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Food Babe TV Sparks Beaver Anal Gland Awareness

Y’all are a force to be reconed with. I like to call you the Food Babe Army, because that is what you are… an army fighting for total food awareness, holding companies and the FDA accountable and spreading the truth. Collectively, you have the power to change the world. I could never do what I’m doing alone, so I wanted to take a moment to make sure you know how much I value your passion, love and support to create a better food world for all of us. Total evidence of your power can be seen by the fact that the first episode of Food Babe TV sparked a media firestorm last week. It was your sharing, your conversation and your support that led to the Swedish National Food Agency to confirm “rumors” on the internet of #beaverbutt or beaver anal glands used for natural flavors…

Beaver Anal Glands


Check out all the awareness you helped to spread below. Think about how many more people are checking the back of their ingredient lists for “natural flavor” now that Jay Leno and Kelly Ripa mentioned this on their shows to millions of people. This story even went international – as far as Australia! You are part of this as much as I am and don’t ever forget it. I love you. Thank you so much for being AMAZING!

Every hope and dream has come true for Food Babe TV so far and it’s only the beginning!

Here’s a recap of the week’s beaver stories.

Original Release of Food Babe TV 9/9/2013 – watch here

Jay Leno 9/17/2013 – watch the clip (fast forward to 1:10)

Live with Kelly & Michael 9/16/2013 – watch the clip (fast forward to 12:35)

WCSX radio (Detroit) 9/20/2013 – listen here

The Atlantic 9/19/2013- read here

NY Post  9/15/2013 – read here

International Business Times 9/16/2013 – read here

The Register (U.K.) 9/18/2013 – read here

Huffington Post – 9/20/2013 read here

Dayton Daily News 9/17/2013 – read here

The Kitchn  9/19/2013 – read here

The Local (Sweden) 9/15/2013 – read here

My News Desk 9/20/2013 – read here

Metro News (Canada) 9/19/2013 – read here

Australia News 9/16/2013 – read here

Mother Nature Network 9/17/2013- read here

Complex City Guide 9/16/2013 – read here

UPI 9/15/2013 – read here

The Frisky 9/20/2013 – read here

The SOP 09/16/2013 – read here

Ad Hoc News (Denmark) 9/19/2013 – read here

The Clean Tech 9/19/2013 – read here

Organic Consumers Association 9/9/2013- (reprint) read here


A new episode of Food Babe TV comes out tomorrow! Make sure you are signed up for email updates, so you can get a behind the scenes sneak peak. Can’t wait.

Lots of Love,

Food Babe

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31 responses to “Food Babe TV Sparks Beaver Anal Gland Awareness

  1. I think it’s kind of funny in a way, that this is only now gaining widespread acknowledgement as something that goes into ‘natural flavoring’. I remember watching an old episode of Bizarre Foods America(I’m pretty sure it was from this show..) where the host visited a lab in some European country and got to mess around and mix his own ‘natural flavor’. There are even articles on what sort of things go into ‘natural flavoring’ going back as far as 2010.

    In a nutshell, while I’m glad more people are recognizing and at the very least, AWARE, of what goes into certain super-secret things, I still find it funny that the information has been out n’ about for some time already.

    1. Edit: Whoops. I typed Bizarre Foods ‘America’, just pretend it isn’t there!

      Quick expansion: Just to elaborate real quick on it, I’m not laughing, belittling, or being condescending towards people only now becoming aware of these sorts of things, rather it’s interesting that people are usually passively accepting of deceptive words and don’t usually bother to investigate what they really are or mean.

      1. I think the biggest reason it’s becoming more recognized now is because of Food Babe, 100 days, and other people who are making an impact…big thing is via facebook! If facebook weren’t around, I wouldn’t have a clue some of these things are out there.

  2. Thank you so much for raising the awareness of what “natural flavors ” really are. I am having difficulty finding products without any natural flavors (and I only shop at Whole Foods and Natural Grocers) They are in EVERYTHING… If you stop buying the products they will stop using them. You are on the side of Angels

    1. While it is good to err on the side of caution regarding the labeling of ‘Natural Flavors’, sometimes you’ll come across a brand that will elaborate on what their ‘natural flavors’ are within the products. And sometimes it’s just a mixture of spices. Though I’ll admit they can omit all of the details since it helps protects companies’ ‘secret recipes’.

  3. After I saw your clip on beaver butts, I had to research it for myself to verify your information…to my disgrace…IT WAS TRUE!! I showed the clip to my daughter & her jaw dropped in disgust. I tease her often about it now so that she becomes more aware of what she’s/we’re really eating. I also went out & bought an ice cream maker & we made our OWN ice cream with OUR NATURAL FLAVORS! I can’t even fathom ever eating store bought ice cream again (or anything with “natural flavors” again)! Thanks for all your info & all the time it takes for you to educate us! Keep up the good work!

  4. You do your research, and you present the information in an entertaining manner. It’s a win-win for those of us who want to circulate the truth about what’s happening to our food. I think we’re all happy to be in the Food Babe Army!

  5. Interesting how the media puts the focus on Sweden. Like it’s only a problem there instead of EVERYWHERE! It’s the typical “it’s their problem, not ours”- strategy. Oh well, can’t have everything in life, can you? I for my part will DEFINATELY pay closer attention to food labels in order to avoid natural flavors, not matter which country the product is from.

    1. I think the focus on Swedish National Food Agency is because there is a particular lab based IN Sweden that makes a good big ol’ percentage of most ‘Natural Flavoring’ that most big international companies use.

