Your daily consumption of bugs


| 6 Comments
Have you heard of a saying an average person eats a few spiders and bugs during his life time? No matter how it sounds disgusting, in fact we are consuming some insects through out daily basis. This is in many food products from strawberry milk to waffles, and cosmetic products from nail polishes to lipsticks.

The tiny beetle juice is the secret behind the lovely hue of pink, crimson, orange. Its history dates back to the 16th century. Then is this safe enough for us? There are small number of people who are allergic to this dye. Thus FDA have decided to label it on.

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Simply, there is no way to keep yourself away from these beetle juice. Mike Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington said "It can be anything red." Recently, Starbucks have committed to take the use of food coloring product made by the white Dactylopius coccus. Instead, they will use the lycopene, a vegetarian-friendly tomato-based dye.

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How they produce the dye is quite unpleasant. These insects should be dried up til their 30% of body weight first. Then, they are heated in hot water or in the oven, exposed to sunlight, steamed. Each method results in different shades of red from pink to purple. It takes about 70,000 insects to make one pound of cochineal dye




6 Comments

Wow! I cannot believe that a lipstick shade is actually made out of bugs. That is both extremely scary and unbelievably fascinating. I don't think I like the idea of my lipstick being made out of bugs though. Just how safe and healthy is that? Is the crimson, orange color the only color that is made out of bugs?

I have heard that people consume bugs and spiders occasionally throughout their lifetime unintentionally but was not aware that they create products with bugs. I read a study years ago that said that in just one year, the average person consumes an average of 10 bugs or spiders in just your sleep. After reading this blog I was interested in finding out what other products are produced with bugs and came across this interesting article http://www.buzzfeed.com/joelb/8-other-foods-colored-with-crushed-bugs-91h . I was stunned to see this information of how some foods use bugs as ingredients.

I think that this is an interesting topic. The first thing that i want to say is that a lot of the time many of us will eat things and not even realize what they are or whats in it. I guarantee that a large majority of people who have read this blog had no clue about the topic before you even read it, including myself, and thats scary. Its crazy how we find out about stuff on a daily basis that we don't even know is happening especially when we are putting it into our bodies. The next thing that i want to talk about is the side affects of eating this dye. You stated that a small amount of people are allergic to it, however are there any other potential health side affects that we should know about? I also want to know if there are any other studies that have been done on this topic. You stated that there was an alternative to this dye, and it would be interesting to see a blog comparing the two more in depth.

Since insects outnumber humans I figured they would be in a little bit of everything, I just didn't know they were intentionally added into almost everything we use. The fact that they're used in food kind of grosses me out more so than being used in cosmetics.

Ew this grossed me out! I had heard of consuming bugs unknowingly in our life but I had no idea we were willingly doing it! While looking for bug dye free lipsticks I found out the same red dye can even be used in my favorite desser - red velvet cake!
http://www.kisforkinky.com/2012/04/02/18-cochineal-free-lipstick-brands-to-avoid-bugs-in-your-lipstick/

While this is interesting and kind of gross, it makes me wonder how healthy this is. I would assume that a natural dye like this would be safer than using chemicals, but I'm not sure what chemicals they use with the bugs. Do you think that while this may gross us out, it could actually be a safer alternative to anything else that they could be using as dyes?

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