You're already eating insects

If you think you couldn't stand to eat insects, think again. You eat them every day, in many fresh, frozen, and processed foods. It's almost impossible to keep all the bugs out of food as it is grown, harvested, processed, and packaged. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provides guidelines about how many bugs can be in different types of foods. For instance:

Apple butter may contain up to five insects per 100 grams (100 grams is about 4-1/2 ounces)

Berries: 4 larvae or 10 whole insects per 500g

Canned mushrooms: 20 maggots per 100g

Chocolate: 80 microscopic insect fragments per 100g

Peanut butter: 60 insect fragments per 100g

Raisins: 10 insects per 225g

Wheat flour: 75 insect fragments per 50g

The FDA allows these insects in our food because they do no harm. In fact, the insects are probably more nutritious than some of the foods in which they're found.

It's possible that all insects could be eliminated from food if more pesticides were used. But while even small amounts of pesticide are thought to be harmful to humans, small amounts of insects are not. So the insects are allowed to stay.

Don't worry - there aren't many, and they're quite nutritious!

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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