A few months ago, we wrote about eating beaver for dinner, but apparently beaver is a lot more common in Americans’ diets than we thought, at least a small part of beavers.
Castoreum, the fluid from the castor sacs of beavers, is “used as a strawberry, raspberry or vanilla flavoring in some candy, gum, gelatin and pudding,” according to a recent Reader’s Digest story.
Castoreum has been approved for use in food by the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association and the Food and Drug Administration. In fact, it has been used this way for more than 80 years. Castoreum is most likely under the radar of most label readers, however, because it’s often listed as “natural flavoring” on products.
David Letterman and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver discussed the topic last year:
Will you think twice before the next time you eat some vanilla ice cream?
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