Sunday, October 12, 2008

You Eat Approx. 1 lb of Bugs a Year (Unintentionally)

Q: Knowing this, how do people out there feel? Would you rather not know?

"'It's estimated that the average human eats one pound (half a kilogram) of insects each year unintentionally,' says Lisa Monachelli, director of youth and family programs at New Canaan Nature Center in Connecticut.

Cochineal insects give a red or pink coloring to foods, lipsticks, and beverages. The small, scaled bugs are listed as cochineal extract on the ingredient list.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also allows certain levels of natural or unavoidable defects in foods, as long as they doesn't pose a health risk.

For example, chocolate can have up to 60 insect fragments per 100 grams, tomato sauce can contain 30 fly eggs per 100 grams, and peanut butter can have 30 insect fragments per 100 grams (3.5 ounces), according to the FDA. "

This excerpt was taken from the Bugs as Food: Humans Bite Back article.

You can check out the FDA's regulation here:
Food Defect Action Levels: Levels of natural or unavoidable defects in foods that present no health hazards for humans


Micholo24 said...

what i dont get, is ...if you can eat all those lbs of bugs , in reg processed food...
why go through all the trouble making it yourself?

coffee crusader said...

Wow...I had no idea...thanks for digging up the facts! I just ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich too...and honestly (and surprisingly) , I don't really mind knowing that there may have been bug debris mixed in there somewhere.

Rosanna said...

hello micholo24,

it's mostly to increase the nutritional value in whatever it is we're eating. the amount of insect found in existing packaged foods is not enough for us to benefit from it.

there is a very brief discussion about this in the interview with David Gracer on the Colbert Report (the new post following this one). thanks!

Rosanna said...

thanks for your input coffee crusader. also, you can sign me up for your crusade!