2012:

How lovely to see you here, Mohan. Yes, the information is on the 'yucky' side but as you pointed out, organic food may not be far from that description depending on one's point of view.

Thank you, m'dear, for your beyond clever comments. Perhaps county midwife is my genuine niche - 'to deliver anything out of anything.' What an imaginative comment. Thank you again. Signed, the 'resident genius.' Ho, ho.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 25, 2012:

Yes, Martie, it is shocking and disgusting that so many dastardly and unhealthy additives still linger in our favorite food and drink despite the FDA supposed supervision. We try to eat healthy and get torpedoed at the supermarket.

I know that quote well, too, .... what does not kill us makes us stronger ... Do believe it was written by a sadist.

Wait a minute ... that was written by Friedrich Nietzche. I was correct in the first place. Heh, heh

Mohan Kumar from UK on July 21, 2012:

wow - drbj - this is an astonishing find. I love the format, the info and the sheer 'yuckiness' quotient that makes this immensely readable. While some of these are abominable ( pink slime and ammonia!) aren't some of these scientific processes more sensational because they are man made- organic food gets its ingredients from the soil- the soil is a rich chemistry lab where bugs, worms and even humans decompose- therefore allowing the plants to suck up the nutrients... if we define what actually happens in the soil we probably wont eat anything! Manure? natural decomposed fertilizer? just sayin'. As always drbj you 'write with such a zest' ( love it) and you should run for office. I think county midwife would be perfect as you can deliver anything out of anything! you're so darn clever. voted up of course, our resident genius.

Martie Coetser from South Africa on July 21, 2012:

I am totally speechless, in a state of shock, facing the fact that our favorite eats and drinks contain disgusting ingredients :(

Thank you, drbj, for this informative, well-presented hub.

And now I wonder, should I, or should I not, highlight one of my favorite quotes - "What does not kill us, makes us strong."

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 18, 2012:

Love that 'write with such a zest' comment, SuperS. Thank you for enjoying all my hubs. Run for office, you say? Would that be city dog-catcher or county midwife?

SuperS on July 18, 2012:

What an interesting hub. You write with such a zest. Really enjoy all the hubs you write. You need to run for office!

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 18, 2012:

Thank you, Dex, for appreciating the humor of my message which IS, I know, quite disturbing. I have learned that presenting 'heavy' information with a light touch is often the most effective way to get a difficult message through.

Thank you for appreciating this tactic, and your approbation is music to my ears. So is your following, my friend, and your Up votes. Be well!

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 18, 2012:

Hi, pd. Hanging with a friend who eats too much meat can be dangerous to your health. So don't let him or her proselytize you. Just say 'No' to drugs, I mean, dogs, I mean meat!

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 18, 2012:

Hi, Jaye. Regarding your comment re the 'untrustworthiness' of the FDA, I could not agree more. Reminds me of that ancient line comics often use: "Trust me. I'm from the government." Not necessarily so!

Dexter Yarbrough from United States on July 18, 2012:

Hi DR BJ! While I certainly appreciate the humor of your hub, the message is quite disturbing. There are a myriad of things in our food that just don't need to be there.

I really appreciate how you have presented this to us. You just may have saved or altered some lives - for the better.

Voted up, up and away!

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 17, 2012:

"Light-hearted though profoundly astute conversations?" Audrey? Those are the very best kind. Delighted to have you back in the fold (?) and that your dogs are great and so is Bob. Yes, ED ads are very conspicuous these days. Must be something in the air ... or the food. on July 17, 2012:

drbj - I've been hanging with a friend who eats so much meat and have been starting to FEEL different Thanks to you I know why now!

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on July 16, 2012:

The FDA is not to be trusted, whatsoever! It's merely a "subsidiary" of Monsanto Corporation, run by a former Monsanto attorney whose only agenda is to help that sleazy company take over the world by taking over its food supply. We must fight against them!

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 16, 2012:

How nice to meet you, Daughter of Maat. You are not the first person who has made the decision to go organic vegan, and many people who do so cite the laxness and ineffectiveness of FDA supervision as one of the compelling reasons to do so. You made a very intelligent decision to grow your own food.

I understand exactly what you mean by describing the information as 'disgusting' - I see that as an accolade. Thanks for the visit, the awesome, the Up vote and the sharing. Watch for Part Two which is imminent ... if not sooner.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 16, 2012:

Hi, Kelly. Knew you would not be surprised to read most of this relevant information since I recognize you as an intelligent, questioning and fact-finding compatriot.

