You’ve Probably Been Eating Bugs Without Realizing It

In some cultures, bugs are a delicacy. Grasshoppers, crickets, ants, cicadas, and other bugs offer a great source of protein and are tasty to many people. In fact, eating insects is becoming more and more common for its health and sustainability benefits.

But many foods that you do not expect to contain bugs often contain parts of dead insects. The FDA says that a small quantity of bugs is acceptable in some foods.  If you don’t want to know what bugs you might be eating, you should stop reading now. Otherwise, read on to learn bugs in everyday good items.

Everyday Food Items that Contain Bugs

The bugs in these food items are not put there on purpose. Instead, the bugs get into the ingredients as they are growing or fall into the product during manufacturing. Because the bugs are so prevalent and harmless, the FDA has declared there is no risk as long as the number of bug parts in different foods stays below allowed levels. These food includes:

  • Pasta – Pasta is allowed to have 1 bug fragment in every gram of pasta. These bugs come from wheat that is processed to make noodles, so you will also find similar numbers of bug fragments in flour and bread.
  • Tomato Sauce – Flies will lay their eggs in tomatoes, which are then processed into products like tomato sauce, canned tomatoes, and ketchup. The FDA allows 30 eggs in every 100 grams of tomato product.
  • Spices – The plants used for spices often have high numbers of insects which are ground alongside spices. Ground cinnamon can have 400 insect parts per 50 grams, ground pepper can have 475 parts per 50 grams, and ground oregano can contain a whopping 1250 fragments in every 10 grams.
  • Peanut Butter – One 16 ounce jar of peanut butter contains up to 136 insect parts, most of which come from the peanuts. Anything more than that specific number and the FDA prohibits the sale of peanut butter.
  • Glazed Candies – Bugs on these candies are actually there on purpose. Candies that have that shiny appearance like jelly beans, candy corn, and certain chocolates use lac bug resin to create that glazed finish.

Another non-food item that contains bugs is red lipstick. Ground up cochineal bugs create a vibrant red color that gives lipstick its color. Sometimes, these bugs are also used to color pink and red foods like candy and strawberry yogurt.

While we cannot keep bugs out of your packaged foods and cosmetics, we can keep them from getting into food already in your kitchen. ADAPT Pest Management has solutions for common kitchen pests like roaches, flies, moths, ants, and more. Call us today to get expert assistance in keeping bugs out of your kitchen.

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