      1. Addition: That isn’t to say I’m justifying shifting the focus onto them to alleviate the blame and focus put onto the actual companies using these chemical-mixes, just saying why it might be centered around Sweden a bit. I mean in my opinion, both the user and the supplier are at fault. The users(the companies) for creating such a gross demand for it, and the supplier(the labs) for offering the supply to meet the demand.

      2. Thanks for the info, Kiwi. And you’re right. Both the labs and food manufacturers are at fault. However, I still feel that the big food companies are glad that the media puts the focus on the labs and not on them. Had there been no demand in the first place there wouldn’t have been any supply. So in my book that makes the companies a bit more responsible. I think it’s typical that the truely guilty always find a way to shift the blame.
        Anyhow, I’m glad Vani did the investigation and that at least the truth has finally come to light. Now we as consumers can take action by not buying those products in question. That’s a good start, I think.

    2. I was a Communications major, and there is a big reason WHY the media shifts the blame and doesn’t call out particular food brands that are offenders. Guess who pays their bills via advertisement sales? And guess who would pull their ad and massive amounts of money if the media ‘blew the whistle’? You guessed it, giant, Monsanto-supporting companies: Kraft, Coca-Cola, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Mars, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, P&G and Nestlé.
      Think about it, do you ever see a commercial for a food or personal care product that’s NOT made by one of these companies?

  6. Thanks so much for your research!! I have a question: I just purchased a usda certified organic product and never looked at the ingredients bc I thought bc it was organic it was ok….the product contains “natural flavors” and “certified natural flavors”. Can items be organic but contain natural flavors like beaver butt?!?! I’m confused bc I thought if I buy USDA certified organic I was pretty safe….?

  7. FBA! I thinking referenced that a while back on a Facebook comment. Not sure I coined it, but hope I helped push the phrase alongin some way 🙂

  8. Thanks Food Babe. Because of you, i have made several small changes to my lifestyle. They are small but gradual. You woke me up to what is going on with our food. I tell everyone about your website. YOU ROCK!!!!!!

  9. Since you are all tweaking out over a natural, non GMO glandular secretion from beavers you might want to reconsider some other things you readily eat. Would you willingly eat insect vomit? Something that a bug ate partially digested, vomited back up then ate again and vomited up again. Yet that is exactly what “honey” is “bee vomit”, don’t believe me look it up. Would you eat something made using “ground up baby cow stomachs”? Most every high end cheese you eat contains “rennet” and that is what rennet is “ground up calf stomachs” soaked to extract the enzyme to clot the milk into curds. Would you use a seasoning that contained trace amounts of uranium, plutonium, mercury, lead and arsenic? Yet that is all in “sea salt” and more, pretty much the whole periodic table is in sea salt.
    http://www.saltnews.com/chemical-analysis-natural-himalayan-pink-salt/.
    However sea salt is good because it is “natural” but castoreum is bad even though it to is natural. Logic seems to elude modern “foodies”.

    1. good insights. I agree with you. beaver butt is gross, sure, but so are most things about us.

  10. If this isn’t bad enough, I just got an email from organicconsumers.org asking me to call my Senators as the House of Representative just passed the the Monsanto Protection Act to run thru December 15! And to show how sneaky they all are, The bill will force a showdown with the Senate because it includes a provision to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.
    But the Continuing Resolution is controversial for another reason. It extends the Monsanto Protection Act, officially referred to as the Farmers Assurance Provision, a law that gives biotech firms immunity from federal prosecution for illegally growing GMO crops.”

  11. That is awesome, but I do think I’m correct in thinking that not EVERY reference to “Natural Flavors” refers to beaver butt. Maybe that should be clarified. Isn’t beaver butt just used for strawberry flavoring?

    Thanks Food Babe, for all you do!

    1. No, not all ‘Natural Flavoring’ will contain the excretions from the beaver’s anal glands. Natural Flavoring can contain, if I recall, any number of extracts/chemicals/etc mixed together to emulate the flavor they are trying to enhance within the product. The beaver excretion is usually used for berry flavorings, but that isn’t to say it is or isn’t used in other Natural Flavoring mixes to emulate a specific flavor.

  12. I’m not saying I am doubting your facts. You do amazing research. But I’m a bit confused by the beaver anal gland aspect. Where do they get the beaver anal glands in large enough quantities to use in human consumption? Is there a beaver farm that raises these glands specifically? Or do they recycle the beaver glands from roadkill victims?

    1. Nancy, it’s a byproduct of the beaver fur industry. Big in Russia and Canada. Apparently used on massive scale for vanilla icecream, like Magnum. Enjoy 🙂

  13. Vani i recently called the So Delicious company to raise my concerns with the “natural flavoring” listed on their label. She said in the last few wks she has received countless calls with the same question! just shows how much you are reaching people!

  14. i know this is off topic, but will you please write about how to grow sprouts? they are powerful little gems and i would love to know how to grow them at home. thanks!

  15. So what if an ingredient label says, “Natural Orange Flavor?” If it specifies the actual flavor, does that mean it’s still from a beaver’s butt? I am guessing there’s really no ‘orange’ in the “natural orange flavor.”

  16. My fiancée brought this up a couple days ago and earlier today when I was looking for Coconut Water to drink, before I purchased it, I took a quick glance to see what it had. And no surprise… “Natural Flavors” was in there.

    Thank you so much for the great content and helping spread the awareness in what we’re eating.

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