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Insects and Rodent Hair in Your Food?

This is not to say that finding, or at least knowing, that there are such things in your food is not enough to make you forever squeamish about eating anything processed or packaged (remember, even apples sometimes have worms), but we as Americans often overvalue the perceived purity of our food, while undervaluing the more physically harmful qualities of the same food. This concept is epitomized by the highly processed junk food and fast food that remains so popular among American consumers.

Does the existence, or at least prospect of the existence, of these “foreign substances” repel you enough to stay far away from these particular food items? Do you feel that we, as a society, are too squeamish and reactionary when it comes to these issues of cleanliness? Have you ever actually found something alarming in your food? If so, do tell.

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Eric Steinman

Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, NY. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture, and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit among other publications.


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7:44PM PST on Mar 11, 2011

Too many foreign objects in food is unnaceptable. I was eating a frozen Mexican dinner and bit into a small rock. Yes, a real rock! I sent the rock to the company saying " Like everyone, I enjoy little surprises, but not in my food. Therefore I'm returning it to you." Needless to say they sent me coupons for free dinners, but I didn't use them. I wasn't going to risk a broken tooth or worse.

12:51AM PST on Feb 8, 2011

Found out about how there are insect legs at every chocolate bar sold out there when I was in junior high and I was really grossed out then. I began to just accept it now, just don't think too much about it. I occasionally see one unfortunate little insect whenever I look too closely at my broccoli (after I cut them into smaller pieces before eating them) haha.

12:14PM PST on Feb 3, 2011

I'm starting to wonder where to draw the line now: if I totally stop cleaning and reuse dirty dishes, will I be like the healthiest person in the world from upping my resistance & immunity? (this is where you say "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger." I just don't know quite where that fine line is anymore.

10:11AM PST on Feb 3, 2011

When I was a teen I went to an agricultural high school, so this is no new news to me. Hey, it's been going on for years, and we're still alive.
Atleast all of the stuff is not harmful when ingested.
In some countries insects are considered a delicacy.

9:18AM PST on Feb 3, 2011

I try to eat as much non-processed and organic food as I can - however the thought of insects/rodent hair/mold in my food really grosses me out! This is actually funny considering I'm Indian and have eaten on the streets of Bombay...the worrying thing is, aside from the ick factor, the above things could be carrying disease, and I'm no germophobe, but I do like things clean...

2:37AM PST on Feb 3, 2011

een asbak jolie

10:44AM PST on Feb 2, 2011

Not as bad as all the artificial crap they add to food!

7:24PM PST on Jan 31, 2011

This is reality, unfortunately, and not much anyone can do. The positive here, is that it has always been going on and we're all still here to discuss it.~

4:42PM PST on Jan 31, 2011

...and roll the paper towel off BEFORE you wash your hands!

12:23PM PST on Jan 31, 2011

This is merely the nature of mechanical processing. The reason they have these allowances is because to eliminate all possibility of these "additions" is impossible or would render most processed foods unaffordable. Hmmm... maybe this would be a good thing.

The author makes an excellent point. People that would rebel and be repulsed about the possibility of a rodent hair etc have no compunction about consuming highly processed food-like substances (e.g. twinkies and the like). The fact that most us, apparently, consume many hairs and insect parts we're no worse for it tells us something about the dangers of them.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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