If you’re about to sit down for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you’d better put reading this article on hold. It might put you off your food. But, I have to say that it’s quite fascinating what’s legally allowed in our food.

The fact of the matter is that it’s impossible to grow and package food that is totally free of things you wouldn’t expect to be there. Even if you pick your own home-grown fruit and veggies, it’s not going to be 100% clean.

The information for this article was sourced from CNN and the FDA.

Brace yourself. Here’s just a small fraction of what’s allowed.

  1. Chocolate — This is allowed to contain small amounts of insect parts and rodent hairs. Why do you think it’s so tasty? Only kidding.
  2. Coffee — You’ve just got out of bed and need that cup of joe to get your days started. But what’s in it? Maybe some animal poop or some mold. Both are allowed in small amounts.
  3. Peanut Butter — Just had a peanut butter sandwich with your coffee? Oh, dear. Did you get some rodent hairs or insect fragments stuck in your teeth?
  4. Raisins — Do you love snacking on a box of raisins? Raisins are allowed to contain whole insects and their eggs. I wonder how much protein we get from those eggs. Yummy.
  5. Canned Fruit Juices — These are often used to make cocktails. You may also be drinking fruit fly eggs, maggots, and moldy fruit. Does anyone fancy meeting up tonight for a few cocktails?
  6. Spaghetti — I hope you’re not Italian. A 16 oz. packet of spaghetti can contain up to 450 inspect parts and a few rodent hairs.
  7. Canned Mushrooms — There could well be a few maggots in there. After all, we do need to be getting enough protein. Every little helps.
  8. Canned Sweetcorn — Larvae fragments and the skin of worms is all ok.
  9. Asparagus — This is a good one. It can have thrips, beetle eggs, and insects. That sounds like a meal in itself.
  10. Dried Oregano — Every 10 grams of oregano can legally contain 300 insect parts and 2 rodent hairs. Lovely!
  11. Paprika — Here we’re talking mold, insect parts, and rodent hair.

But what’s the problem here?

Why would you be squeamish about a few insect parts? Some people leave out all the above food items and just feast on the insects.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at the food on offer at a market in Thailand.

Would you like fries with that? Photo by the author.

Would you like fries with that, sir?

Yes, of course, I would.

Can you also please super-size my meal? I’m feeling hungry this evening.

I hope I haven’t put you off your breakfast, lunch, or dinner.