In an old comic strip, Pogo, who was the possum protagonist, used to say, "We have found the enemy and the enemy is us!" That's how I view the FDA and a few other governmental agencies charged with potecting human interests.

Thank you for your insightful comments and sharing - you are much appreciated. :)

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 16, 2012:

Hi, Wayne. You are right on the mark with your observation that the FDA "allowed folks to screw around with our food in the interest of color, shine, shape, shelf-life, and taste." That may be their GENUINE mission statement.

As to the safety of eating veggies, eat organic whenever possible. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the most popular herbicide used on corn and soy crops, has been linked to problems you don't even want to know about.

Soylent Green (as in that fascinating movie you mentioned)) is here! Thanks for your cogent comments, my friend.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 16, 2012:

Hi, moussa83. You are most welcome for the information. Most of the people I know, like you, drink soft drinks almost every day. I'm simply suggesting you switch your allegiance from the fruity-tasting ones to Pepsi or Coke if you desire a carbonated beverage.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 16, 2012:

Dimi - I would not want to be accused of not being fair. So in the interests of equality I will agree that the FDA may have some insight when it comes to veterinary drugs as compared to their protection of sentient human beings. Perhaps that indicates where their priorities lie. Hmmmmm?

Audrey Kirchner from Washington on July 15, 2012:

ha ha BJ - always good to have our usual lighthearted though profoundly astute conversations~ It's good to be back to tell ya the dogs are great and so is Bob but I do miss the banter~ Will think about that hub on ED....I have a "bone" to pick (here I go again) with all these young guys doing commercials for these just seems a little ironic if you ask me that all of a sudden we have millions of men who just can't get things to work when isn't that all they think about....but I'm waiting for legislation to outlaw these outrageous ads and will just have to see what "comes" of it~ See ya next time~~~

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 15, 2012:

Thanks for stopping by, Jim. As an insider in various international food companies, you were certainly in a position to see many, shall I say interesting, additives added to the mix. And to learn the fascinating aliases they were given.

One day you must write an expose under an assumed name after you have moved to Costa Rica or any other pleasant place that does not believe in extradition. :)

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 15, 2012:

Speechless, Scribenet? Not really, your 'ewwww' said it all, m'dear. I know exactly how you feel!

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 15, 2012:

Nice to meet you, anna141. Thanks for finding this hub interesting. Part Two is coming soon.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 15, 2012:

Thanks for such interesting comments, m'luv, I'll try to touch all the bases you mentioned. Castoreum collecting, from beavers, must pay well, Audrey, else why would beaver hunters take the job? Either the compensation is high or their brain cells are low, right? Maybe a combination of the two.

That's the beauty of working for the FDA. They profess to protect us with irregular announcements of their accomplishments. At the same time they earn their keep from the food processors they are really protecting.

Thanks for loving my new acronym for their name - more appropriate don't ya think? Regret that bandaid incident in your daughter's cereal - she's fortunate it was not still attached to the finger it was protecting.

You are smart to cook from scratch so you can personally count bird feathers and allowable hairs in the food you prepare. Nice of the FDA to give you a baseline as guidance.

I love mushrooms and used to eat them right from the can. Now I can easily throw up just thinking about that. Wonder if I can sue someone or something for pain and stress and aggravation.

As to your question about the flame retardant in soda perhaps causing men to have erectile dysfunction? As you so cleverly state: "putting out the fire before it gets 'out of hand.'" Sounds like a hub to me.

Did I mention it's nice to have you back" 'Tis. :)

Mel Flagg COA OSC from Rural Central Florida on July 15, 2012:

I think I need to vomit. This hub is the reason I decided to go organic vegan. It's just so gross wht they put in our food, and that the FDA thinks it's okay to do so. I don't like other people having control over what I eat, so I grow most of my own.

Voted up and Awesome (awesomely disgusting is more like it.) Had to share, this is one of those issues that really hits home for me.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on July 15, 2012:

Oh Drbj - I am sorry to say I am not surprised...just more disgusted. I have a few reservations about drug administration and human research subjects before.

This is a really terrific and honest revelation of what does go on! I am glad to be a little more educated so I am going to have to share this everywhere!

