are there bugs in your peanut butter?

Do you know how many bugs are in your peanut butter?

Just when you think the sweet delight of Halloween candy has come to an end, it’s time to celebrate more delicious fun with National Peanut Butter Lovers’ Month. Yes, November is dedicated to jelly’s favorite sandwich partner, but how well do you really know that stuff in the jar? Is it possible that exterminators here in Spokane, WA might have an interest in the contents beyond creamy or crunchy?

Strange, True and Allowed

It’s true. There are bugs in your peanut butter, but the FDA clearly states that you’re only eating their parts. The government’s official Defect Levels Handbook notes an allowed ratio of 30 insect fragments per 100 grams of yummy spreadable. That amounts to 3.5 ounces of peanut butter per bug consumption serving, but it happens every day, so there’s no need to call your local pest control specialist. The FDA is surprisingly frank about why this happens; it’s physically impossible to harvest and produce food products without naturally occurring defects.

It’s Really Not That Bad

You joined the crowds chowing down at Pig Out in the Park back in September, so why be alarmed by a few bug bits in your peanut butter? Insects have been on the human menu for as long as mankind has been in the mood for a munch, and they’re a great source of protein. Keep that in mind the next time you put black pepper on your asparagus. The spice weighs in with 475 insect body parts per 50 grams sprinkled over a veggie boasting a 40/100 ratio. Even chocolate comes with bug baggage numbers averaging 60 fragments per 100 grams.

You’re Actually Very Safe

The FDA enforces strict guidelines to make sure our country’s food supply stays safe, but microscopic insect bits don’t pose any health hazards, and they can’t exceed allowed limits. The FDA’s defect levels don’t represent an overall average either. Instead, they form the basis for determining if a food product is considered adulterated and subject to government action. The number of bug body parts in peanut butter could be reduced with an increase in pesticide use, but that trade-off opens up an entirely different can of worms.

Here at Western Exterminator, we trust the FDA to make the right call on food products and bug fragments, so we’re still baking peanut butter cookies and packing PBJ sandwiches for picnics over at Manito Park. If you ever have reason to be concerned about any kind of insects in your home’s pantries, just give us a call. We’re proud to always be your responsible choice for pest control, and we’ll even save you some cookies.

Ashley Smith

Ashley is a Digital Content Manager with Rentokil. She loves drinking coffee and spending time with her dogs.

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