Do you want some sprinkles with your beaver anal juice? Ok, that’s totally gross and uncalled for. Totally offensive, and we would apologize, except it’s traditional ice cream manufacturers that need to be embarrassed and sorry.
Next time you’re at a regular grocery store pick up a well-known brand’s vanilla ice cream and read the ingredients list. Somewhere in they’re you’re likely to read the words “natural flavors.” So what does that mean?
The exact definition of natural flavors from the Code of Federal Regulations is as follows:
“The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.”
The only way to know what that means is to call the company and ask them directly. But when it comes to traditional ice cream, particularly vanilla and and cheap strawberry or raspberry syrups, one likely ingredient you may not like to hear is called castoreum.
A by-product of the trapping industry, castoreum has been used as a food flavoring for over 80 years. Castoreum is a smelly, oily secretion that’s found in two sacs between the anus and the external genitals of beavers. This secretion is combined with the beaver’s urine and used when peeing to mark their territory.
Unfortunately it’s not just found in ice cream. It’s also used to flavor candies, drinks, and desserts.
So why not just use real vanilla beans for flavor or real raspberries? You only need one guess…they’re more expensive.
Next time you see ‘natural flavors’ on an ingredient list you may want to ask yourself if you’re dealing with a manufacturer that you trust.
Here’s a fun clip with David Letterman and Jamie Oliver, sure to make you chuckle.