Although you may have heard the expression “Nothing is perfect”, you may not have truly considered that this phrase is true for EVERYTHING in life. This includes food that has been deemed acceptable by health inspection agencies. Now I don’t mean to gross everyone out, but I probably will…. (Sorry!)
Continue on if you’ve ever wondered how many bugs, bug parts, rodents and rodent parts are allowed in our food!
Since we all agree that nothing is 100%, 100% of the time, then there must be an allowable defect level. That 5-10% of wiggle room is something food producers need in the real world, because it is impractical to grow, harvest, or process raw products that are totally free of non-hazardous, naturally occurring and unavoidable defects. What this translates into, is that there are bugs in our food, and everyone is totally cool with it. That is as long as it does not exceed the “Action Level”. The following information is true for Canada (though it maybe not be in these exact numbers), but the following data is from the U.S Food and Drug Administration.
|Canned Sweet Corn||2 or more 3mm insect larvae, larval or cast skin fragments of corn ear worms or corn borer|
|Peanut Butter||Average of 30 or more insect fragments per 100 grams|
|Wheat Flour||Average of 150 or more insect fragments per 100 grams|
|Popcorn||1 or more rodent excreta pellets are found in 1 or more subsamples|
|Frozen Broccoli||Average of 60 or more aphids and/or thrips and/or mites per 100 grams|
|Chocolate||Any 1 subsample contains 90 or more insect fragments|
|Green Coffee Beans||Average 10% or more by count are insect-infested or insect-damaged|
|Tomato Juice||Average of 10 or more fly eggs per 100 grams, or 5 or more fly eggs and 1 or more maggots per 100 grams, or 2 or more maggots per 100 grams, in a minimum of 12 subsamples|
Kind of gross isn’t it? Rodent poop and bug parts? Well… sure the “excreta” is bad, but are eating bugs all that gross? In many areas of the world today, insects are a part of a complete diet. Sure, it may seem disgusting, but insects are actually a good source of protein, they’re easy to find and take up less space than many of the typical meat sources we farm (like say for example cows). I’m not saying that I’m going to go this minute and get me some tasty grasshoppers, but maybe we live in a world that’s too sterile and clean. What do you think? Are a few bug-bits really going to hurt us?