50 Disturbing Food Facts That Will Shock You For Sure: Must Read!

Anusuya Mukherjee
Oct 20, 2023 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Feb 22, 2022
School healthy lunch box with sandwich
Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.9 Min

It is believed that the first fast-food branch was opened by White Castle in the United States in 1921.

Fast food quickly gained pace because of how quickly the food was processed. This fast processing was completely mechanized and everything was mass-produced in a factory and shipped in frozen form to nearby restaurants.

Today, fast food has become an important part of daily life but all this comes at a price, and that is the reduced quality, animal abuse, and horrendous market practices. These unchecked events have given birth to various disgusting facts about food that are popular on the internet.

If you are looking to take a break from eating too much fast food, you can opt for organic food as they contain beneficial nutrients, and people with allergies to different food induced by preservatives and chemicals may find that symptoms lessen.

Disturbing Facts About McDonald's Food

McDonald's is one of the most-renowned fast-food chains in the world and chances are that a majority of the world's population has tasted McDonald's food. These McDonald's food facts are something you should know:

  • Salami isn't a cooked product! Good bacteria are added to the salami to decrease the harmful bacteria, making it safe to eat.
  • McDonald's makes use of a product called propylene glycol, or antifreeze light. However, the version used is less toxic. It is used in sauces, glazes, and hotcakes and is used to stop the food from becoming solid, and hence edible.
  • Ice machines in McDonald's are something that you should skip! According to several reports by ex-employees, ice machines are rarely cleaned and there is a good chance of getting unwanted dirt in your drinks.
  • McDonald's has seen its fair share of controversies! In 2008, a teenage girl found a piece of metal in her hamburger! Turns out, that metal piece was a veterinary needle that was used to slaughter an animal. In 2007, chewing gum was found in a burger by Max Ipinzan after taking a bite. In 2000, a woman's McDonald's order came with a completely fried chicken head!
  • McDonald's fries are more than just potato and oil! Fries with a 'natural beef flavor' are created through the use of dextrose and sodium acid pyrophosphate that preserves the coloration of fries and prevents it from turning brown.

Disturbing Food Fact: Animals Raised For Food

Meat products are one of the most demanded commodities in the commercial and regular market, however, slaughterhouses in the U.S. are notorious for their inhumane behavior towards animals. These facts about animal treatment will help you learn more about the practices:

  • Many grocery stores across the U.S. extend the life of near expiration date meat, by mixing food coloring in the products to enrich their appearance.
  • Processed meat such as salami, hot dogs, and sausages are listed as a Group 1 carcinogen by the World Health Organization. In simple words, these meats can cause cancer.
  • Beaks of animals like turkeys, chickens, and ducks are often detached in tightly-packed factory farms to reduce cannibalism and feather pecking that is common among overcrowded, stressed birds.
  • Confining domestic animals in small spaces cause various environmental hazards like land, air, and water pollution.
  • Commercial poultry farms starve egg-laying hens for 14 or more days. These hens are exposed to changing light patterns and not given water to force their bodies into molting. An estimated 5-10% of hens lose their lives during the molting process because of the induced stress.
  • Pigs are one of the most mistreated animals in animal farms, they are forced to live under woeful conditions, and contract several health problems that are left untreated. Factors like dangerous manure gases, extremely high levels of ammonia often cause pneumonia in around 80% of the factory-raised pigs that are slaughtered in the U.S.
  • Animal agriculture is seen as the largest cause of water pollution, air pollution, habitat destruction, ocean dead zones, and species extinction.
  • Surveys have found that an estimated 43% of salmon sold in the country is mislabeled. In reality, the fish is not salmon at all and is dyed pink to resemble salmon.

Disturbing Food Facts: Fast Food

Eating fast food has become a part of life in this modern day, but these delights come with a price to pay! Here are some disturbing facts about fast food like hot dogs and burgers:

