USDA- Mmm Mmm Good!

26 May

I happened upon this report a few weeks ago (you know, just browsing the USDA website, like we all do from time to time) and thought I might share it with you.  It chronicles the “Levels of natural or unavoidable defects in foods that present no health hazards for humans,” or as I like to call it, “How many dead insects does it take to make a can of corn illegal?”  It’s totally gross and yet bizarrely fascinating to read through the guidelines of what is allowed in our food.  It makes me wonder how these numbers are determined- how is it decided that 4.5 rodent hairs per 225 grams of mac n cheese are ok, but 5 is just way too much? Some other things allowed in our food:

  •  1 maggot per 100 grams of pizza sauce
  • 924 insect fragments in 100 grams of ground thyme
  • larvae less than 5 mm in canned or frozen peaches
  • 19 whole insects per 100 pounds of peanuts
  • 19 maggots per 100 grams of canned mushrooms
  • 12 insect heads per 100 grams of fig paste
  • 10 rodent hairs per 50 grams of cinnamon 
  • 5 beetle eggs per spear of asparagus

Happy eating!!!

I found this report via Elena Yesner. Thanks!

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