Wayne Brown from Texas on July 15, 2012:

Wow...lots to learn here...please do not write a piece on vegetables...I need to have something left to eat. At the same time, can you imagine a world in which the FDA allowed folks to screw around with our food in the interest of color, shine, shape, shelf-life, and taste? Well, you don't have to imagine, the FDA is right there to make all your dreams come true. Brings to mind tha movie, "Solient Green". Thanks much, Doc! WB

moussa83 on July 15, 2012:

But I drink soft drinks almost every day but does not have the best natural drinks Thanks for the information

De Greek from UK on July 14, 2012:

Let's be fair her. They may screw up on drugs intended for humans, but they are not bad for veterinary drugs ;-)))

Springboard from Wisconsin on July 13, 2012:

Over the years, and having worked for food companies like Coca-Cola, Kraft, and Nestlé, I try my best to not think much about what actually goes into the things I eat or drink, and most specifically, know EXACTLY why we come up with long-winded words to name the ingredients. If I focused too much on the truth of these things, I'd probably die of starvation.

Maggie Griess from Ontario, Canada on July 11, 2012:

Eww..I am speeechless!

anna141 from India on July 08, 2012:

Such a interesting hub

Audrey Kirchner from Washington on July 08, 2012:

Hey BJ - you gotta ask yourself - who HAS the job of the beaver anal gland "collecting?" And I think I have a "s*tty" job! Gosh - do they get paid enough to do this kind of thing? All I can say is wow.

I love your new acronymn expansion for our illustrious FDA - right on! They are protecting us? OMG - I wasn't aware of this fact! It seems the opposite to me from a consumer point of view.

You have to love a society where there are stats on "allowable" bird feathers and hairs in our foods. I draw the line, however, at bird droppings. That is just plain poopy if you ask me!~ Although my daughter did get a bandaid in her cereal once...that was enough to make both of us gag - and never buy that brand of cereal EVER - we were afraid we'd get the finger or body part next!

Another good tip - examine mushrooms before is amazing though how few people actually think about these things if you ask me. I guess that's why I'm so adamant about trying most of the time to make everything from scratch.

Do you think the flame retardant in soda is what is causing all these men to have erectile dysfunction? As in it's putting the fire out before it gets "out of hand." It's a thought - maybe they should do a study on it - and spend millions of dollars doing it! Why not - add it to the list!!

Seriously - when, me? - great article and tongue in cheek you've said a mouthful~

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 07, 2012:

Good for you, Will. Home on the range is the healthy place to be where you can raise your own free range chickens. Maybe a few turkeys, too.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 07, 2012:

So happy, teaches, you waited 'til after lunch to read this. Congrats on eating healthy. You are intelligent to do so.

You are absolutely correct. The FDA is not operating in our best interest. They seem to be controlled by food processors and manufacturers. Profit rules, unfortunately. Thanks for visiting and the incisive comments.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 07, 2012:

Thank you, Alastar, for the Bravo! and for realizing the value of this hub as a public service. I'm not sure the reluctant Mr. Clueless who was indeed superflous, saw things the same way. After all, he is a public servant.

Happy you enjoyed my healthy hints for avoiding additives in our food as much as possible. Part two of this expose is coming soon.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 07, 2012:

Like you, Patti, I do not want maggots in my oatmeal packets, bugs in my canned corn nor maggots in my mushrooms. Do you think Michelle knows about this? Thanks for the Up, m'dear.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 07, 2012:

Forgive me, christopher, but I could not resist that opportunity. To answer your question, and you may be sorry you asked - a fur harvester (beaver hunter) can realize a greater profit from his beaver harvest by properly removing the castoreum or anal scent glands right after skinning the beaver. The castors are located right above the vent hole and can easily be removed with the help of a knife and (ugh) fingers.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 07, 2012:

Hi, christopher. I do not enjoy the added protein of maggots in my mushrooms either. That's why I switched to fresh mushrooms. Regarding the beaver anal gland juice - you asked how do they extract it? My answer . . . very carefully.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 07, 2012:

Nice to meet you, lambservant. Hopefully, as a result of the anal gland juice information, and minute inspection by Hub readers, many more beavers can now rest easy at night. We are performing a good deed.

And shiny candy - scratch it off your list. Do as Ruby above suggests; swithch to 'dull' candy.

