You want to control what you eat. The companies that create what you eat want that control for themselves. The food industry has a storeroom full of goods they bought last week and need to get rid of, by feeding it all to you. Those pesky “lists of ingredients” and consumer protections might stand between you and them. No problem: they have ways around those.
Do you remember the newspaper? This was a physical thing that used to be the source of news before the internet and other electric media destroyed it. The circulations of almost all papers are declining. Now they need a new way to sell all the cellulose wood pulp and so they hide it behind a bogus name and make you eat it, that’s what.
And everybody’s doing it. Aunt Jemima’s pancake syrup? Cellulose. Pillsbury Pastry Puffs? Cellulose. Kraft Bagel-Fuls? Fast-food cheese? Sara Lee’s breakfast bowls? Cellulose, cellulose, and more cellulose.
Apparently, cellulose can give texture to processed foods, so food companies have taken to happily using it as a replacement for such frivolous and inconveniently expensive ingredients as flour and oil. Cellulose is edible, non-poisonous, and 30 percent cheaper. So the FDA has no desire to restrict its use or, restrain food companies with a maximum amount that they can use in a product. You can even find it almost any kind of food, and even organic is fair game. It makes sense, cellulose used to be a tree and trees can be organic, at least to an extent.
Cellulose may be everywhere, but that is not the worst thing about it. The most upsetting thing is that it is not food at all. Unlike normal food items you may think you are purchasing, cellulose is cannot be digested by human beings and adds no nutritional value to a human diet. You probably get more nutrition by licking the dust off of the package.
Think about your nearest store and then name the healthiest drink it offers. Did you say orange juice? Everybody says you should drink it when you’re sick. So it must basically be medicine. The packaging always totes health benefits. The cartons scream “100 percent natural,” “Not from concentrate,” and, “no added sugar.”
There’s no reason to doubt the marketing. When it comes to manufacturing processes, orange juice isn’t sausage. No pink slime here. You pick oranges, you squeeze oranges, you put the result in a carton, with or without pulp. End of story, beginning of deliciousness.
Unfortunately, we’re here to ruin the fantasy. What if we told you that the “freshly squeezed” juice you are drinking could be a year old.
It’s true. You’ve probably noticed that every box of orange juice you’ve consumed tasted about the same despite a small difference depending on the brand. Oranges do not all taste exactly the same. There are sweet ones and more sour ones. Clearly something is up.
The process really does start with squeezing the oranges, but that’s the first and only normal step. The juice is sealed in giant holding tanks and all the oxygen is removed from them. That way the liquid can keep without spoiling for up to twelve months. Ever wondered why you can get orange juice even when oranges are out of season?
The one downside to the process (from the manufacturers’ point of view, that is) is that it removes all the taste from the juice. Now they have huge tanks full of bland fruit muck. Strangely enough, they re-flavor that watery fruit muck with a carefully constructed mix of chemicals called a flavor pack. This is manufactured by perfume companies. Finally, they put the flavored orange water in bottles and cartons and take your money in exchange.
Most restaurants that serve hamburgers try to reassure you how pure and natural they are. McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and others vouch for the authenticity of their animal parts with campaigns like: “100 percent beef is used in all our burgers and we are supplied by farms accredited by nationally recognized farm assurance schemes,” and, “Like all U.S. beef, our 100 percent premium beef is USDA inspected, then passes our 20 quality checkpoints.” These reassuring statements about the healthiness and fullness of their meat read out like they were talking about filet mignon instead of low-end ground-up cow parts.
Apart from the rare E. coli outbreak, the meat is clean. It’s how they get it clean which makes you think vegans might actually not be insane.
You know ammonia, right? It’s the harsh chemical they use in fertilizers and oven cleaners. One of its talents is killing E. coli. There is a process in which hamburgers are passed through a pipe where they are doused in ammonia gas.
Beef Products Inc. invented the ammonia process. This company developed it as a way to use the absolute cheapest parts of the animal, instead of that silly “prime cuts” stuff the competitors were offering (and the restaurant chains swear we’re still getting). Because of their genius way to clean and use every part of the cow, Beef Products Inc. has taken over the burger patty market in the U.S. About 70 percent of all burger patties out there are made by them. Thanks, ammonia!