Some bugs safe to eat?

  1. Ouabache

    Ouabache 1,324
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    I just noticed some small bugs in a jar of rice (thai - jasmine rice). I am guessing some viable weevil eggs may have come with my original sack of rice. Since we have a worldwide readership, what are your thoughts on consuming grain with bugs in it?

    Let me kick it off.. In western cultures (such as USA), we have an aversion to eating insects (even though everyone who has eaten fresh salad is consuming bugs too tiny to see). I have seen more than one video documentary, of people counting the bugs in their grain and rationing them as an added source of protein. Hmm :uhh:
    Utah State extension service has this to say, regarding wheat and rice infested with weevils: (they) are unappetizing, but safe to consume. Here are a few other bugs that are consumed around the world.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. radou

    radou 3,215
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    The thing that immediately crossed my mind after reading the title of this topic is this video I saw recently, it's about roasted tarantulas:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQjd3A5W-U4

    Well, it's all a matter of cultural difference, that's all. Although I find it grossly disgusting, but nevermind.
     
  4. Math Is Hard

    Math Is Hard 4,915
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    Come visit me in L.A. I'll take you to Typhoon for some waterbugs and crickets!:approve:
     
  5. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

  6. radou

    radou 3,215
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    MIH, are you saying what I think you're saying? :tongue:
     
  7. Math Is Hard

    Math Is Hard 4,915
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    um.. :uhh: ..probably?
     
  8. radou

    radou 3,215
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    Well, I assume you tried one of those crickets. Crunchy? :biggrin:
     
  9. Math Is Hard

    Math Is Hard 4,915
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    you bet! Just one piece of advice - bring floss if you go there on a date. There's nothing quite as unnattractive as a cricket leg hangin' out of your teeth.
     
  10. radou

    radou 3,215
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    Really? You had a guy with that situation sitting opposite to you? If so, that's definitely a story for grandchildren to hear. :wink:
     
  11. In Thailand I had a bag full of fried crickets, cockroaches and other bugs. And I'm still alive.

    In fact, it was very tasty.
     
  12. turbo

    turbo 7,366
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    Most bugs are safe to eat. They are an inevitable part of our food supply. It is far more risky to eat plants that have been dosed with chemicals that are designed to kill all the bugs. Catch a clue, people!!!!!!!!!!
     
  13. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    To be more specific, there are specific FDA limits to how many bugs can be in your food. And the number is not 0.

    Yeah, this should be pretty obvious.
     
  14. what is the FDA limits...

    btw if it isn't zero isnt it kind of implying that it is fine for companies to have bugs in their food..call me old-fashioned..but i dont like the idea of eating bugs..
     
  15. Evo

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    It's not just insects, they have limits to the amount of rodent droppings, urine, fur, etc... which are considered acceptable.
     
  16. Ouabache

    Ouabache 1,324
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    I see you are having a good time with this thread. :smile:

    radou, I'll have to watch that "roasted tarantula" flick, next time I'm on a fast net connection. It sounds like a keeper. MIH, the Typhoon looks like cutting edge cuisine; offering up bugs and amphibians to the well developed palette. Evo, I believe I've seen those lollipops featured, on the foodtv channel. If you walked down the street licking one of those, you may raise a few eyebrows. AndreJ you're a brave soul, tucking in on those crunchy bugs. Turbo-1 Yeah, what really gets me is that pesticides we've banned in the U.S. are still sold and exported to countries from whom we purchase produce. ref :yuck:

    Actually I am surprised no one has mentioned the worms (agave snout weevil) found in quality bottles of Mezcal. I hear they are a delicacy in Mexico.

    Well back to my example. Imagine, if you will, you've just discovered these little rice weevils crawling around in your sack of high quality grain. What to do, to cook and eat or not? You might ponder, if I soak them, maybe the bugs will float. Then I could flush them out and cook the remaining bug free grain. Yea!! :tongue2:

    Well lets take a closer look (ref, Univ Kentucky). The adults chew a hole into the grain, lay their eggs. The immature weevil grows through several larval stages and finally pupate to an adult and chew their way out of the kernel. (ref, Texas A&M). These weevils are not too fussy and will feast on many grains: wheat, maize, oats, barley, sorghum in addition to rice.

    So in addition to seeing the adults walking around on top of your grain, now you know there are lots more growing inside the kernels too. Will those float too? Maybe, Hmmmm.... :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2007
  17. If the allowable quantities of...er...contaminants, was in fact zero, no mass-produced food would ever get to the retailers and we'd probably all starve.

    Just don't think about it.
     
  18. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Personally, I prefer not to eat grain that some bug has been pooping in, call me picky.

    I had some turnips once that had root maggots. I didn't notice until they were in the pan of water and they started wriggling out. :yuck: Needless to say, they quickly went into the trash.
     
  19. Monique

    Monique 4,699
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    Here is the list of allowable defects in foods:
    http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/dalbook.html

    One random pick out of the list:

    CINNAMON, GROUND
    Average of 400 or more insect fragments per 50 gram
    Average of 11 or more rodent hairs per 50 grams

    Now that we are on the topic of having insects in your food, the same thing happened to me a few weeks ago. All of a sudden my house became infected with a tiny bug (1-2 mm in size), it was wandering around everywhere from underneath the bedsheet to the wall.

    I didn't know what the source was, until a week or so later my eye fell onto an opened bag of dried lentils that has been lying in the cupboard for half a year untouched. It was completely filled with those bugs and they had moved to the other bags of dried beans etc.

    I threw everything out, the bugs were completely gone after that. Funny enough, my boyfriend wanted to keep the bags of lentils/beans, while I was completely creeped out by them. If I had known they were unharmful I'd probably have washed the beans and eaten them afterwards, but keeping the bags wasn't really an option since those bugs were taking over the house.

    Here is a picture I took, anyone recognize it?
    [​IMG]


    *edit* I searched google for weevil pictures, and it does show some similarity to this pea weavil: http://info.ag.uidaho.edu/keys/plates/plate40.htm
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2007
  20. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    Dang, you guys are so naive. Corn and grain are cut and processed mechanically. How could they possibly get all the bugs out except by hand-sorting?

    Anyway, I picked this link up with a quick google. Not that I understand what it means (what exactly is a fragment?), but it is interesting, since I'm working in a cocoa processing plant right now. http://www.fda.gov/ora/compliance_ref/cpg/cpgfod/cpg515-700.html
     
  21. turbo

    turbo 7,366
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