What's in your beer? - New York News

What's in your beer?

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After water and soda, beer is the third-most popular drink in America. But unlike with so many other beverages, beer companies are not required to disclose their ingredients.

Vani Hari, the food blogger behind foodbabe.com, started a petition asking the two nation's two largest beer makers -- Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors -- to post their beer ingredients online. In the last 24 hours, she says she's gotten more than 43,000 signatures.

"That lead to Anheuser-Busch actually emailing and inviting me to their headquarters to do a tour and to meet their head brew masters, and now they've committed to releasing the ingredients online," she says.

Some of the beer ingredients that Hari says she has discovered are disturbing.

One ingredient -- used by some beer makers to control the heads on their beers -- is commonly used in airplane de-icing liquids. Another ingredient called isinglass, which comes from fish swim bladders, is used to make beer more clear. Other ingredients include those that are genetically modified as well as high fructose corn syrup.

Something similar happened with subway when a food blogger petition to have a bread ingredient, often used in yoga mats, removed. Since that backlash, subway has removed that ingredient from all of its breads.

Both Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors have released statements regarding the petition. Both say they only use high-quality ingredients and are committed to voluntarily posting more ingredient information online.

Rachel Lustgarten, a dietitian, says the more consumers know about what they're consuming the better.

"There's a lot we don't know about chemical compounds in our foods," she says. "But I think that if people had that information they might make choices to stay away from those drinks and foods."

However, when we asked beer drinkers if ingredients matter, their answers varied.

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