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You opted to eat a salad for lunch because you wanted a healthy vegetarian option. Well, vegetables may not be all that you are eating. Reduction in pesticide use means that farmers find it more difficult to get rid of mites, insects, and worms that invade crops. This means that a few of those little buggers could be ending up on your plate.
While we're familiar with panic over the Starbucks insect scandal, the truth is that under federal regulations a lot of insects are allowed to make it into foods across the United States. To shed more light on this issue, you can turn to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) manual The Food Defect Action Levels: Levels of natural or unavoidable defects in foods that present no health hazards for humans.
Via its website, the FDA states that it is ''economically impractical to grow, harvest, or process raw products that are totally free of non-hazardous, naturally occurring, unavoidable defects.'' According to the FDA manual, here's a list of eight pests that may be making their way into your salad.
Expect to find 30 whole aphids per 100 grams of brussel sprouts, or about 60 in frozen broccoli.
Expect to find 50 per 100 grams of canned or frozen spinach.
These buggers attack grains and frozen vegetables. You can expect 75 of them in your canned mushrooms.
Expect to find up to 20 critters per 100 grams of canned mushrooms.
Expect to find at least 5 fruit flies in 1 cup fruit juice.
You can expect to find traces of 5 cowpea curculia larvae in every can of peas.
Traces of caterillar and its larvae can be found in spinach.
Corn ear worm
These worms go for the corn silk but leave behind traces of their skin and larvae on the kernels.