Foods that make you think twice when you think/learn about what they are/how they're made...

Okay, I expect a bunch of PETA, vegetarian and vegan posts saying “See how horrible what you’re eating is!” :smack:

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a full fledged omnivore who’ll eat anything that’s delicious, but sometimes I have a quick second thought about some things just before i scarf it down! :smiley:

I also understand that the law of the jungle is that the youngest and weakest are the easiest and best prey.

Here’s my list to start. What have you got to share.

BTW, I have no problem with GMO or artificial this or that or things like “OMG, they dip bagels in lye before they cook them!”. Hey, cheez in a spray can is great!

Suckling pig - Oh so tiny and tender. Wait, suckling? As in baby that hasn’t been weaned and lived for a total of 2-6 weeks?

Veal - Okay, older than suckling pigs, but still babies (okay, juveniles).

Most fowl, especially those tender young hens and tom turkeys.

Balut - chickens and ducks that didn’t even make it out of the shell!

Baby octopus and baby squid - They’re not a special miniature species?

Jell-O and geletin - I incorrectly told my friend that it was made from cow hooves. She didn’t believe me and Googled it. Found out that it’s made from boiled cow and pig bones and hides. She stopped eating Jell-O after that.

Head cheese. Who doesn’t like a good cheese, right?

Ughh! That does it for me. Granted, I only eat it as one of the few “foods” allowed on a pre-colonoscopy starvation diet. Now this.


If I ever had another Bombay Sapphire after I’d learned their source I’d always be like “so you drew your water from some reservoir in Wales? Great!” It’s the only origin story that makes tap water seem sexy by comparison. It’s a nice gin and I’m sure the water source is better than tapwater, but still, if I may add to the adage, laws, sausages, and water, thanks.

A few more:

Dinuguan (aka chocolate meat) - a Filipino pork dish that uses pig’s blood to create the gravy. Actually I like it better when the ‘gravy’ is slightly runny versus too dry.

Blood tofu - A Chinese delicacy made from clotted pigs blood. I’ve only had it once sliced into a hotpot, but found it really nice. I thought I wouldn’t like it, but I’ll take it over liver any day.

Any type of seafood - I sometimes joke that I want to be buried at sea so my friends and relatives will never know if what they’re eating hasn’t eaten a part of me! A variation is I want to be buried under a fruit tree so I become part of the fruit!

I dunno, I don’t really see anything wrong with Dinaguan or blood sausage - so what, you’ll happily eat the skin, fat, meat and organs of animals, but not the blood?

And balut is delicious! I don’t see how it’s any worse than eating chicken. Arguably, it’s better, because the animal never lived long enough to suffer under the typical factory farm conditions! Granted, it seems like most ducks and chickens in the Philippines don’t really live in factory farms, but I still think the absolute amounts of suffering is lower when eating balut vs chicken or duck.

The only time I’ve had second thoughts was at a very fancy business dinner in China once, when they were serving us a (heinously expensive) fish whose claim to fame was that it had no bones at all, only cartilage. I thought there was a decent chance it might be an endangered species, and didn’t feel great about that (although I was never able to verify it either way). Tasted good, though.

Just as an FYI, most veal calves are males from dairy breeds. Those calves are not going to be fed at all if they can’t be sold as veal. They won’t give milk and only a few are needed to keep the females breeding. It’s either veal and a short life or dog food and killed at birth.

That ain’t so. In fact the majority of your hamburger is made from dairy-breed steers. You may be confusing them with roosters.

The number of dairy bulls used to impregnate every single dairy cow in the USA (via AI) is probably less than 300.

I will just say that my dad worked for Oscar Meyer as a college student and never ate a hotdog again in his life.

I also knew a guy who grew up on a broiler ranch in Oregon. Could not eat chicken.

These were not moral decisions, by the way.

Good to know. The only veal calves I’ve seen were being kept in a row of plastic igloos near a dairy herd.

