Friday, October 4, 2013

Beaver Butts Emit Goo Used for Vanilla Flavoring

This can't be. Is it April Fool's? Tell me this is a joke, Liz Thayer.

From National Geographic.
Beaver Butts Emit Goo Used for Vanilla Flavoring

by Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato

Oct. 1, 2013

Just in time for holiday cookie season, we’ve discovered that the vanilla flavoring in your baked goods and candy could come from the anal excretions of beavers.

Beaver butts secrete a goo called castoreum, which the animals use to mark their territory. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration lists castoreum as a “generally regarded as safe” additive, and manufacturers have been using it extensively in perfumes and foods for at least 80 years, according to a 2007 study in the International Journal of Toxicology.
“I lift up the animal’s tail,” said Joanne Crawford, a wildlife ecologist at Southern Illinois University, “get down there, and stick [my] nose near its bum.”

“People think I’m nuts,” she added. “I tell them, ‘Oh, but it’s beavers; it smells really good.’”

Castoreum is a chemical compound that mostly comes from a beaver’s castor sacs, which are located between the pelvis and the base of the tail. Because of its close proximity to the anal glands, castoreum is often a combination of castor gland secretions, anal gland secretions, and urine.

(read more)


  1. So gross. Why would anyone even consider doing this? Whose great idea was it? I can't imagine a beaver being too thrilled about anyone "sticking her nose near its bum" either.

  2. Vanilla?? Goddamit, I had read about the use of that "goo," but I thought it was limited to raspberry flavoring, so I've been avoiding Raspberry Iced Tea for a couple years now!

  3. “I tell them, ‘Oh, but it’s beavers; it smells really good.’”

    Ummmm, okay?

  4. If this grosses you out, I have bad news about food thickeners and dyes as well.

  5. "Oh, but it's beavers." Gag. I had also heard about this before in the context of "natural" raspberry flavor. Henceforth I am avoiding all flavored things.

  6. I just stick to my REAL vanilla, from Madagascar. My cookies don't taste like ass.

  7. I'm OK with that food coloring made from bugs, but this crosses the icky line...



Related Posts with Thumbnails