Thursday, February 3, 2005

Bugs, anyone?

I rarely watch television.  Yes, I love cartoons with the kiddos, but usually the TV I watch is educational or serves some purpose in my life.  The other night I was watching Discovery Health, and they had a guy talking about the nutritional value of insects as human food.  I was semi grossed out, but continued to watch.  He continued to say that there are insect parts in many of the foods we eat on a daily basis.  Even more disgusted, I wanted to see which foods he was talking about.  He mentioned peanut butter (gasp!) and tomato based products as being high on the list.

....oh my goodness...

Background:  If I get disgusted by something, I find it hard to ever eat that type of food again.  My ex once told me shrimp were the insects of the sea, and that the little line down the back was their large intestine.  Never ate shrimp again.  Fried chicken has too many veins and arteries and gawd only knows - I never eat fried chicken anymore. 

Back to the gross-out.

I decided to do some research this morning to find out if, in fact, our FDA has passed regulations about insect parts in our food.  THEY HAVE. You can check it out here.

I checked out my beloved peanut butter, among some other regulars in my diet.   

*    There is a 30% likelihood that you will consume bug parts for every 100 grams of peanut butter. 

*    Golden raisins are to have no more than 10 insects or 35 fly eggs per 8 oz. 

*    Popcorn should have no more than 2 rodent hairs or one fecal pellet per pound. 

*    Frozen or canned spinach - 50 aphids or 8 leaf miners per 100 grams. 

*    Macaroni products -  1 bug part per gram. 

*    Tomato products are the worst.  Tomato paste can have up to 30 fly eggs per 100 grams.   

*   Canned tomatoes can have either 10 eggs or 5 eggs and a maggot per 100 grams.

That's just to name a few!

So, for those of us who are watching what we eat, I thought I'd be nice and post the nutritional value of your average insect.

Termites Protein (36%), Fat (100 grams fried = 561 calories)

Caterpillars (smooth skin) - Fat (13.7%), Carbohydrates (6.1%) - Any type eating nontoxic plants

Earthworms - Protein

Silkworm and Pupae - Vitamin A, Fat (14.2%), Minerals (15%)

Larvae - Protein (23.1%), Water (60.7%)

Locust Protein, Fat, Ca, S, Fe

Grasshoppers Vitamins B1, B2

Grubs - Protein, Fat

Water Bugs - Protein (38.1%), Fat (6.1%)

There's a website right here on AOL that tells you all this stuff, plus how to prepare various insects as food.


Happy Thursday!  Bon Apetit!!



kuhlhiggins said...

LOL Ewww.

jeff466 said...

I read this as I am eating peanut butter :O  I had read about the ketchup and the fda quidlines years ago.  I'm like you, if I hear something pretty bad about a certain food, it is off my list!  Jello was the last one for me (I wont ruin it for anyone).  

I ate calf fries for years that my parents tricked me into eating as a kid, saying it was chicken.   I still haven't quite forgiven them for that LOL

Bug appetit!  Jeff

jennienscotty said...

Oh nonononono not my popcorn!  Anything but that!!  Spinach and tomatoes also very high on my ingested several times weekly list.  Ew ew ew ew ew.  My popcorn...oh my beloved popcorn, how can it be....rodent pellets.  My face assumes an incredibly unpretty expression at the SIGHT of those two words...yet another learning experience here at the aptly titled ol' Purge-O-Rama...thanks lots lol.....

cneinhorn said...

now was this really necessary??!! ;-)  shrimp intestines, ewwww, this whole entry reminded me of a Fear Factor if chocolate and cake and chips are bug infested, then I might end up doing pretty good on my diet after all!  LOL


lkjfaskdfj said...

I teach High School history.  I do a unit on the terrible working conditions at the turn of the century and close with this very document.  

As grossed out as they are, they LOVE it.  I got so many requests for copies of the info, that I just started posting the website address on the board afterwards.

But think of it this way, it's a little extra protein!

mosie1944 said...

Ewwwww!  Maybe I'll go back to canning my own produce!

andreakingme said...

Ohmigod. Kris, this is SO GROSS! Gack. Splurgle. Quiver and shudder! Geeze, and it's about lunch time here and I'm hungry for my ... er ... fly eggs and rodent hairs.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ... hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

judithheartsong said...

oh.... I volunteer at the Inverts Exhibit at the National Zoo.... but the popcorn thing got to me.......... oh! judi

phlskygirl said...

Once upon a time these things used to gross me out, but now I can eat rice and beans while watching someone barf into their plate of bugs and maggots on Fear Factor, and chuckle as I sip on my diet Dr. Pepper.