How much do you know about the process of making the products you use and the items you own? Although most people probably don’t go as far as believing that sausages grow on trees, most of us are still pretty clueless about how everyday items are made. Here is a list of five well-known things that are produced in ways you wouldn’t think of.
Today the fact that silk is produced by the larvae of a specific breed of moth will hardly be a revelation for anybody, but most people are unaware of the process that actually creates the silk. What is usually left unsaid is that silk in its initial, liquid form constitutes the cocoon of the silkworm, and in order to use it farmers have to kill most larvae with heat and boil the cocoons afterwards. That is why silk production often becomes the target of animal rights groups like PETA. However, recently a number of producers turned to other approaches, either by using a no-kill method in producing silk bed-clothes or utilizing the wild silk produced by non-domesticated silk moths.
When you rub a cream in your face, do you give think much about just what exactly this thing is? If no, you are probably better off, if yes, here is the answer – many cosmetic products consist of up to 80% petroleum-based products which, in turn, means that if you take a random beauty care product it is more than likely to be made up mostly of decayed mass of living organisms that died millions of years ago.
3. Energy Drinks
If you are a fan of drinks like “Red Bull” and its brethren, you have probably noticed that it has something called Taurine listed among its ingredients – but have you ever wondered what exactly it is? Actually, the energy rush all tired college students and party-goers have gotten used to originally comes from bile mostly found in the large intestine of cows. Although you may find some comfort in the fact that today it is mostly synthetically produced.
4. Kopi Luwak Coffee
An ultimate gift for any coffee connoisseur, Kopi Luwak elite coffee is one of the most expensive and celebrated types of coffee. However, due to an unusual method of production, it has both ardent proponents who believe it enhances or even outright changes the original taste of coffee beans, and sarcastic enemies, who consider it nothing but a clever marketing ploy. Believe it or not, Kopi Luwak is made from coffee beans that were first eaten and excreted by a species of a small animal called Asian palm civet or toddy cat.
5. Vanilla and Raspberry Flavoring
When you think about various additives and flavorings used in food production, you probably think that all of them are nothing but different chemicals with fancy names, produced in some laboratory. In most cases it is true, but what about the so-called ‘natural ingredients?” As it turns out, they often have more than unorthodox origins. For example, vanilla and raspberry flavoring doesn’t come from either vanilla or raspberry but, inexplicably, from the substance called Castoreum, received from beavers’ anal secretions the animals use to scent territory.
As you may see, the next time you get interested in how some everyday stuff is made you will probably be better off if you don’t get inquisitive enough to actually check it… Although if you are not grossed out then it certainly makes for excellent party talk to make your friends happy when they are relishing those vanilla-flavored marshmallows they like so much.
Are there any other surprising facts about how everyday objects are created that you’d like to share? Tell us below!
Featured photo credit: Interest/GotCredit via flickr.com