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Do you like strawberry Yoplait yogurt? Has crushed bugs! Interesting article!

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Old 08-09-2006, 01:13 PM   #1
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Default Do you like strawberry Yoplait yogurt? Has crushed bugs! Interesting article!

OMG!

This article http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/...807_789872.htm from Business week magazine was eye-opening!

An Insider's Guide to Food Labels
Few people know that the food coloring listed as cochineal extract comes from female beetles. Food activists want to spread the word


When you dig into a strawberry Yoplait yogurt, take a moment to contemplate where the beautiful pink color comes from. Strawberries? Think again. It comes from crushed bugs. Specifically, from the female cochineal beetles and their eggs. And it's not just yogurt. The bugs are also used to give red coloring to Hershey (HSY) Good & Plenty candies, Tropicana grapefruit juice, and other common foods. Advertisement

You won't find "crushed bugs" on the list of ingredients for any of these foods, however. Companies have a bit of latitude in describing exactly what they put in our food. Many larger companies, such as General Mills (GIS), the manufacturer of Yoplait and Pepsi (PEP), the maker of Tropicana, identify the dye in their products as either carmine, or cochineal extract. Still, many companies simply list "artificial color" on their ingredients list without giving any details.

Food activists are trying to change disclosure requirements. The Food & Drug Administration has received numerous complaints over the issue and is now in the process of considering a proposal to require color additives like the cochineal extract to be disclosed on the labels of all foods that use them. "Hopefully we'll see something by the end of the year," says Michael Jacobson, executive director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a food advocacy group in Washington, D. C.

ALLERGIC REACTIONS. Jacobson says that consumers want to know what they're eating. Some are allergic to bug extract; others are vegetarians. "The food product should indicate that it comes from insects so that vegetarians at least can avoid the product," he says.

Carmine may be the least of food activists' worries. It is known to cause allergic reactions in just a small percentage of the population. Food producers sometimes add much more dangerous chemical additives to make their products look attractive (see BusinessWeek.com, 3/27/06, "Hershey: A Sweeter Bid").

Indeed, who would think that chicken, eggs, and salmon are often artificially enhanced to look more appetizing to consumers? The plump, juicy chicken sitting on the supermarket shelf is likely to have been fed canthaxanthin, a pigment added to chicken feed to enhance poultry's yellow color and make it look palatable. And egg-laying hens are also given a dye along with their feed, making egg yolks vary in color from light yellow all the way to bright orange.

IN THE PINK. Farmers can have their pick from a color chart that goes from the numbers 1 to 15, coinciding with colors from yellow to red. The yellow color comes from xanthophyll and carotenoids in the feed absorbed through the intestine, metabolized, and deposited in the egg yolk. In an article published last year, R. Scott Beyer, a poultry specialist from the Kansas State University, recommended different levels of xanthophylls, depending on what color of yolk is desired. He says 23 mg of xanthophyll per pound of feed results in a "medium orange" color.

The fresh, farm-raised salmon that shoppers buy also get their orange-red hue from eating the chemicals astaxanthin and canthaxanthin. Wild salmon are pink because they eat shrimp-like creatures called krill. But to achieve the same pink color, farmed salmon need chemicals, which are mixed with their feed. In the past couple of years, the European Union significantly reduced the level of such dyes that can be fed to salmon because of concerns that the dyes, at high levels, can affect people's eyesight.

Two years ago, in the U.S., Seattle law firm Smith & Lowney filed two class actions against grocers Kroger (KR) and Safeway (SWY) in Washington and California, contending that they should disclose that their salmon are dyed pink. Both lawsuits got thrown out of court. However, Knoll Lowney, a partner at the law firm, says that the lawsuits raised enough public awareness that many grocers voluntarily use "color added" labels to their salmon.

