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Monday, February 11, 2013

Another article I wish I'd never read

It turns out that the "natural flavor" used in your raspberry and vanilla treats could be coming from the anus of a beaver. (Scroll down to "Castoreum.") And no, we are not just saying that for the Google search traffic (although it should be pretty brisk).

Comments (10)

I didn't go to the link but that's another little thing about food labeling from my research: Natural raspberry flavoring doesn't mean it's from a raspberry - it's just something natural.

The "Heart healthy" label - according to what I've seen - is also a big con job. The right move is to eat real food and avoid anything that has a paragraph of ingredients.

You want to have your world view about industrialized food altered forever? Read the first 120 pages of "Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan. Cows are fattened up in the feedlots with corn. The problem? Cows don't eat corn. Corn makes cows sick so it's one long dose of antibiotics and growth hormones, a race between getting the cows heavy enough to slaughter before their livers give out from eating something they're not designed to eat. A beef cow used to be raised in several years. Now it's around 14 to 18 months. Enjoy.

Corn rules the diets of Americans. We serve it in more ways than one.

Damn- there goes my investment in beaver anal gland juice futures. Jack, you're killing my 401K.

I am interested to know how it is 'harvested'.

This deserves another "write your own punchline" contest.

1. Are beaver anus-products graded like
maple syrup and meat?
2. Are these free-range or factory farmed beaver butts?
3. Are beaver anus scrapings a Canadian thing? Hard to get locally sourced beaver
in L.A.

Bon Appetit!

Hard to get locally sourced beaver
in L.A.

You have to know where to look.

I really enjoy beaver but I agree - this is going too far.

Vanilla extract does not come from beavers! I wonder what is done with the rest of the beaver, harvested for this (sad!) purpose.

Bill McD: We raise our own grass-fed beef on local pastureland in southern Oregon and I believe it's about a year and a half from calf to slaughter, not several years. We give them a grain (oats and molasses, I think) supplement for the last month.

That's why I put the phrase "industrialized food" in there to distinguish from grass-fed cows. One solution to some of the medical problems cows face on corn would be to feed them grass for a few days before slaughter. That's the way to go, but it's not going to happen for cost reasons.
I read most cows are born and raised on grass fields owned by independent farmers so they can assume the risk and expense of that. But then they are trucked to the big corporate feedlots and that's when the nightmare starts for them.
One key phrase: Manure lagoons.

This is also why so many are developing allergies to food. "Natural flavors" are often substances from unimaginable sources, such as beaver butt.

Knowing how to grow at least some of your produce, and knowing how to cook, are two skill sets that too many people don't have but should.

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