Carmine: Bugs in your fruit juice / yogurt? And do you mind?

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unicorn2006

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unicorn2006

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Carmine is an insect-derived color ingredient.


Carmine is often used in products such as ..yogurt, ice cream, juice, candy, cosmetics, paint, etc, giving food a pink, red, or purple color when added. They are made from female Coccus cacti or Dactylopius coccus, or their eggs; these female beetles turn bright red right around the time they're about to lay eggs, which is also when they're harvested.

Because the source of this coloring is beetles, carmine is also often included in what are labeled as 'natural' foods. In terms of its effect on one's health, this almost never poses a threat to anyone (except for those with severe allergic reactions to beetles; for more info, google carmine or cochineal extract). But there is the obvious 'grossness' factor in having food coloring made from insects. A recent FDA proposal requires that food products be labeled in more detail - e.g. 'carmine' or 'cochineal' (though without the word 'insect').


People's thoughts on carmine seem to vary. There are people who are devastated and horrified to find out what carmine really is, and others who really don't mind.


* What are your reactions to the thought of carmine as an ingredient in your food or cosmetics?

* What do you think of the FDA proposal? (Do you want to be told that there is 'carmine' in your food? Or is this change unnecessary? Or do you want it to say insect instead?)

* Would this affect your decision to eat/not eat certain foods (or use/not use certain cosmetics)?

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"When men are the most sure and arrogant they are commonly the most mistaken..."

  • Feb 10, 2006

jasaiyajin

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People eat insects and spiders(arachnids) in other countries w/ little to no negative effects, until they start saying stuff like my spider sense is going crazy.

It's funny how food coloring is added everywhere to make food "seem" fresher than it's natural color would allow. I personally would rather not have that "extra" worthless ingredient. FDA is under the thumb of meticulous scrutiny by the gov't *sarcasm* and the people. FDA is not a worthy name for delivering accurate information unless backed up by private party results that correlate with the findings to an approximate and logical degree. Most definitely would I consider some foods less "appealing" even with these "bright" colors. What chicanery!

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  • Feb 10, 2006

EternalParadox

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Processed food producers and the cosmetics industry will never let the word "insect" go on their product labels without a fight.

I think that by the time you get from the beetle to the actual carmine color extract, it's not beetle. It's been through several stages of extensive processing to produce a material that is merely the essense of the color pigments. It doesn't bear much resemblance to "beetle" and thus doesn't really have a "gross" factor there.

However, any foodstuff using carmine to enhance color should not have the "natural" or "organice" label. The foodcoloring is already altering the produce from its natural state, and as such no longer in adherence to the definition of "natural" as "without alterations from the original state."

I generally do not eat foods with huge amounts of food coloring, except maybe an occasional blowpop or those other candies that stain your tongue blue. hehe. However, I will not consider buying products with carmine food coloring when I intend to purchase natural foodstuff. They're not natural if they have foodcolors, no matter where that color comes from.

EternalParadox
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  • Feb 11, 2006

suejean

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oh my gosh! O.o i never knew that...i kind of..feel awkward now...>__< but humans eat animals and some eat insects as suggested by Jasailyn....and like Eternal Paradox stated, the company's extracted it so that the colouring isn't technically called "insect" anymore....well to my point, I never noticed it in the first place so why worry about it so much now? ^-^ *shrugs*, but it does kind of make you think about the food you eat...and the fact fact that you should know what you're really eating. instead of how much of it you're eating ^-^

  • Feb 13, 2006

Elsie

Elsie

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I didn't know that! Well, I don't really mind about there being bugs in everyday foods. As long as they don't poison us or something like that. :) And it's true, that some people in other parts of the world eat insects knowingly is fine. They're actually rather nutritious.

*Love is like quicksand, the longer you stay in, the harder it is to get out.*
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  • Feb 13, 2006

SekiRyuu

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please tell me that chocolate icecream doesnt have this 0_0

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BotFreya

BotFreya

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Quote by SeikiRyuuplease tell me that chocolate icecream doesnt have this 0_0

Carmine? Nah. But where do you think the brown color really comes from? ;)

  • Feb 13, 2006

SekiRyuu

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so. . . why dont they just use normal food coloring instead of a freaking insect?

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rituel

rituel

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1. Well, I don't mind, coz as I know I don't have any allergies whatsoever. Besides, if people can eat snails, what harm could there be in eating something derived from a beetle?

2. I guess the proposal is a good idea, just in case people are allergic to beetles. It would spare them the shock of finding out later as well.

3. Heck, I've been eating fungi-fermented food, i've eaten a grasshopper for losing a bet, something like this wouldn't affect me.

(btw, we are supposed to answer those questions, right?)

  • Feb 13, 2006
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Not really, I don't mind at all if they are bug ingredients inside my food.
As long as I don't see the real bug itself, then I'm fine with it.

I've also ate a bug once (have no idea what it's called), but it was
crunchy.

Also knowledge is painful and here is a example.

Once one of my former co-workers went to this place and ate this type
food which he thought was rice (because it look like rice). It was so good that
he ate two bowls of it. Once he finished, he got curious and ask the owner
what type of rice is that? And where can he buy it. The owner said ohh that is not rice. it's rice maggots.

BTW: Not all food has Carmine in their ingredients, some are even worst.

The ingredients in Jello

Quote by siteUnderneath JELL-O's jiggly wholesomeness lurks a secret many consumers are disconcerted to learn: JELL-O is made from gelatin, an animal product rendered from the hides and bones of animals.

The production of gelatin starts with the boiling of bones, skins, and hides of cows and pigs, a process that releases the protein-rich collagen from animal tissues. The collagen is boiled and filtered numerous times, dried, and ground to a powder. Because the collagen is processed extensively, the final product is not categorized as a meat or animal product by the federal government. Very strict vegetarians avoid gelatin entirely, but more permissive vegetarians have no problem including JELL-O in their diets.

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  • Feb 13, 2006
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The thought of carmine in my food doesnt really bother me, I think something like having real live moth eggs in your slurpee is something to be "grossed out" about, it happened to me years ago but it never stopped having the occassional slurpee XD You'll be fine as long as you know what you can and can't eat, I probably won't stop eating something unless I'm that seriously disturbed about the "secret ingredient", so if it's safe and tasty chances are that it will get eaten XP

It is a good idea to have more detailed ingredient listings on products, although the majority probably won't even look at them, there are those who are more strict than others when it comes to what they put in their mouths.

  • Feb 13, 2006

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