Still, Lowney says that such dyes are totally unnecessary. "This is a growing problem because the food companies are using more artificial means to enhance the appearance of the product and make it appear like something that it is not," he says. A walk down the grocery aisle for processed food is an eye opener—the bacon and ham get their red tint from sodium ascorbate, an antioxidant and color stabilizer, and the Betty Crocker icing gets its bright
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Old 08-09-2006, 01:15 PM   #2
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Definately need some truth in advertising!
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Old 08-09-2006, 01:30 PM   #3
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I read something about yogurt having bugs in it awhile ago, but as for the other stuff, woah. I'm definitely going to be looking twice when I shop for those things.
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Old 08-09-2006, 02:05 PM   #4
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I like my yogurt - plain non fat yogurt with 5 active cultures plus whatever fresh fruit I cut up and stir in. Sometimes, I add a little honey. It is refreshingly bug free.
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Old 08-09-2006, 02:31 PM   #5
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actually, I knew that a long time ago from biochemistry in college. And I still eat yoplait strawberry yogurt. It doesn't shock me, a lot of other products I know have weird animal products. I know some people will turn heads and say "eww!" but all I have to say is, "so what?"
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Old 08-09-2006, 02:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by athenac
I read something about yogurt having bugs in it awhile ago, but as for the other stuff, woah. I'm definitely going to be looking twice when I shop for those things.

no, no no- they won't mention it in terms of where the chemical was derived. how are you going to look twice if they don't write it? Unless you've got a PhD in biochemistry, I highly doubt that it'll be easy pinpointing these things.
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Old 08-09-2006, 03:00 PM   #7
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This discussion reminds me of the TNS Recovery system. It is a wrinkle cream. It is derived from the foreskin removed from babies. Many products are derived from less than savory beginnings, it doesn't mean they are harmful or don't work. It is just a little ewy.

Ruby Red Diet Squirt has a product called "ester of wood rosin" in it. First time I read that it put me off. It doesn't bother me anymore.
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Old 08-09-2006, 03:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alethea
This discussion reminds me of the TNS Recovery system. It is a wrinkle cream. It is derived from the foreskin removed from babies.
So that stuff *IS* good for your skin, then!

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Old 08-09-2006, 06:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veggielover
no, no no- they won't mention it in terms of where the chemical was derived. how are you going to look twice if they don't write it? Unless you've got a PhD in biochemistry, I highly doubt that it'll be easy pinpointing these things.
I meant think twice. I know that they are not going to mention the chemicals, but after reading that article, I'm going to wonder, more than I already do, when I go grocery shopping.
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Old 08-09-2006, 07:15 PM   #10
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I'm glad I hate yogurt.
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Old 08-09-2006, 10:35 PM   #11
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I don't care if it has crushed bugs in it or not. If I like it and it tastes good to me then why should I care, short of out right poison? It's not like I'm picking out big hairy spider legs or something.
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Old 08-09-2006, 11:23 PM   #12
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Cochineal has been used for centuries as a natural food coloring. I'd far rather they color it with that than artificially made (and possibly carcinogenic) cheaper food dyes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cochineal

By the way, cochineal is used in a lot of cosmetics as well as for coloring cakes, icing, drinks, etc.
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Old 08-10-2006, 10:52 AM   #13
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I knew that!

What's the difference with crushing bugs and extracting the jelly bits out of hooves and spines to make chewy sweets?

I know that Haribo still have gelatine in, so what? I eat meat - I'll eat hooves and offal and all sorts.

Beetle juice and spines
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Old 08-10-2006, 11:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2frustrated
I knew that!

What's the difference with crushing bugs and extracting the jelly bits out of hooves and spines to make chewy sweets?
It's just... KNOWING.

Ewwwwwww!
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Old 08-10-2006, 06:50 PM   #15
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I learned about this a while ago on one of the vegan forums I visit. There is also a form of vitamin D that is animal derived I think. I do the best I can to avoid “hidden” animal ingredients like gelatin and cochineal dye, but this can be very difficult as many products have ingredients that are not of obvious origin. Kind of scary, I like to know what I’m eating. I find it’s best to choose more unprocessed food when possible and to read labels of pre-packaged food carefully.
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