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Is the ingredient erythorbate in hot dogs really earthworms?

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Dear Straight Dope: Is the ingredient earthobate in hotdogs really earthworms? — Blacshado First off, it's erythorbate, not earthobate. I think half your problem here stems from poor spelling. Next let me ask a question: Is this a health-related concern or simply the gross out factor you're worried about? As a Straight Dope reader you already know about agave worms in mezcal (http://www.straightdope.com/colum ns/990702.html), chocolate covered ants (http://www.straightdope.com/colum ns/991008.html), and beetle juice used as glazes in some candies (http://www.straightdope.com/classics/ a3_118.html). In the last column Cecil mentions a couple of other bug pseudonyms in label ingredients: carmine, which gives fruit cocktail cherries their red color, is derived from dried cochineal insects, and confectioners glaze, which is used as a coating on Junior Mints candy, is a secretion of the lac beetle.) So yeah, some food ingredients are made from bugs and such. But erythorbate isn't one of ... more
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