You may be shocked where some 'natural flavors' come from - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

You may be shocked where some 'natural flavors' come from

Posted: Updated:
(KEYE/CBS/ToledoNewsNow) -

What's in your food? Just because an ingredient is labeled as "natural flavors" does not mean it is something you want to eat.

When reading labels at the grocery store, you probably notice long lists containing words you cannot even pronounce. But "natural flavors" seem like an innocent enough ingredient.

"The term natural flavorings means exactly that it's from a plant or animal origin," said Nutrition Counselor Katie Tatterfield.

The FDA allows a wide range of substances to be labeled "natural flavors."

Tatterfield says even she was shocked to find out what the FDA classifies as natural.

"Red dyes made from beetles; made of red beetle shells. That's kind of shocking to me," said Tatterfield.

Worse, some vanilla and strawberry flavored foods contain a product called castoreum.

"Castoreum actually comes from the glands of beavers and is in a lot of vanilla and strawberry flavoring," said Seton Hospital Nutrition Manager Beth Brewer.

When Brewer says "glands," she means the beaver's anal glands.

"Beaver glands in ice cream; I'm shocked. That's gross, really gross," said consumer Debbie Drew.

The only way to know exactly what's in your food is to look for companies that use more specific labeling. Without specifics, Tatterfield says when you bite into your "natural food" you may very well be eating anything from anal glands to crushed bugs, all ingredients legally allowed under the umbrella term ‘natural flavoring.

  • You may be shocked where some 'natural flavors' come fromMore>>

  • CONNECT WITH US

    CONNECT WITH US

    LIKE us on Facebook - Follow us on Twitter -  Get Text & Email Alerts - Download our Apps - Send us photos & videoMore >>
    LIKE us on Facebook - Follow us on Twitter -  Get Text & Email Alerts - Download our Apps - Send us photos & videoMore >>