9 Disgusting Things You Didn’t Know You’ve Been Eating Your Whole Life

5. Flame Retardant

Listed under “ingredients” as: Brominated vegetable oil (BVO)

How to consume it: Citrus-flavored soda

Something called “vegetable oil” might seem unassuming in food production, but the active ingredient, bromine, is widely used as a flame retardant in furniture, and can be toxic. High levels of consumption may be tied to impaired neurological abilities and early onset puberty.

6. Biodiesel Additive

Listed under “ingredients” as: Tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ)

How to consume it: Chicken nuggets

TBHQ is not just gross; it can be highly dangerous, too. The synthetically-created preservative is used in everything from bubble gum to nail polish to cheese crackers. Unfortunately, the stuff is so toxic that just one gram of it could make you ill.

7. Sand

Listed under “ingredients” as: Silicon dioxide

How we consume it: Salts, soups and more

Silicon dioxide can be added to foods as an anti-clumping agent, and is often used to control humidity. If your soup tastes a little gritty, now you know why.

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