35+ Foods That Are Made With Gross Ingredients

There are so many delicious foods in the world, but what if we told you that these foods weren’t quite as they seemed? Many of the foods that we consume on a regular basis are hiding secretive ingredients that will make your stomach turn.

Baked goods

Surely there can’t be anything untoward in terms of bread and baked goods, right? You might want to think again.

Many of the baked goods that you see in commercials on television and the ones you find in the grocery stores aren’t quite as perfect as they seem, because most of them contain something called L-cysteine.

This ingredient is an amino acid that gives it the shine you expect to see from these baked goods, and it also helps to provide them with a longer shelf life. What’s so gross about this addition is the fact that L-cysteine is sometimes synthesized from human hair. It’s a no from us.

Jelly Beans

There are so many different candies out there, but Jelly Beans go down particularly well with people across the globe. With their shiny shell and their gooey insides, Jelly Beans are delicious and come in so many flavors to suit so many different tastes.

But have you ever wondered how a Jelly Bean’s shell gets so shiny?

Well, it actually has something to do with one particular ingredient in this recipe called shellac. Most people are used to putting this stuff on their nails, but most people don’t have any idea where it comes from – or why it’s in their food. Shellac is essentially lac bug secretions, and this ingredient is put in Jelly Beans to give them their iconic appearance.

Subway condiments

Subway is one of the most famous sandwich stores in the world, and this company sells to millions of customers every single year. Many people head to this place because they want a healthy lunch alternative, and it’s fair to say that their sandwiches can be pretty healthy.

However, their advertised nutritional values don’t actually include their condiments.

These sauces and sides seem to bump up the number of calories when added to the actual sandwich – which is probably why they have chosen to keep their nutritional values secret. So, if you want to keep it healthy, you might just have to embrace a dry Subway sandwich.

Ranch dressing

Everyone loves ranch dressing, right? It’s the kind of thing that you can drizzle over anything or dip any food into it, and it’s totally delicious.

However, we can’t help but wonder if you’ll think differently about this ranch dressing if you knew what it was made of.

While Ranch may be known for its white color, what you might not realize is that this white color actually comes from titanium dioxide. If you don’t know much about this long-named ingredient, all you need to know is that titanium dioxide is actually the same ingredient that is used in sunscreen to stop you from burning.

Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire Sauce is one of those products that you either love or you hate, but there’s no doubt about the fact that there are many people across the globe who love it.

They drizzle it on their dinner, they bake it into their home bakes, and some people even put it in their drinks.

It’s known for its distinctive flavor, but what you might not realize is that this flavor has come from a rather weird and bizarre process. That’s because Worcestershire Sauce is made from pickled onions and garlic that are soaked in vinegar for two years before sitting in rotten anchovies for a few more months.


If you’ve ever tasted the rainbow, you’ll know that Skittles are pretty delicious. They not only taste good, but they also look absolutely perfect and colorful.

Yet, have you ever wondered where these colors have come from? We hate to break it to you, but these are not natural colorings.

However, they have come from the natural world, because these colorings have actually come from bugs! Carmine is one of the most prominent ingredients in Skittles, and this ingredient is essentially just crushed up bugs that are then turned into red food coloring. We don’t think we’ll be tasting the rainbow any longer.

Brightly colored oranges

If you’re in the mood for some oranges, you’re probably going to grab the most brightly colored oranges, aren’t you?

After all, this citrus fruit looks so much better when it’s as bright as possible, and most of us just assume that this occurs naturally. Sadly, that just isn’t the case.

Brightly colored oranges should actually be avoided because that means that they have been injected with an artificial dye by the name of Citrus Red 2. This dye is almost completely banned in the United States because it’s classified as carcinogenic, and the only thing it’s allowed for is the coloring of oranges.

Raspberry yogurt

If you’re the kind of person that likes to eat yogurt, there’s a high chance that you have eaten raspberry yogurt at least a few times in your life.

Whether you’re all about the fruit bits or prefer a smooth yogurt, one of the things these two types of raspberry yogurt have in common is the fact that they have the same ingredient in them.

Yes, raspberry yogurt is normally dyed with something called carmine to give it its distinctive coloring. However, the pigment of carmine is made through the process of crushing cochineal bugs. That means that you’re essentially eating crushed bugs when you eat raspberry yogurt. Yikes.

Shredded cheese

Although you can buy a normal block of cheese from the grocery store and then grate that at home, sometimes it’s just easier to buy a bag of shredded cheese that’s ready to go.

