Skip to comments.Pasta Bugs: Why Are There Insects In American Food?
Posted on 07/24/2014 7:16:39 PM PDT by jespasinthru
Has this ever happened to you? You go to a clean, modern American supermarket and buy some boxes of pasta. You store some of them in you cupboard. And when you cook it, little black bugs are floating in the water. They look like fleas, except that they have snouts. Very gross. And by putting boxes of them in your cupboard, you have now infested your kitchen with them. I was so mad that I e-mailed the company, a popular national brand, and gave them a piece of my mind. I even e-mailed them a close-up photo of the bug in question. I received an apologetic letter from the company. They informed me that these things are called grain weevils, and they are very prevalent in the commercial farms of Kansas, Nebraska, Idaho and Iowa. The company is reluctant to overuse pesticides, and they reject GMO crops because of public outcry. So some of these bugs make it into the processing plants and past quality control, and consumers find them in their boxes of pasta. I've been married for five months, and when I discussed it with my husband he was very pragmatic about it: "Just rinse the pasta before you cook it. If any bugs get past the rinsing, just cook 'em. The heat will kill any bacteria, and bugs do have a bit of protein in them. It's a sin to throw away good food." He's into lateral thinking, which is one of the reasons why I love him. A week later I got a fat envelope in the mail. The pasta company sent me coupons for twenty free boxes of the same buggy crap. Like I'd ever put their product in my kitchen again. I went to a huge Lutheran church in my town that gives out lots of free food to the poor and homeless, and explained the situation to them. To my surprise, the pastor and his administrators were familiar with the pasta bug problem. They were happy to accept those 20 free coupons that I got in the mail. Has this ever happened to you?
Paragraphs are your friend.
Check out the accepted number of insect fragments that are allowed by the FDA in canned food. Canned tomatoes for instance.
It is rare but it happens.
Toss the pasta and cook something else.
Similar things have happened here; although not a scientist or a student of food, processing, or packaging, I have the sneaking suspicion that, on the microscopic level, at least, there’s a lot of cr*p in our food we never see.
Cook it well.
And, yes, it’s a significant problem in these days of planned long-term storage in anticipation of future need.
yup, had a gal friend once whose summer job it was to do lab things like count insect legs and body fragments in mmmm-mmmm-good soup.
Yes it happened to me twice in 40 years. Threw it out checked rest of cupboard then purchased a fresh box from different store. I always look before I cook and rotate by home stored products.
More seriously, I have never seen these bugs before. You should have used the coupons.
Paragraphs take up too much space, especially when you are thinking and typing at the same time.
This is minor. If you think our food is pristine as sold, think again. Just look at FDA guidelines for foodstuffs and what adulterants are allowed. There is now way to have a completely bug-free, hair-free and pest-free food chain. Short of growing it yourself, the stuff will always be there. My mother was the best cook ever, but I always somehow managed to find a hair in my food—it was her hair. Still alive.......
Keep all flour and pastas in the freezer for 30 days at 0 degrees to kill the bug eggs.
You mean the bugs or throwing away coupons for free food?
No and no.
WHAT a nice way to put it. :o)
Freeze the item for a couple weeks before storing.
Yes, happened to me with a box of spaghetti while living overseas and shopping at a military base commissary.
Up`n here we`uns go berryin` about this time of yaer up on ye mountain, `n we jest pick them berries, them blackcaps n black rasberries, yummy, bugs n all n eatem bugs`n all, to make sure them berries `n bugs is ripe,whilst we is pickin`.
You`ll city slickers is scared of bugs in pastas?
Heck you ain`t lived until you`ve mouth `n swallowed a crunchy raw leafhopper.
Because if you don't you get the main parasite outbreak in your belly!