Thursday, March 31, 2016

Is this "natural"?

Who wants more beaver butt?? Yeah…

A few days ago while we were busy in the kitchen, my husband asked me if I had heard of a “natural flavoring” called castoreum. He knows how interested I am in health and wellness and the ingredients that are put into our foods.  Even though he teases me for it, he supports my quirkiness. 

It’s been a long road from eating what I THOUGHT was healthy to where I am now.  I still, once in a while, will consume a food that I KNOW if full of JUNK…just because I want a little.  But I do it knowing FULL WELL what I’m putting into my body.  While SO many people don’t realize the awful poisons and crap that they’re eating on a daily basis, I try to be more aware.  *shrug* To each his own. 

My husband likes to listen to talk radio and apparently he had heard about this “natural flavoring” the other night.  As I’m googling it he starts telling me it’s made from beaver butt.  Um SERIOUSLY??? Are you KIDDING me right now? I mean, come on people.  Why is the FDA allowing such ingredients in our food? I personally don’t trust the FDA and haven’t for a long time.  The ingredients they allow the American people to consume, with the idea that it’s “okay” to eat because they, the FDA, have approved it, is appalling. 

Take for instance cellulose.  It shows up in all kinds of foods like instant potatoes, breads, cheese and many more.  Several years ago, when I was regularly looking into ingredients to figure out exactly what we were eating, so that I could protect my son from gluten and dairy, my sister called and asked if I knew what cellulose was. Um, nope.  I had never heard of it. But maybe I had seen it before and hadn’t paid any attention to it...assuming that it was safe. It can be found in a few different forms: cellulose gel, cellulose gum, and cellulose powder. And guess what it is…tree pulp.  Yeah.  People, you’re eating tree.  I’ve heard, in the past, that bread has “saw dust” in it as filler.  Yeah. Pretty much.  It’s tree pulp ground into a powder.  So, if you don’t care that you’re eating tree…I mean…it IS natural for heaven’s sake…then go ahead and eat it.  It’s up to you.
Looks fairly harmless to me...

Back to the beaver butt…

I started reading about this lovely “natural” ingredient.  So, castoreum is a food additive that is made from the castor sacs of a beaver.  Who was the first person to try this as a food additive? What were they thinking? “HEY! I know! Let’s add some anal secretions from a beaver to this ice cream to make it taste better!” said no one thinking clearly…ever. My husband and I had voiced those thoughts, while laughing, and cringing, just before I read almost the same thoughts on this page. Oh my goodness.  This guy cracked us up.  He said pretty much EXACTLY what we were thinking. 

So the next time you decide you want some vanilla ice cream, something strawberry flavored or anything with the ingredient “natural flavoring” you might think twice about it.

I’m not so sure I want to, KNOWINGLY, eat a secretion from a beaver’s butt.  Shudder...

The worst part is that we can’t control what the manufacturers put into prepackaged foods.  And they only have to report the ingredients according to the regulations of the FDA.  They’re NOT being honest. NOT cool!!!  And that really irritates me. 

If you want to be healthy and eat foods and ingredients that you recognize, read your ingredients lists and educate yourself. Hopefully you'll choose real foods and not...beaver butt...


  1. It takes us forever to shop because we read all of the labels. Even foods that were ok, suddenly have added MSG, etc. We cook a lot from scratch and cook "Italian" that you can't buy in a can. I am UPSET at your revelation over vanilla ice cream. I have to think about this one.

    Have you read that the red color in strawberry yogurt is from from crushed beetles? Check it out for us.

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  3. I don't mind eating cellulose any more than I mind eating an apple--both come from trees.

    I don't mind eating the anal secretions of beavers any more than I mind eating the "vomit" of bees.

    I don't mind eating crushed beetles (as food dye) any more than I mind eating fried crickets (I did that once)--it's a common food in some cultures.

    What we consider horrible is not always so.

    1. You make some very good points, my friend! You made me laugh. ;)