Do not stop reading labels even when they are affixed to organic food packages. If it's not a pesticide within, it could be an additive. Just sayin'.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 07, 2012:

I felt a little sick myself, Ruby, when I thought of all the times I have eaten canned mushrooms - sometimes right out of the can! Ugh! I remember my blessed grandother grinding round steak with a hand grinder for hamburger. Now I know why she was so smart and went to all that trouble.

So you're going to stick to 'dull' candy from now on? Smart move. That eliminates those lovely M&Ms, you know. All is not lost though, you can still have your Coke fix. And vodka? It's okay . . . for the moment.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 07, 2012:

True, Molly, growing your own food is the best way to avoid all these nasty additives. Problem is few of us have the acreage, time, funds or even desire to grow our own produce. Next best thing is to minutely examine the labeling on every food product you purchase. And make use of the Internet to define terms like BVO, natural flavor, etc. We have to outsmart the 'labelers.'

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 07, 2012:

You may be on the right track, b. If you have room, like a spare acre or two, you can buy your own cow, a few pigs and some chickens and not have to worry about disgusting food additives. You can also grow your own vegetables and plant some apple trees. Just don't inform the FDA. They might want you to spray that bug juice on your apples.

Thanks for reading this informative hub and bookmarking and sharing with friends and family. The more, the betterer.

WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on July 07, 2012:

Sheesh! I'm moving back to the farm where it's well water and free range chicken!

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 07, 2012:

'OMG! I may never eat again.' I often feel the same way, too, Pamela. Our world is becoming crazier and crazier with as you say ... "chickens are the size of small turkeys and 10 year olds have boobs."

And you are correct. Even if you turn to organic foods, often there are no guarantees especially with 'natural flavor' - whatever that is - that may be added. I appreciate your visit, your comments and finding this hub a ' real eye opener.' Thank you, m'dear.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 07, 2012:

Nice to make your acquaintance, Amethystraven. I am intrigued by your uncommon name. If only we could imprint your suggestion in the brains of the FDA folks. I would repeat your profound wording: " Don't cover things up by calling them natural flavors or natural colors. Tell us EXACTLY what is in the food and drink we ... purchase."

I do remember that extraordinary movie, Soylent Green - I think of it almost every time I examine a label and find an additive, disguised of course, thereon.

And you are most welcome, m'dear.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 07, 2012:

Dear Petra - I am so happy to see you here. How have you been? Missed you, y'know. You are so right - this IS scary information. I'll share more of this scary stuff in Part Two of this hub.

Antibiotics are wondrous substances when applied to the treatment of disease but the FDA appears to have little interest in the ingenious methods farmers and food processing companies use to install these substances in food products.

Products labeled 'organic' which are too expensive for the populace may not be the answer if they are also the responsibility of FDA supervision.

Thank you for finding this information extremely useful. As you suggested, I wrote a letter and enclosed a printout of this hub for Michelle at the White House, since she seems to have such an obsessive interest in selecting the foods our children should be fed. I was certain I would receive a reply.

I did. My envelope was returned stamped: "Addressee Unknown." Maybe this is a good sign???

Thanks for the visit, m'luv, your incisive remarks and your gracious comment: 'great and intelligent humor.'

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 07, 2012:

"Brilliantly cooked, yet disgustingly difficult to digest?" Love that comment, Amy. It is pure poetry. I do heartily agree, m'dear, that 'trust' seems to be an ingredient that is missing from FDA responsibilities.

I was going to use the word, oversight, to describe FDA supervision. But then I realized that word, oversight, also has a contrary meaning - errors. Hmmmm, that applies, too.

Yes, today produce may also be just as dangerous as processed food. As Ollie once said (of Laurel and Hardy - you are much too young to know them) ... "it's a fine kettle of fish.'" Even many fish are not safe to eat as I will expound on in Part Two of this hub.

I would love to be 'catwalk skinny' as you put it but not at the risk of becoming ill from substances like additives that I do not even know are being permitted in the food I eat. Thoroughly disgusting dilemma. Thanks for your insightful comments, m'luv.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 07, 2012:

Thank you, Audrey, not only for your visit but for understanding so well what the problem with additives in our food involves. Yes, the public needs to be educated about the dangers in processed foods and the unwholesome additives they may contain.

Unfortunately, in our worldwide capitalistic society, it appears that the Golden Rule no longer applies. Instead, he who has the gold (food manufacturers/processors, for example) rules!

