Would You Still Eat Jelly Beans If You Knew About this Ingredient?

Candy’s Dirty Little Secret

Easter time is filled with all sorts of confectionery delights, like chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, and more, but what if we told you that those shiny little treats have something unexpected in their ingredient list? Something that might make you think twice?

Yes, we’re sorry to tell you that those glossy glazes are made from the excrement of the lac bug.

© Provided by 750g International The Lac Bug

The Lac Bug

The lac bug is a parasitic beetle that’s native to Thailand and India. These beetles infest trees and consume its sap. What comes out of…well, the other end…forms a hard resin on the tree branches. Once the branches are harvested and impurities are removed, the resin is turned into dry flakes that can be used to make either shellac—the wood sealant—or what’s known in the industry as “confectioner’s glaze.”

This glaze is used on all sorts of candiesincluding jelly beans—but also medication. It is important to note that this practice has been deemed safe for consumption by the Food and Drug Administration.

If you can’t stomach the thought of continuing to eat this glaze, there are some candy companies committed to making confections without this buggy addition, and there’s even a PETA campaign to stop the practice altogether.

The Making of the Picky Eater

Parents have fretted over children’s diets since Victorian times, but today’s mealtime fussiness is different: Blame snacking, unwholesome foods aimed at the young and contradictory signals from adults

What’s surprising is how recent the fight is. The phrase “picky eater” first appears in the lexicon in 1970. Until the early 20th century, there’s scant evidence of concerns over children refusing what they were given, even though what they were given often was an afterthought of an adult menu. As the food historian Bee Wilson wittily put it, during the Victorian era, “Children’s food could be summed up by the word ‘scraps.’” This is something I think about after cooking three different entrees for various family members before eating my own dinner of rejected grilled cheese crusts over the kitchen sink.

Genetically Modified Organisms: Safety & Environmental Impact (47 min podcast)

Science Vs peels back the label on GM foods to find out whether they’re safe to eat and what impact they can have on the environment. Both sides of the debate have written impassioned songs, but what does the science say? We talk to Prof. Fred Gould, Dr. Janet Cotter, and Prof. David Douches to find out.

 

Note:

In the original version we suggested that the Bt corn that killed monarch caterpillars was taken off the market as a direct result of studies demonstrating its harm. But although the corn was eventually taken off the market, the company that made it later told us it was phased out “for business reasons”, such as declining sales — and they did not mention the dead butterflies.

Indra Nooyi: Look, your own eating and drinking habits are changing.

I saw how many people sort of said, “Why should we change our company that’s been so successful for a future we don’t quite understand?” One had to paint the future in a very personal way. I mean, I had to use our own employees to say, “Look, your own eating and drinking habits are changing. If your eating and drinking habits are changing, as evidenced by A, B, C, and D” — which I was observing at work — “why do you believe the rest of the consumers out there, their habits are not changing?”

What the proposed 20% cut in farm subsidies mean for your grocery bill

Further, even if the Trump budget cuts were to increase market prices for crops and livestock, the effects on prices paid by consumers for their groceries would be modest.

The reason: most of the costs of putting food on supermarket shelves come from transportation, processing, and marketing expenditures. For example, payments to farmers for wheat account only for about 6% of the cost of a loaf of bread. Even relatively large increases in wheat prices would translate into modest increases in the price of a loaf of bread. So hypothetically, even if the Trump agricultural subsidy cuts were to increase agricultural commodity prices (which they wouldn’t), the effects on the food bills of U.S. consumers would be very modest.

What would the Trump budget cuts achieve? They would save taxpayers about $48 billion over the next 10 years and reduce U.S. farm-sector revenue by about 1%, scarcely an event that would cause the sector to collapse.

It would have negligible effects on food prices and food security.

Moreover, the impacts of the proposed cuts would be concentrated among the largest corporate farm operations and would have no impacts on the rural working poor and low-income farmers.