Natural butt flavoring

Castoreum is a substance that is secreted from beavers’ butts. And it is sometimes used as vanilla, strawberry and raspberry flavorings in processed foods like candy, ice cream, nonalcoholic (ice tea, soda) and alcoholic beverages. Beavers mark their territory with this musky, vanilla-scented secretion, which is also used in perfumes. According to National Geographic, food scientists have to anesthetize the animals to milk the anal glands. But killing them and pulling out the castor sac is another harvesting method. In 19th-century Sweden, the latter was so frequently used, that the beaver population was annihilated, according to The Local. Consumers won't likely find castoreum listed on labels, though: It (legally) falls under the “natural flavor” categorization. Contact food manufacturers and demand transparency in their ingredients if you want to know if there is anal flavoring in your treats.