You also make a very good point about the dangers involved in consuming a diet of microwaved meals and genetically modified food. I will attack - that's the correct word - that subject in Part Two of this hub.

Thnk you, m'luv, for sharing this hub and for so often being ' right there with' me.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 07, 2012:

Your are on the mark, Alicia, the safest alternative is eating natural unprocessed food. But convincing the American consumer is something else. It's not easy to convince people that convenience in eating processed and fast food may not be equated to health.

Thanks for finding this useful information about which additives should be avoided, as well as learning more about those you would not choose to eat in the first place. As always, your visits and comments, m'dear, are much appreciated.

Dianna Mendez on July 07, 2012:

Well, I am glad that I didn't read this before lunch as it just confirms my beliefs on processed foods. YUK! We eat mostly natural, fresh foods and organic as much as possible for the reasons you posted.

It's no wonder many people are getting cancers, allergies and other ailments in our present society. The FDA is not operating in our best interest. They are simple Food + drugs. Enough said!

Alastar Packer from North Carolina on July 07, 2012:

Drbj, bravo! on such a public service interview! Why, the reluctant Mr Clueless was very nearly made superfluous by your comments. Your healthy hints are awesome info too for anyone who cares about what goes in their food and drink. Its not too far a stretch to say your doing Mr Clueless's job by at least informing us about what really goes into our consumables. Waiting with anticipation for your next expose' interview!

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 06, 2012:

Nice to meet you, ChristinS. You are on the mark with the FDA's use of 'natural anything' which covers a myriad of items that are anything but natural to eat. Including those produced by beavers.

The FDA appears to have cozy arrangements with manufacturers and processors which operate to the detriment, not the health, of the general public.

Thank you for your visit, your kind comments, the up and the sharing.

breakfastpop on July 06, 2012:

How about maggots in your instant oatmeal packets and disgusting bugs in canned corn! Up and interesting and useful too!

Christopher Antony Meade from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom on July 05, 2012:

I definitely don't like the notion of maggots in mushrooms. That's seriously gross. But I must ask this. How do they extract the juice from the beaver's anus?

Lori Colbo from United States on July 05, 2012:

I almost lost my last meal at the anal juice of a beaver. I don't eat lots of candy, but now I am writing it off forever. It seems almost everything we put in our mouths is bad for us, except maybe organic foods, but you never know, we may found out one day that they are dangerous for some reason. Thanks for a very important hub.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on July 05, 2012:

OMG, I will never ever eat another mushroom..Slime in meat, YUCK. How about Beaver anal gland juice used to make candy shiny, PLEASE, I like dull candy.. OMG, What are we going to do? move to a farm and grow our own veggies and meat. Thank goodness I can still have a coke. I just 'gotta have my coke fix. Thank's for the warnings. Is vodka ok? Just askin'...Cheers

Mary Strain from The Shire on July 05, 2012:

Gack! It's getting so that if it doesn't come from your own garden, you can't trust it!! No wonder so many people are getting sick nowadays...we're being poisoned! Thanks for the warning...

b. Malin on July 05, 2012:

Ok, so now after reading this most Informative Hub, Drbj, I too, may NEVER put Food in my Mouth again! So now, after carefully consideration, I've informed Lover Man that we are buying a COW, a CHICKEN and a few other Barn Yard Friends. Hey, if my neighbors complain...I'll invite them over for a Cookout afterwards.

Seriously, This is one Hub to Bookmark and Share with Friends and Family. Thank You!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 05, 2012:

OMG! I may never eat again. I knew we were getting all kinds of antibiotics and estrogen, so now chickens are the size of small turkeys, plus 10 year olds now have boobs. It is really disgusting that our food source is so contaminated with so many harmful substances. I try to buy organic but even then there are no guarantees and it isn't always affordable. You hub is a real eye opener.

Amethystraven from California on July 05, 2012:

Thank you for this hub. I am a firm believer in telling people exactly what they are getting when they buy foods and beverages. Don't cover things up by calling them natural flavors or natural colors. Tell us EXACTLY what's in the food and drink we are given a choice to purchase from. Let us make our own decisions. If you have to disguise it because it may sound unappealing, that should be a clue not to put it in the food. Remember that movie Soylent Green...............

