Would You Still Eat Jelly Beans If You Knew About this Ingredient?
Double dare ya.
Candy's Dirty Little Secret
Easter time is filled with all sorts of confectionery delights, like chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, and more, but what if we told you that those shiny little treats have something unexpected in their ingredient list? Something that might make you think twice?
Yes, we're sorry to tell you that those glossy glazes are made from the excrement of the lac bug.
The Lac Bug
The lac bug is a parasitic beetle that's native to Thailand and India. These beetles infest trees and consume its sap. What comes out of...well, the other end...forms a hard resin on the tree branches. Once the branches are harvested and impurities are removed, the resin is turned into dry flakes that can be used to make either shellac—the wood sealant—or what's known in the industry as "confectioner's glaze."
This glaze is used on all sorts of candies, including jelly beans—but also medication. It is important to note that this practice has been deemed safe for consumption by the Food and Drug Administration.
If you can't stomach the thought of continuing to eat this glaze, there are some candy companies committed to making confections without this buggy addition, and there's even a PETA campaign to stop the practice altogether.
Hungry for more? Here's Why 2019 Might Be the Year We Eat Bugs (and Love It).