"Please, Cracked," you're already pleading, "Don't do this. Let me live my beautiful lie that is eating healthy and fresh. Don't take this from me."
Sorry, hypothetical reader, but duty calls. We all like to think we can add a few years to our lives by carefully choosing what we buy at the grocery store, but sometimes you'd be better off closing your eyes and throwing the first thing you find into your cart. Why? Because the food industry keeps fooling us into buying less-than-ideal products, using carny-level tricks like ...
6 Meat Is Packed With Carbon Monoxide To Make It Look Redder
One thing we all take for granted is that it's pretty easy to tell when food has gone bad, since you can usually just look at it. If that package of ground beef has turned a sickly color, is covered in mold, or has spontaneously grown an eyeball, that's when you know it's time to throw it out. Remember to cook it up while it's still a nice vibrant red, like you're eating the heart of your enemy to gain their courage, and you'll be good, right?
Unfortunately, the meat industry is on to our crafty tricks, and they've come up with a rather devious solution: They're packing meat with carbon monoxide, or CO, to make it stay deliciously red far longer than it should, even after it has spoiled.
"Oxygen hates him. Click to find out his secret."
You might recognize CO as the invisible, odorless gas that can straight-up murder your ass if you breathe in too much of it. The small amount in your meat won't kill you, but the meat itself might if you don't pay attention to the expiration date, because the color basically means shit.
Naturally, the food industry defended this practice, claiming it made the meat easier to distribute, and would also "prevent shrinkage," like a synthetic chemical fluffer. For once, thankfully, the government wasn't buying it; during a congressional hearing on the practice, they showed one package of meat that still looked pink and edible after two freaking years, at which point the meat could probably eat you instead.
Andersen Ross/Blend Images/Getty Images
"No thanks; I only eat free-range. When's the last time they even saw sunlight?"
The FDA hasn't banned this practice outright, since injecting food with mysterious science gas has some benefits, but that's why packages of ground meat now often say "color is not an accurate indicator of freshness." This also heads off the food industry's other plan to paint the meat with red nail polish.
5 Almond Milk Is More Like Almond Water (And Is Ruining The Environment)
Recently, the world has discovered that almonds are more than something you can insert into a candy bar to make people complain about them. Hailed as a "superfood," they're starting to show up in all sorts of recipes, and they're now a popular milk substitute. Most of us have seen that bizarre talking almond monstrosity in the Silk commercials, while the UK gets to drink Alpro, which is probably represented by a talking beaver or some shit.
OK, you win, England. This one's more disturbing.
But how do they make almond milk, anyway? If almonds had boobs, we probably would have noticed by now. Put simply, they take water and add a bunch of ground-up almonds to it. And by that, we mean that around two percent of Alpro "almond" milk is actually almonds. A handful of almonds is 160 calories, while a cup of almond milk is only 30 calories; to get the same health benefits as that handful of almonds, you need to chug an entire carton of almond milk like you're joining the world's wussiest fraternity. Almond milk has more potassium and vitamins, but those things are directly injected during the production process; it's like they tossed a single multivitamin into the mix.
Not only that, but this obsession with almonds is ruining the environment. California is the source of maybe 80 percent of the world's almonds, and almonds require water, by virtue of being things that grow. Meanwhile, California is also suffering from nearly unprecedented droughts, while almond farmers siphon off water from underground reserves to keep growing their crops. We'd make a pun with the word "nuts" right now, but Cracked HQ is in Santa Monica, so we're too dehydrated to think of anything.
That water spike before 2003 was the torrent of tears from Firefly getting cancelled.
So our most populated state is going thirsty so we can provide the world with its favorite candy-ruiner and pretend we're too good for regular milk. Nice, everyone.