Where’s Mr. FoisGrasIsEvil? :cool:

I won’t purchase or knowingly eat Tyson products, because of the way they treat their employees. There’s a plant in my town; forget about getting hired if you speak English. What does that tell you? Let’s see: Their employees don’t know about things like fair wages, worker’s compensation, etc. and if someone’s injured, they have people ready to take their place.

There’s actually an apartment complex in my town that is mostly occupied by refugee families, mostly from Congo and Myanmar, and Tyson operates buses to transport them to and from work, if they wish to use it.

I came here to say this. But it’s not just what it is, it’s the taste. Vegetarian haggis (made from oatmeal) is just as bad.

This reminds of the time I went to have lunch with my local Chinese girlfriends parents to a Chinese restaurant. Her Mom served me up a bowl of soup and insisted I eat the little white ball of something floating in my bowl. My girlfriend kept shaking her head no and telling me not to eat it, but like a good future son-in-law (the relationship didn’t work out BTW), I did. It didn’t taste like anything and only after I swallowed, her Mom told me that it was the fish bladder!

Another time I was eating her Mom’s fried rice with harm ha (fermented shrimp paste) and while I was used to the little bits of crunchy shrimp shell, I once found a whole snail shell, like the kind you put in your aquarium. When I showed it to her Mom, she just exclaimed, “Oh, you’re so lucky!”.

I don’t know if this is true or not, but supposedly in certain Southern Chinese restaurants, you can get Dragon, Phoenix Tiger soup. The Phoenix is chicken, maybe the expensive black chicken, the Dragon is snake and the Tiger is cat. I’m pretty sure I’ve eaten dog sometime, the meat was a bit chewier and dry than pork or it may have been goat, which I know for sure I’ve eaten a few times, so cat wouldn’t be off my menu!

Ha! Yeah, that’s classic. I ran into many occasions similar to this in the years I was doing business in China, where they’d present some special dish to you first as their esteemed guest, and it would always be something like chicken’s feet or goat brains or fried bees or whatever. So you’d eat some to be polite, and it would typically be largely ignored by everyone else for the rest of the meal in favor of the other dishes.

To this day, I honestly think a good portion of the contracts we closed were because I’m willing and able to eat pretty much anything and enjoy it. :slight_smile:

Of course, being able to drink like a hungover Russian fish and not lose your shit was equally if not more important for that, but I still think the food thing helped!

Regarding Jello – Peabody, Massachusetts was largely built on the leather and hide industry, so it’s not surprising that one of the older continuous gelatin factories is still operating there. Until just a few years ago it was run by Eastman (as in Kodak) Gelatin, with the characteristic Kodak Yellow signage, but with the Fall of Kodak it was diversted and bought by Rousselot, a Belgian company.And, yup, it was located there because of all the hides and scrap leather that could be used.

Not all that far away just off Route 93 in Stoneham or Woburn was the General Foods Jello plant, which was probably there for the same reason. I used to drive by and see the big neon “GF” logo lit up only some 20 years ago, but it’s dark now (although it’s still there)

Seriously, what do you expect farmers to do with surplus male livestock? They don’t always have the resources to let all of them grow to adulthood and the farmer needs income throughout the year. Lamb is similar except that there’s also a taste change from lamb to mutton; you just don’t need many rams.

I have no qualms eating baby animals. But I have issues with animals that suffered. Especially with smart charismatic animals that suffered. I’ve cut way down on eating pork since realizing how nasty the factory farms are. And when I buy pork at the market, I try to buy pork that claims to have been humanely reared. It only costs about twice as much as traditionally-reared pork, and seems worth the surcharge.

Sheep are dumb, delicious, and mostly pastured, even in the US. I eat a fair amount of lamb.

It’s not that much of a claim to fame - you can have a choice of two at a high class chippy: skate or rock (aka huss, aka dogfish).

There are loads:

I’m sure a biologist can tell you more; but I can confirm that the ones I’ve eaten were tasty.


Veal is cruel. By almost any standard. The calves are not allowed to move because that would make their flesh less tender.

I don’t eat veal. Anyway it is as bland as tofu.