Quirky Facts About Mass-Produced Food

Mass-produced food is almost literally everywhere. A far cry from the days when the majority of your kitchen's groceries consisted of handmade bread, home-churned butter and fire-simmering stew, factory foods are made cheaply and efficiently in factory campuses with usually less-than-desirable ingredients in the name of convenience. Yet mass-produced food can also end up being some of our favorite snacks with a few fun facts behind them. For instance, did you know between 1930 and 2012 every 16 seconds a new Twinkie was born, hot and fresh off the line? In sum, that was 500 million a year, with the creme-filled snack cakes possessing about a 25-year shelf life. Or what about your favorite strawberry-flavored treat? Those artificially flavored treats are made from about 50 different chemicals manufactured and blended to mimic the strawberry flavor. And that Worcestershire sauce on your steak or Bloody Mary? Well it's actually made from soaking plenty of anchovies in vinegar.

How do these products compare to something healthier, like a grapefruit? As it turns out, fruits and vegetables can be and are also mass-produced. In fact, the beautiful pink-orange hue to grapefruits is the result of ground-up insects, which form a color compound known as cochineal extract (also called carmine or carminic acid). These foods have quite a few surprises up their sleeve: Check out this playlist to see what they are.

Written by Curiosity Staff September 8, 2014

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