Bugs are my favorite flavor!
I swear, there's nothing I like better than a good old handful of bug poop!
Without realizing it, most of you feel the same way.
That pretty little bug is called the Lac Beetle. It lives in Thailand and India, and spends it's life blissfully eating and pooping.
Now, when I say pooping, I mean, secreting a resin onto the leaves it eats. So, yes, I mean pooping.
There are hundreds of people who then spend their days going around and collecting this dried resin. They then package it and sell it to various manufacturers. These manufacturers will then soak the dried poop in ethyl alcohol. This creates a substance we call shellac.
"Wait", you say, "I have a can of shellac out in my shop! I use it to put a nice finish on wood."
Yes, you do. You put a nice, shiny covering of bug poop all over your wood. (hey...get your mind out of the gutter....)
But, there are some manufacturers who don't call their mixture of ethyl alcohol and dried bug poop shellac. If they did, no one would buy their product. Instead, they call it simply, 'glaze', or 'confectioners glaze'.
Ok. No big deal. Lots of times people call the same thing by a different name. I mean, what harm could it....wait. Confectioners glaze? You mean, the stuff they put on my Skittles and M&M's to make them shine is bug poop?
Yup. Although, they don't call it bug poop. They call it 'a resin secreted by the Lac beetle'. Because it sounds better.
And it's not just Skittles or M&M's. Take a walk down any candy asile and look to see who uses confectioners glaze.
But wait! There's more! You see, any food product that uses 'glaze', or 'food glaze' are using the same thing. The reason it shows up in the ingredients as 'glaze' or 'food glaze' is because no one would buy something with 'bug poop' in the ingredients list.
Now, rest assured, it is totally safe for human consumption. And, it is 100% flavorless.
But it is poop.