Deep in our hearts, we all know that there are some disgusting things going on behind closed doors in the food industry, but we try not to think about it because french fries are delicious. Judging by these four recent stories, however, it might be safer to put those fries down and just never eat anything ever again.
#4. Man Arrested for Selling Wildlife to Various Chicago Restaurants
An Indiana man named Alexander Moy was recently charged with running a one-man black market for cuddly meat, buying up the cast of Over the Hedge -- including raccoons, turtles, and deer -- and selling them to meat markets in Chicago, which would then distribute them to local restaurants, because apparently no one at any stage of food production gives one rancid shit about serving customers meat that has in no way passed any kind of quality control check.
"Is it Grade A?"
"It's a grade."
There are so many steps involved in secretly feeding people raccoons that we wouldn't be surprised to learn that Moy could earn way more money legitimately buying and selling cows like a regular human being. Either way, he has been charged with two counts of a Class D felony, which honestly seems a little light for undergoing such a bafflingly obtuse supervillain plot.
#3. Chinese Restaurants Caught Adding Dangerously Addictive Spices to Food to Make Customers Come Back for More
Poppy pods (rather than the seeds they contain) are a powerful opiate that can get you high if you ingest enough of them, leaving you hopelessly addicted (or, in rare cases, a world-famous millionaire).
With this in mind, restaurateurs in China have been grinding the poppy pods up and using them as spices in their dishes, hoping to create throngs of dedicated customers by virtue of making them chemically dependent on their food. Because this is an actual narcotic effect that goes beyond whatever mystery dust they put in Doritos that makes you crave more of them whenever you are within 5 feet of an operating video game console, Chinese officials have been cracking down, doling out sentences of up to five years in prison to anyone caught using the now-illegal spice.
"Patrons mainlining plum sauce is a dead giveaway."
#2. Horses Used in Lab Testing Are Being Sold as Edible Meat
Twenty-one people in France were arrested at the heart of a bizarre scheme wherein over 100 laboratory horses were fraudulently labeled "fit for consumption" and sold to unsuspecting consumers expecting healthy cuts of non-diseased horse meat, which in itself is such an adorably childlike expectation that it almost makes the crime even more heinous.
The horses had been used to develop antibodies for rabies and tetanus, among other things, and were supposed to be destroyed in a manner that involved zero human beings eating their plague-ravaged bodies for dinner. It is interesting to note that, after the records of the tainted horses were doctored, the horses were exported to neighboring countries like Spain. This seems to indicate that the entire scandal may just be evidence of an elaborate French plot to troll all of Europe with rabid horse steaks.
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"You don't want to know what we put in the brie we send to England."
#1. China Has a Black Market for Cooking Oil Made from Sewer Sludge
Because there is truly no limit to what people will do for money, there is a thriving black market industry in China centered around "gutter oil" -- that is, discarded old cooking oil and rendered animal fat that is literally scraped up out of the sewer and sent back to processing plants to be used to cook food again, presumably for the devil.
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It's the only stuff with a high enough smoke point.
Barrels of the bubblin' crude are sold to restaurants and hotels as "recycled cooking oil," which in all fairness is a true statement, although it is omitting the phrase "... that should only be used as rocket fuel on a voyage directly into the center of the sun" that would normally follow that description. Despite the fact that "gutter oil" is illegal as hell (because it is insanely toxic and loaded with carcinogens), and that one man was recently sentenced to life in prison for producing the stuff, an estimated one-tenth of all oil sold in China is gutter oil. We're not saying you shouldn't eat anything in China, but you're definitely rolling the dice every time you visit one of those street corner duck vendors. That dude sells pounds of meat for dirt cheap every day, and he's not cooking it in wishes.