Some months ago I learned that food additives are beyond bizarre. And despite consumer labels on products we seldom know what we are actually ingesting.
My first surprise was Castoreum, which is a nice way to refer to the anal glands of beavers and is used to flavor cigarettes plus it is used to evoke the flavor of vanilla or other fruits. Products do not list Castoreum but merely say "natural flavoring".
There's also shellac, which comes from crushed Indonesian beetles and is used to make candy, chocolate, and apples shiny.
The past week brought news that Gatorade was removing brominated vegetable oil as an ingredient. Bromine, a word whose Greek origins means "stench of he-goats", is used as a flame retardant and as a flavor enhancer for Mtn. Dew and orange sodas.
Thousands of additives are in use but items like crushed beetles and anal glands are typically called "natural flavors". Just wrap that odd item with bacon fat or sugar and happy eating!!