Castoreum: Natural Flavorings

13 Feb

Castor2Yesterday, in a feeble attempt to gross me out, a coworker of mine told me to check out a food additive called Castoreum. I took the bait and Binged it; here’s what I found:

Castoreum is the yellowish secretion of a mature North American Beaver’s castor sac, located under the skin between the pelvis and the base of the tail. This is used as what the FDA masks as “natural flavorings” and is recognized as safe for consumption.  It can be used in both foods and beverages as a raspberry, strawberry, and vanilla flavoring.

First off, who the Hell figured out that beaver taint made their food taste better? How many animal taints did this guy try out before he figured out that beaver taint is best. Or did he watch a beaver pee on his food and then willingly still eat it?  Sound kinda gross? Eh, not to me. It’s been used as artificial flavoring for 80 years, so if it was good enough for my grandparents that lived into their 90’s, I’m fine with it and I don’t want raspberry iced tea to go up in price 10 cents. Too bad that’s not how our society works these days. Jaime Oliver is scaring America away from vanilla ice cream on Letterman and Dr. Oz, and although Castoreum isn’t hurting anyone, the public uproar from this will most likely force the FDA to abolish Castoreum from products within the next few years. That’s what grosses me out.

Our society is running out of topics to bitch and fight about, so they will go out and start a witch-hunt on a perfectly healthy product like Castoreum. The only problem here is the FDA masking this behind “natural flavoring,” but I doubt even I would consume an item if it had “beaver chode” in the list of ingredients. I honestly don’t care if Castoreum stays or goes, but I firmly believe that the use of natural ingredients like this helps to generate stronger immune systems. If society keeps banning substances, fighting diseases will become even more prominent while preventing them takes an even further backseat. I would drink an ounce of Castoreum over a pound of cure any day.

3 thoughts on “Castoreum: Natural Flavorings

  1. Sheesh — truth be told, this presages a vicious black-market boom (crime and tragedy to follow accordingly) for quality beaver squeege. Of course, this also means that beavers will gradually wander their way onto the endangered species list. Way to not think before you flap your trap, J. Oliver!

    • haha, beaver WERE on the endangered list but have since made a comeback. When the word spreads that natural flavorings come from beaver, I think there will be another big boost in population.

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