It’s quick, it’s simple, and sometimes it’s even a lot cheaper. However, it seems as though there may be a reason for this.

Shredded cheese may look as though it’s just a regular block of cheese that’s been ground into smaller pieces, the reality of this stuff is that much of it actually consists of wood pulp. Yes, the official name for this wood pulp will appear as “cellulose” on the packaging, but it’s essentially ground up wood chips that are bulking up the packets.


Many people love to have a glass of wine with their dinner, but have you ever looked at the back of a wine bottle to see what ingredients are in this stuff?

Many companies have been able to find loopholes that mean they don’t have to disclose every ingredient in their product.

Because of this, very few people know that wine often includes bizarre ingredients, such as bone marrow, fish oil, isinglass (more on that later), and sometimes even something called chitin, which is fiber from crustacean shells. As if that wasn’t enough, some wine companies also add blood to their wine – and that’s not just for their vampire customers!


If you’re the kind of person that loves to shovel chicken on their plate for the protein and the health benefits, we’re about to hit you with some facts.

That’s because research conducted by the London Metropolitan University has found out something you might want to know.

While most of us know that the meat industry has only increased over the years, what you might not know is that the quality of the meat has actually decreased. The chicken most of us eat today is severely lacking in protein and is much fattier than it was back in the day.


There’s nothing better than cracking open a cold one at the end of the day, right? Beer is universally loved across the globe, but most people don’t know that the beer-making process is a little strange.

In fact, it’s pretty gross. That’s because beer contains an ingredient by the name of Isinglass.

If you’ve never heard of this before, then you don’t need to worry too much about it. The only thing that you need to do is that this ingredient is primarily found in the bladder of a fish. More and more breweries are choosing to remove this ingredient from their recipes, but it might be an idea to check out some vegan beers just in case…

McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets

McDonald’s is arguably one of the most famous fast food chains that this world has to offer, and it’s fair to say that their chicken nuggets are their pride and glory.

Yet, we can’t help but wonder if people would be so willing to eat a share box to themselves if they knew that these nuggets were actually made using synthetic ingredients.

In fact, it’s been suggested that only around 50% of the chicken nugget is actually made from chicken, and the rest is pumped up with all kinds of different additions. One particular addition comes in the form of dimethylpolysiloxane, which can be found in breast implants.

Chewing gum

Chewing gum is one of those products that you can find anywhere, and most people chew it on a regular basis for the general flavor of this gum and the overall action of chewing it.

Yet, what you might not realize is that chewing gum is full of ingredients that might not sit too well with you.

That’s because the ingredient that makes chewing gum chewy is something called lanolin, which is what is secreted from the skin glands of sheep. There are many companies that do not use this, but instead use a synthetic rubber in replacement. We’re not sure which one is worse.

McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish

Fish fans have probably made their way to the golden arches to try their famous Filet-O-Fish over the years, but do you have any idea what fish you’re actually eating?

Instead of using a fairly common fish such as cod or plaice, McDonald’s actually uses a blue grenadier fish for their Filet-O-Fish recipe.

What you might not realize is that this fish – often called a hoki – is not the kind of fish that can be found anywhere. It’s normally found off the coast of New Zealand, and the fishing of this species has been criticized for being completely unsustainable. In fact, many petitions have called for McDonald’s to use a different fish.

Taco Bell tacos

The tacos at Taco Bell are perhaps the most popular things on the menu, and that should probably come as no surprise to you. After all, they wouldn’t call themselves Taco Bell if they didn’t pride themselves on their tacos!

When you head to a fast food chain such as this one, you just assume that the meat you eat is completely and 100% meaty.

However, that is rarely the case. One particular lawsuit against this particular chain suggested that the tacos at Taco Bell were actually made from just 35% meat – and the rest made up of all kinds of other ingredients. Taco Bell later denied this claim.


Chocolate is one of those foods that most people just can’t seem to get enough of, and people across the globe often eat a huge amount at once.

However, what you might not realize is that you may also be eating insects and rodent hair when you do this.

There are countless rules and regulations in place when it comes to the quality of food and their ingredients, and the FDA has some rather strange rules about chocolate. In their eyes, chocolate is still acceptable to be sold even if it has 60 insect fragments within the recipe, and even if it has one rodent hair per 100 grams. Anything over that is unacceptable. Oh, yes. Obviously.


There’s nothing better than opening a brand new box of Twinkies and being able to taste the fluffy goodness inside of the cake.

Anyone who has eaten a Twinkie before would have probably imagined that this white stuff was made from cream or something associated with sugar and milk.

