Offbeat News for Wednesday, May 16th

This day in age, lots of people are worrying about what’s in their food. While some opt for the organic route, and others may choose to go vegan. But there may be some ingredients we can’t exactly escape. A new study shows that insects and other junk is making its way into our food and it’s been on ingredients lists all along.
For instance, shredded cheese contains powdered cellulose to prevent the cheese from clumping. It’s made from a variety of plants including wood (so you’re better off buying a brick and shredding it yourself).
Some frozen foods like burritos and pizza contain an amino acid, L-Cysteine. It’s used to improve the texture of dough and contains hair or duck feathers.
If those don’t freak you out, well your stomach may churn knowing that some red juices contain bugs. Carmine is a natural red food dye used in juices and some yogurts and the only way to make it is by boiling cochineal insects.
Oh and those jelly beans you had over Easter, they’re made with confectioner’s glaze. That particular ingredient is shellac made from insects in Asia, also the same shellac used as wood finish.
Thing is, all of these ingredients are FDA approved and are “generally recognized as safe.”
In case you missed it, a Miami high school is feeling the heat after a wild choice of entertainment at its prom. Christopher Columbus High School took jungle theme to the next level when it arranged for several animals to join in on the big night, including a tiger in a cage. While the school insists it was all for entertainment purposes, some students and families are not happy about.
The night’s festivities included multiple caged animals and a fire juggler act. The tiger is what’s gaining the most attention. Student Marie Christine Castellanos says her brother attended the prom. She and her family are animal rights activists and she took to her Facebook to express her frustration.
Marie tells reporters there’s no need for the tiger at prom. “Tigers are wild animals,” she says. “They don’t need to be displayed as objects for our amusement. They don’t like the fire, the cages, the music, the teenagers with the cameras, they didn’t ask for that, they don’t have voices.”
However the school insists that everything was safe. In a statement they noted that several animals were on display besides the tiger including a lemur, two macaws, and an African fennec fox. The school says the tiger, which was provided by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was only displayed for a few minutes and was never in any harms way. Administrators also note that the Double Tree Hilton hosting the prom had approved its appearance.
A  California high school sophomore pulled a move straight out of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and hacked the school’s grading system to change his grades. David Rotaro says “it was like stealing candy from a baby” hacking the Ignacio Valley High School grading system. It reportedly took him five minutes to create a phishing email, which he sent out to school staff. One staffer admitted to the IT department to opening it. Rotaro only needed the one username and password and he was in. The student then raised and lowered the grades of 10 to 15 students, but was soon caught by armed officers and Secret Service who broke down the door to his home. Sgt. Carl Cruz says he’s been charged “with crimes ranging from unauthorized use of entering network to personal info. Rotaro didn’t have much to say about his crimes except that he wanted to give the school “awareness to cyber security.” He’s obviously been suspended. He went through all of that and he didn’t even change his own grades.

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