Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Out of the Butts of Beavers

A friend on facebook posted an article from The Huffington Post that can be found here

You don't have to look very hard to find articles about food that shock the reader. And why shouldn't they be written? They generate a lot of views, and therefore ad revenue. Every now and then, they are also party to raising awareness on food issues that eventually lead to changes in the law. One of the "shocking" slides that particularly caught my attention was about Castoreum; a secretion from beavers near the anus that is used to flavor teas, juices, yogurts, etc.

What? Why beavers? Who thought of this? How did this discovery come into being? Who is farming this stuff from them?

Flavor Ingregients by George A Burdock claims that the industry consumes about 250lbs of this stuff every year, and that instead of being labeled as "castoreum", it's listed as "natural flavorings". What the hell is that supposed to mean? There's an endless list of what counts as a natural flavoring, and you just might be consuming anal secretion if that label is there?

At first, the HuffPo article got the intended reaction out of me, which was disgust. But after some thought, I wondered "do I really care about this?". No, no I don't. I already eat fungus (mushrooms), aged lactate from other mammals (cheese), snails, and I've even eaten crickets. Why not throw beaver butt juice to the mix?

On a side note, ladies, why not woo your man this valentines day with this perfume? The scent of beaver fruity vanilla will be irresistible to him.

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