Yet, that isn’t the case at all. The creamy inside of this sweet treat is actually Crisco, which many people may be familiar with. Crisco is a form of vegetable shortening that’s used to bind cakes and pastries together, but most people didn’t know that it was also completely on show in the form of Twinkies.

Potato Chips

You just can’t go wrong with potato chips, can you? Actually, it seems as though you can.

While there’s no doubt about the fact that there are many natural and organic potato chips out there that are made using just fried or baked potatoes, some of the biggest names on the grocery store shelves are made using horrible ingredients.

Sodium bisulfite is a hugely prominent ingredient when making potato chips, and what’s worrying about this is the fact that this ingredient can also be found in toilet cleaners. As if that wasn’t enough, this ingredient is used to bleach the potatoes to ensure they look good months down the line.

Canned mushrooms

While the world is divided on whether mushrooms are delicious or disgusting, it’s fair to say that there are still some people on this planet who eat canned mushrooms.

Buying the canned vegetables can be so much easier than buying the fresh ones, but you might want to watch out for maggots if canned mushrooms are your thing.

These critters are extremely attracted to canned mushrooms, and it’s not uncommon to find them when you open up the lid. In fact, FDA guidelines know that this can happen, which is why they don’t allow more than around 30 maggots per can! Even with the guidelines, we don’t like those odds.

Ground beef

There’s a high chance that you cook with ground beef on a regular basis because this stuff is great for making tacos or other delicious dishes.

Thanks to the name of this food, it would be easy to assume that ground beef is just beef that has been ground up into smaller pieces, right?

Well, you’d think so, but that isn’t the case. Many companies that produce ground beef actually add pink slime to their recipes, as this helps to bulk out the packets of beef without having to use as much as the expensive meat in the process. Much of this pink slime is made from ammonia, which means that you may be filling your body with this stuff.

Coffee creamer

It takes a certain kind of person to be able to drink black coffee, which is why so many people choose to put creamer in their coffee. This stuff is ready-made and ready to go when you need it – but do you really need it?

If you are lactose intolerant or choose not to drink dairy of your own accord, you’re probably happy to know that there are non-dairy coffee creamers out there, but they have some nasty additions.

In fact, most of these products are full to the brim with oils that are used to mimic the taste and texture of real milk. As if that wasn’t enough, dairy creamers include sodium aluminosilicate, which is highly flammable.

Wendy’s chili

Have you ever been to Wendy’s before? Have you ever tried and tasted their chili? If you have, you were probably impressed with the taste, texture, and the smell of the chili, and you probably even loved the little crackers that came with it.

While it’s clear to see that they have put a huge amount of effort into making sure it looks presentable, this has come at a cost to the ingredients.

That’s because this dish is full of something called silicon dioxide. This is often called sand or glass powder because it can be found in both of these items. It’s a little worrying that there’s sand and glass in your food, but Wendy’s don’t want you to know that.

Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad

Many of the biggest fast food chains and restaurants around the globe offer their customers the chance to eat a salad instead of something seemingly less healthy.

Of course, a salad is always going to be healthier than a burger and fries, right? Well, not at Applebee’s. Their Oriental Chicken Salad has been tested over the years, and we’re sorry to say that it’s not healthy at all.

The nutritional values are on par with someone who eats a McDonald’s Big Mac with French fries and a Coca-Cola. Yes, it’s laden with calories, salt, and fat, so it’s probably better that you just avoid the salad at all costs.

Spaghetti Bolognese

In 2013, much of Europe and other areas across the world were hit with a scandal that seemed to rock the globe. It was discovered that the meat that had made its way into various supermarkets and grocery stores actually contained horse meat.

This was especially true for one particular grocery store by the name of Tesco.

Their own spaghetti bolognese ready-meal was tested, and the results noted that some of the meals contained up to 100% horse meat. This scandal caused a ruckus with customers, who couldn’t believe that their beef was actually horse meat. Of course, Tesco wasn’t the only supermarket to be caught out.


Most of us have eaten jello on more than one occasion, and there’s no doubt about the fact that this product appears in so many other different products.

Jello can be found in certain candy, it can be found in marshmallows, and so much more. But have you ever wondered what jello is actually made from?

This might put you off. Jello contains gelatin, which is made from collagen. If you’re wondering how collagen is produced, you might be a little freaked out to know that this protein is extracted from animal skin and bones that are boiled at high temperatures. Because of this, jello is not suitable for those who don’t eat animal products.