  • Most eggs used in breakfast sandwiches are a combination of 'premium egg blend' and 'real eggs.' The premium egg blend is a mixture of elements that consists of glycerin, a solvent that is found in shaving cream, moisturizers, and soap.
  • Recent studies have shown that around 48% of soda fountains in fast-food restaurants contain harmful bacteria like coliform bacteria and E. Coli as well.
  • Apple pie is usually seen as a delight, but not so much in fast-food restaurants. Pies are made through machines in restaurants to speed up the processing time, and these additives contain an extract known as L-cysteine which is taken from human hair and duck feathers.
  • Trans fat, one of the main ingredients used in fast-food causes shrinkage of the brain, causing poor processing and language skills, alongside other effects like poor attention and memory. According to researchers, extreme cases can even lead to Alzheimer's disease.
  • Chicken nuggets are a popular fast food item made from chicken. Studies have shown that fast-food restaurants barely use any chicken when they make chicken nuggets! Chicken bone, fat, tissue, and nerve are used as an ingredient in the product.
  • Fast food companies also participate in fake advertisements! Companies often portray burgers dripping with all sorts of tasty goodness, but in reality, fast food chains use image-editing software, like photoshop, and also make use of fake food to create an appetizing appearance of their unhealthy food.
  • Too much fast food consumption can also have detrimental effects on the human mind because of the various additives and preservatives.
  • In the past three decades, obesity has doubled in American children. Aggressive advertising by fast-food companies like Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and McDonald's has increased the demand for unhealthy food like burgers, chicken nuggets, and pizza.
  • Taco Bell's taco beef consists of 88% beef and the remaining 12% percent is made up of cellulose, torula yeast, trehalose, and caramel color.
  • French fries have enough additives in them to preserve the fries for almost three years! These additives are added to decrease the growth of mold and bacteria.
  • Fast-food cheese comprises many artificial additives like chemicals, food preservatives, and flavors. These additives are so concentrated that there is barely any cheese!
  • Until 2014, Subway outlets made use of azodicarbonamide in their bread. This chemical is also found in yoga mats!
  • McDonald once confirmed the presence of 100 cows in a single burger! All the meat is squished together to make the patty.
  • A salad bought from a fast food restaurant might look good, but in reality, fast food salads contain a large amount of sodium and saturated fats that can cause health issues when you eat them.
  • Silicon dioxide is found in spicy fast food such as buffalo wings and chili. You are probably familiar with the ingredient's other name, sand. Yes, sand is found in spicy fast foods.
Homemade Mexican food in mexico city

Disturbing Food Facts: Inorganic Food

The production of foods makes use of synthetics such as pesticides and chemical fertilizers, that can modify food on a genetic and molecular level. These inorganic food facts will familiarise you with this issue:

  • FDA regulations allow the inclusion of 35 fruit fly eggs and ten insects per 8 oz (226.8 g) of raisins.
  • Whenever you eat fresh produce, you are opening yourself up to various viruses and bacteria that remain on them after they have been touched.
  • Cherry pits and apple seeds are toxic and discharge cyanide that can be lethal if you eat enough.
  • Inorganic food contains a large number of pesticides and insecticides that can cause several health issues in the human body.
  • Red food coloring is created from grounding up and boiling cochineal bugs, a type of beetle.
  • Oregano contains around 1,250 insect parts per 0.3 oz (8.5 gm).
  • The FDA legally allows 74 mites and 19 maggots in a 3.5 oz (100 g) can of mushrooms.


Did You Know...

  • In many countries, the milt and roe of certain fish species are seen as a common delicacy, like that of the sturgeon roe, also known as caviar. While roe is commonly known to be fish eggs, it is unknown whether milt is fish sperm!
  • The FDA allows a jar of peanut butter to contain one or more rodent hairs before it turns into a health hazard!
  • The excretion of the lac beetle is used to make candies and different foods shinier, and chocolate bars contain insect parts.
  • Since the ice machine in any restaurant is generally left uncleaned, it has a plethora of nasty particles just waiting to attach themselves to anyone who comes in contact with the machine.
  • Kopi Luwak is considered the most expensive coffee in the world and fetches a price of $100-$600 USD for 1 lb (0.4 kg). This special coffee is harvested from coffee cherries that can be found in the fecal remains of the Asian palm civet that eat these coffee beans.
  • In some instances, a few of the many raspberry flavorings come from beaver anal glands!
  • Traces of cow feces can always be found in all milk! In India, 70% of milk samples contain adulterants such as glucose, starch, urea, and detergents.
  • If you have eaten shrimp, chances are you have eaten poop from a plethora of animals as fecal matter is the primary diet of shrimp.
  • One peanut butter jar consists of an average of 2 bugs. Thankfully due to an FDA regulation, a jar of peanut butter needs at least 90% peanuts to qualify as edible.
  • It is not recommended to feed honey to children under one year of age because of its harmful bacterium content.
  • The casu maruz cheese requires the presence of live maggots for the fermentation process.
  • Eating fast food once a week is recommended for people who are trying to purify their system. Consuming fast food in a controlled way helps in ensuring that you are giving your body time to heal without causing any harm to it. Putting a pause on fast food also helps boost metabolism by burning body fat.
  • Shredded cheese or grated parmesan contains an ingredient called cellulose, which is wood pulp! The FDA approves this filler as it is used to keep the cheese from forming a cluster.
  • Artificial milkshake flavors like strawberry contain a great number of chemicals that contain various additives and preservatives that are unhealthy, high fructose corn syrup being one such additive.
  • The fig fruit requires them to be pollinated inside-out and because of this female wasps often lay their larvae in the male fruit, which the young eventually dig out of. However, in some cases, larvae are laid in female figs and the wasps eventually die inside the fruit which we consume.

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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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