I love chocolate; well to be fair, I love just about anything that is sweet and purports to be candy of some sort. Like all the years before; I buy extra Halloween candy (the good stuff) and probably like most families, dig into it before the holiday.
The mini candy bars are my favorite for a number of reasons, but the main reason is that most of the time you really want to satiate the desire for the candy but not fill up on it. Portion control is paramount for weight control, not to mention blood glucose levels; which is a topic for a different blog. The bite size goodness of Snickers or Butter Finger or that ever popular “Mounds Bar,” do the trick quite nicely.
After this particular holiday passed, in order to assist with my families desire to keep the sugar out of site, I put it into a Tupperware container and tucked it away where only I know where it was. “Don’t Look behind the books that are not dusty…”
Making my way through Christmas, Valentines and of course Easter (my favorite candy holidays) I went in search for that treasure trove of chocolate goodness from October 2012.
With my taste buds all primed for that peanut butter crunchy stuff covered with chocolate, opening the container and grabbing one of the Butterfinger bars I noticed something on it which looked like the remains of what used to be a creature of some sort.
Dumping the entire contents of the Tupperware out I noticed that there were several holes in the packages and lots of evidence of some happy bugs. The candy which I was looking forward to made its way into to the bin, and I was left to wonder, how those creatures got inside that sealed Tupperware?
As it turns out; I bought them as part of the package.
According to ABC News, the average chocolate bar contains eight insect parts. Anything less than 60 insect pieces per 100 grams of chocolate (two chocolate bars’ worth) is deemed safe for consumption by the Food and Drug Administration. My guess is that eggs are considered part of the formula for “bug parts.”
Aside from chocolate, cockroach parts also make their way into peanut butter, macaroni, fruit, cheese, popcorn and wheat. The roach bits can affect people with asthma, as well causing migraines, cramps, itching or hives in people who are allergic to them. Some people think that they are allergic to chocolate when indeed they are allergic to cockroach…
The prevailing wisdom is, in order to produce food without bug parts would necessitate more pesticides, which would be more harmful than eating ….BUGS….
If I had to offer my 2 cents worth, I am guessing that it is more of a financial burden than a worry about pesticides but, that is just my cynical self thinking out loud. They really need to kill anything in the food; and that could be done with radiation or some other process that would not harm the food, just the living bugs and or eggs. While I would rather eat a bug than pesticides, I think that someone really needs to complain to the FDA and make a “federal case out of this” (no pun intended.) This good old’ boy mentality of paying people under the table to do things on the cheap, or look the other way, really needs to stop.
Anyone who has not discovered a worm in an apple or peach (well, half a worm) is deprived of the gut wrenching decision whether to stick a finger down their throat or just role with it. I have been in the finest of restaurants and noticed that acrid taste (more than once) of some sort of bug in my salad (well mouth.) Chew, swallow without making a face, swish some wine down quickly and move on to the next dish.
In order to eat something without bug parts or bugs, one would just about not be able to eat. At least with food that you prepare, you can cook the hell out of it so anything that made it past your watchful eye is at least dead!
The dilemma is this, being a huge fan of Chocolate; do I forget the bug parts and just continue on, or do I swear off of the one candy that really makes me happy…really happy…
I would think that the different chocolate companies could rake up if they could find a way to keep bug parts out of their product. One final thought, who counts the bug parts in each chocolate bar to make sure that they are in “tolerance?”
-Best to you and those that you care about!