Gross Ingredients in Your Summer Staples

Written by Bryce

Some of your favorite summer items like sunscreen, strawberries, and hamburgers are potentially full of gross ingredients– here’s what to watch out for.

Some of the Summer staples we all know and love are loaded with icky, gross things. Here’s the lowdown on what to watch out for (and some good solutions)!

1. Ground beef. Hamburgers are everything, but if you haven’t already heard of “pink slime,” now might be a good time to sit down. Commercially produced beef is loaded with this chemical-laden junk, and the FDA labels it “safe for limited consumption.” Grocers and meat carriers are allowed to supplement up to 25% of their ground meat with this ammonia and citric acid infused sludge made up of VERY processed “unwanted” animal parts.

READ MORE: Gross Ingredients in Everyday Items (part 1)

2. Sunscreen. Buying just any sunscreen off the shelf COULD result in a PABA-carrying formula. PABA is a naturally-derived chemical that helps absorb UV rays, but also acts as a serious poison to our bodies. PABA’s often lead to allergic reactions, major skin irritation, and skin symptoms that feel much worse than a sunburn. The solution isn’t to skip a sunscreen, but opt for a more modern and clean formula, like the Neutrogena line.

 3. Strawberries. Go organic or go home! Most commercially produced strawberries are so laden with tiny BUGS and pest repellents that if you don’t find wiggly creatures in your teeth, you’ll find nasty chemicals like methyl iodide in your blood. Literally,  if you don’t believe me feel free to check this out.

READ MORE: Weird FDA Food Allowances

4. Vanilla ice cream. Did you know anything labeled with “artificial vanilla flavoring” potentially came from a beaver’s behind? That sounds impossible and you’re probably thinking “how does the FDA allow that?” Well, it’s true. There’s a secretion that beavers make from their anal glands that apparently smells and tastes similar to natural vanilla, and it’s way cheaper than getting the good stuff shipped from Madagascar. Save yourself by opting for 100% organic labels, anything marked kosher, or labels that have fewer than 6 ingredients.


About the author


Bryce Gruber is a Manhattanite mom who can be found jet-setting off to every corner of the globe. She loves exotic places, being fully rested and writing for some of the world's most popular news outlets.


  • Hi Bryce – Looks like you missed the mark on the strawberries. Plenty of fruits and veggies can have small thrips. Also, methyl iodide hasn’t been around in the USA for a couple of years – not sure how they would get into strawberries. Strawberries are a really great source for antioxidants and vitamin C, though – great for skin and cardiovascular health.

    • Hi NonprofitMom! Yes, it’s been MOSTLY pulled off the shelf for years, but, apparently it has an extremely potent, and long lasting afterlife and is still found in astonishing levels in lots of produce.

      As for the bugs, strawberries are particularly vulnerable (as are raspberries) because of the nook/cranny texture they have. Other berries, like blueberries are slightly less open to so many little critters because of their smooth texture.

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