The Gross Truth About Natural Flavors | What’s in your Perfume?

Natural Flavors…

The name sounds innocent enough, but these mild-sounding words are used by the food industry as an umbrella term for some pretty horrible stuff, including certain ingredients that come from extreme animal abuse.

The exact definition of natural flavors from the Code of Federal Regulations is as follows:

“The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.”

When the phrase ‘natural flavors’ appears on a package, the best move is to call the company and find out what the flavors are actually made from. Of course, I say this assuming that we’re all the kind of people who would be horrified to find out that we might have come close to ingesting fluid from the sex glands of beavers.

Think that sounds absurd? Then you must not have heard of castoreum, which is “used extensively in perfumery and has been added to food as a flavor ingredient for at least 80 years.”

Image: Rasmus Thomsen /

Castoreum is a bitter, orange-brown, odoriferous, oily secretion, found in two sacs between the anus and the external genitals of beavers. The discharge of the castor sac is combined with the beaver’s urine, and used during scent marking of territory. Both male and female beavers possess a pair of castor sacs and a pair of anal glands located in two cavities under the skin between the pelvis and the base of the tail.

Castoreum is a product of the trapping industry. When beavers are skinned for their fur, these glands are taken out, and are sold after being smoked or sun-dried to prevent putrefaction…

Well, that’s a relief.

The European Beaver was hunted to near extinction, both for fur and for castoreum, which was also believed to have medicinal properties. The North American beaver population was once more than 60 million, but as of 1988 was 6–12 million, largely due to extensive hunting and trapping. Although sources report that beaver populations have now recovered to a stable level, some experts say that today’s American beaver population is only 5 percent of what it was when Europeans first settled in North America.

Castoreum is used in “high class” perfumery for “refined leathery nuances.” It is also reportedly used in some incense, and to contribute to the flavor and odor of cigarettes. In food, castoreum is used to flavor candies, drinks, and desserts such as puddings.

Grossed out? Horrified that humans think nothing of killing innocent beings so we can dress ourselves in their fur and flavor our candies with their secretions? I have a solution for you: Go vegan – really vegan. Don’t use cosmetics that are made using animal products, read the ingredients on food packages, call customer support when you see those scary words, ‘natural flavors’, and guess what? You’ll never eat anyone’s anal fluid again.


Growing Garlic from a Single Clove – DIY

Growing garlic is very easy to do. All you will need is a single clove to grown an entire head of garlic. Organic Garlic Works best. What a great idea!

Source: Growing Garlic from a Single Clove – DIY

Substitutes for Sweetened Condensed Milk | LEAFtv

If you can’t or won’t eat dairy products, commercial alternatives to sweetened condensed milks aren’t readily available. You can make your own by reducing your favorite non-dairy milk — soy, rice, nut or coconut — by gently simmering it, as you would with dairy milk. Simmer 2 1/2 to 3 cups of your chosen milk substitute down to 1 cup, and then add the same 2/3 to 3/4 cup of sugar you’d use with dairy milk. For a vegan version, use vegan-friendly raw or unfiltered sugars that aren’t refined through bone charcoal. Non-dairy milks vary pretty widely, so if one doesn’t do justice to your recipe, try again with a different type.

Source: Substitutes for Sweetened Condensed Milk | LEAFtv

How to Grow Berries in Containers to Avoid Pests | The Spruce

Growing berries in containers is a great idea for gardeners with limited space as well as those trying to keep 4-footed pests away. Most berry plants will grow very well in containers, although you may not get as large a yield as plants grown in the ground. Although berry plants do not require a lot of maintenance, many do require some patience. It can take a year or more for the plants to mature enough to produce a decent harvest. Check with your local Cooperative Extension for a list of varieties that do well in your area.

Most berries will need large pots, both to accommodate the roots and to balance the mature-size top of the plants. Large pots with large plants can get very heavy. If you think you will be moving the containers, either indoors for the winter or around the patio, place them on a sturdy plant dolly. Of course they will also need plenty of drainage holes.

Read on at Source: How to Grow Berries in Containers to Avoid Pests

bkr Glass Water Bottle 16 oz. – A Healthier Choice

Minimalism is based on a single guiding principle: That simplicity and beauty are often one and the same. These glass-made vessels embrace that notion on every level, offering a stylish, eco-friendly alternative to disposable bottles and BPA-heavy plastics. Made with simple glass and food-grade silicone, these bottles are a welcome departure from the excesses of a disposable world. A 1.25’’ inch opening enables spill-free sipping, while a range of brilliant colors lets you rep your personal style. Best of all, a portion of each sale goes to charities like the Obakki Foundation, which brings the gift of clean water wherever it’s needed most.

Source: bkr Glass Water Bottle 16 oz.

Bake me happy: Coconut & passionfruit slice – Fat Mum Slim

There are things you learn in adulthood, and there is one thing I’ve learned about having a well-stocked pantry: one should always have a can of condensed milk lurking in there somewhere. Darling. Because you never know when you might want to whip up a huge batch of cookies, crack open the can and dip… Read More

Source: Bake me happy: Coconut & passionfruit slice – Fat Mum Slim

No Fail Pancakes (Vegan, Gluten Free & No Added Sugar)- Healthy & Psyched

No fail vegan & gluten-free pancake recipe

Serves 1-2 *
1 of your 5 a day + fruit toppings

  • ½ cup oats (gluten-free optional)
  • 2 tbsp buckwheat flour
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 small yellow banana (100g)
  • ¾ cup plant-based milk
  • ¼ tsp baking powder (gluten-free optional)
  • Coconut oil spray – for cooking
  • Serve with fresh fruit, desiccated coconut  or toppings of your choice.


  1. Blend the oats in a blender or food processor until they have the texture of flour.
  2. Next add the rest of the ingredients and blend well.
  3. Leave the pancake batter to rest for 10-20 minutes.
  4. Heat a non-stick pan to a medium heat. If you don’t have a non-stick pan then add 1-2 sprays of coconut oil to your pan (recommended by Healthy Jon).
  5. Add 2 tbsp of pancake batter into the pan and shape it into a circle. Leave to cook for 1 minute until small bubble appear. Turn over the pancake and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Place the pancake on a plate and repeat steap 5 until all of the batter has been used up.
  7. Add your toppings and enjoy.


*If I was making these for brunch I’d probably eat them all to myself and be very full afterwards!

Note: I have tried to make a thinner version of the batter, but that didn’t cook as well.

Source: No Fail Pancakes (Vegan, Gluten Free & No Added Sugar)- Healthy & Psyched