Petra Vlah from Los Angeles on July 05, 2012:

You got us used to great and intelligent humor, but what you are telling us here in nothing to laugh about; in fact, it is so scary most people will want to cry and scream. I never had much faith in ANY government agency, but this is just too much and you didn't even mention the hormones and antibiotics the food industry is using while the FDA is turning a blind eye.

No wonder the increase in illnesses (from cancer to the rest - don't know how to spell most of them, but you have an idea what I am talking about). I am furious and puzzled by the sheer irresponsibility of farmers (driven by profits alone) who are feeding chickens with grounded fish turning them into carnivore creatures.

I don't have much faith in the so called "organic products" which don't have anywhere near the taste of the ones I grew up with. Even if they are "for real" not everybody can afford such exorbitant prices. I guess we have to starve to death unless we can provide our own food - that is the tragedy of modern life I suppose. Thank you for this extremely useful information and while we should curse them, let's pray together hoping for the best.

P.S. maybe you should send this information to the so very "concerned"

and ever more pathetic Michelle Obama so she can use it in her speeches about health and obesity.

Amy Becherer from St. Louis, MO on July 05, 2012:

Brilliantly cooked, yet disgustingly difficult to digest, drbj. Makes me never want to swallow again! I used to only be afraid of processed foods, but today, produce apparently is just as dangerous. It is galling to peruse the grocery aisles and pay "an arm and a leg" for consumables that have a high potential for making one sick. Trust isn't on the ingredient list of the FDA. Organic? Vegan? Really? All I can be sure of is that it costs a whole lot more. How many more instances of e-coli illnesses and deaths will we see, in not just contaminated meat, but fresh produce, such as lettuce, sprouts and shallots? With the exorbitant cost of foods, why aren't fieldworkers paid a fair wage for back breaking work? Stuck out in the fields all day without bathroom facilities, I don't believe the cattle are the only ones to blame for e-coli epidemics either. The lack of trust that the FDA has earned should be enough to keep us all "catwalk" skinny!

Eye-opening interview, drbj, that makes "puttin' on the feedbag" risky business.

vocalcoach on July 05, 2012:

If folks would stop purchasing processed food altogether, things might just change. It all boils down to the almighty dollar and greed. In order for any kind of change to be made, people need to be educated, starting with reading this marvelous hub. I will do my part by sharing this with social networks including FB, Twtr and hubpages.

It makes me sick, both physically and emotionally to learn how we are being lied to, deceived, tricked in every way and sucked into the system. Processed foods wreak havoc on our digestive tract due to harmful chemicals and preservatives.

I'd also like to add that microwaving food zaps all the nutrients in 7 seconds. Something to think about if you are health conscious. How about a hub on genetically modified food?

Thanks so much for this marvelous hub. I'm right there with you!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on July 05, 2012:

This is a very interesting hub with lots of useful information, drbj. I guess the safest thing for us to do is to eat whole, unprocessed foods. Most people are so busy, though, and it's so convenient to buy packaged and processed food that's ready - or almost ready - to eat. It's good to know which additives should be avoided, and to learn about which ones we really wouldn't want to eat!

Christin Sander from Midwest on July 05, 2012:

I so agree with this hub, and the "natural" term is so maddening. Technically the FDA can label anything as "natural" so long as it started out in nature - so yes, this would include beaver secretions - YUCK. If people actually took the time to know what is really in the food they consume, there would be a lot of dietary changes going on. the FDA is not to be trusted as long as it gets kickbacks from the food and pharmaceutical lobby. How else do so many drugs get passed through so quickly that kill and injure people? pffffffft. Great hub with great info, voted up and shared.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on July 05, 2012:

Thank you, arb, for this intelligent and insightful comment. I fully agree with you. Why does the FDA allow food manufacturers and processors to label many products 'natural flavoring,' for example, when that phrase explains absolutely nothing? And it is often used, as you point out, to deceive the consumer. We deserve better from our government-supported agencies.

arb from oregon on July 05, 2012:

I've been aware of these additives and others for quiet some time. What makes me angry however, is the misplaced trust we extend a gov. agency to oversee our food. What they seem intent on preserving is the rights of big business to use microscopic fine print and words we never heard of to put us at ease. The practice of marketing in America is rooted in deception and illusion to insure our silent compliance. I don't really care what they add as long as I can decide to eat it based on a true representation of what it is I'm eating. Eating a diet grown in deception is the greatest offense to a trust generously given. They have proven they are undeserving of our good nature.

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