Eco News

Join 1000’s of people greeing their lives every week in the UK

GreenBuildingAdvisor Logo EcoOnline Logo EcoWatch Logo Huffpost Logo Clean Technica Logo Energy Saving Trust Logo lifehacker Logo

Would You Feed Your Child Beaver Anal Glands?

Written By:

Published on:

If there was ever a reason to go organic, here it is. The FDA has some strange guidelines when it comes to food labeling leaving consumers in the dark as to what they are actually eating. If the thought of beetles and human hair in your food leaves you retching, how do you feel about feeding your child beaver anal glands?


Busy beaver

Beaver Anal Glands


Bruce Bradley use to work for the food industry but now offers insight into a crazy world of food additives and chemicals. One of the hooks he uses to pull in unsuspecting readers is the industry’s use of beaver anal glands as a flavoring agent for products with vanilla or raspberry flavoring. You can try to contact companies and ask if they use castoreum  in their foods, but don’t expect a reply back.

{cc photo courtesy of Property#1  on Flickr}



Antibiotics and Hormones


It’s hard to believe there are still many consumers willing to risk health and well-being by allowing dairy and cattle farmers to introduce antibiotics into their cows. Proven side effects have included antibiotic resistance and even cancer and still there are companies defying consumer safety. While some health conscious women may avoid birth control pills and hormone therapy during menopause for health reasons, they may still introduce hormones through recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) found in the milk of some dairy cows. Although the jury is still out regarding rBGH, many companies are heeding the worries of consumers and choosing hormone-free cows. Apparently its links to cancer are too great a risk. Look for rBGH-free milk, or better yet, find a local organic diary farmer from whom to purchase to purchase.

{cc photo courtesy of hans s on Flickr}

human hair

human hair

Human Hair


Human hair and bird feathers have been used as a conditioning agent for dough. Of course you won’t see the ingredient listed as hair or feather, instead it’s listed as either L-cysteine or cystine. I guess since these items come from nature, they are considered natural.

{cc photo courtesy of ShellyS on Flickr}

cochineal bugs

Cochineal bugs

Crushed Beetles


It would be great to tell you that reading carmine or cochineal on the ingredients list would keep you safe from eating bugs. However, food companies are simply able to list that coloring is added without cuing you in to what type of dye is used. Man-made dyes, like red 40, must be listed but natural dyes do not. So, your morning ruby red grapefruit juice may continue to make you a little buggy with squashed cochineal beetles.

{cc photo courtesy of knitting iris on Flickr}

organic produce

Organic produce

How to Avoid it All


Make it yourself. One of the best ways to avoid preservatives, additives and dyes is by making your own food. Long shelf life and freshness play in to companies adding these chemicals so making your own fresh bread, pasta, baked goodies and juices can help alleviate some of the problem. Buy organic fruits and vegetables and purchase dairy products from farmers feeding their cows grass without rBGH. As for flavoring, if it doesn’t state the actual flavor than there’s a possibility of beetles or anal glands flavoring your vanilla or raspberry-flavored candy. A diet rich in organic fruits, vegetables and grains will have little room for the processed stuff anyway.


{cc photo courtesy of greenlagirl on Flickr}
{sources: Bruce Bradley}
Capital house
61 Amhurst Road
E8 1LL

0800 234 3036