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Food news from the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Produce at the market
by Janice VanCleave
on July 20, 2019 at 10:41 AM
I love this article. While I do not purposely catch insects and eat them, I do not discard meals that have critters. In fact, as a science instructor and writer, I sift old bags of cornmeal and look for the different stages of insect metamorphosis. The mummy looking pupae stage is actually very cool looking! To prevent the growth and reproduction of critters in meals, store them in the freezer or refrigerator. This is where I keep my flour and cornmeal--unless I need the bugs for a science investigation. Don't worry about those bugs. Sift the flour or cornmeal to remove visible adults, and forget about what you can't see. There is no way to remove insect eggs from packaged grains. They do add protein to your foods.
by MJ Alward
on February 23, 2020 at 2:06 PM
Thanks for this article! I had found these bugs in a container of whole oats, and then in an UNOPENED container of whole oats, but had no idea what they were. At least now I know. I also know better than to buy the large container of oats because it tends to sit in my pantry for months. Going forward, I'll buy the smaller container. I may also begin storing it in the freezer as I do my cornmeal.
by Barb kaufman
on June 30, 2020 at 8:21 AM
If these bugs can get into a glass jar,tight fittling lid,what next to get rid of them.put in refridgerator?
by Charlie McGrady
on September 15, 2020 at 5:24 PM
Is there a difference between weavels and booklice?  
And are they safe to eat? Or should I throw the flour away? A few bugs don't really bother me as long as they're not harmful.
by Wendee Johnson
on November 7, 2020 at 8:48 AM
Great info but can I feed it to the birds  
Along with egg shells?
by T
on January 5, 2021 at 6:25 AM
I understand it is not alarming to the average science guy, but does this have anything to do with the location to which you live? I have lived on Brooklyn NY for years; I have found a weevil once in my cornmeal. Now in Florida, they are in probably 85% of everything sealed. From my Honey Nut Cheerios, to rice, to grits. Is freezer storage the only option? Its hard to look past the bugs when there is an obvious mobile population in you food. Your saying sift them out, but sometimes they swarming in our grained products.
by Liz
on March 22, 2021 at 2:34 PM
T - same for me. Moved to South FL from Seattle, WA. Between the weevils and these tiny bugs, it's becoming quite the nuisance. I have purchased Oxo's stainless steel topped containers which are supposed to have an airtight effect but I don't think they are working - that, or I had transferred things into them which looked to be clear of bugs which perhaps it was not. What a pain.
by Tromick
on August 26, 2021 at 12:22 AM
It is amazing and well prepared article. I enjoyed reading it but not knowing it! Gosh, I wish I did not see this article. LOL
by Carole Goldsmith
on December 2, 2022 at 5:40 PM
This is a most useful &enlightening article - it described my situation perfectly! my question! Just getting ready to make cornbread & haven’t used the cornmeal for awhile. Opened up the tightly sealed glass jar & found it crawling with tiny insects. Good protein or not - time to get a new bag of cornmeal & keep it in the fridge in future.
by Ac
on September 13, 2023 at 3:46 PM
I bought a loaf of jalapeño cornbread, had it in the refrigerator a day and had it for dinner with chili the next day.. I felt something was in my mouth like hair or cotton. It had webs in it.! How??
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