Ack! Hello Poison Control. There Are Bugs in My Cream of Wheat

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    Sep 30, 2011 11:24 PM GMT
    Drama Queen?


    http://www.wtop.com/?nid=46&sid=2570398

    Mom finds bugs in cereal
    By Bethany Rodgers

    Friday - 9/30/2011, 5:54am ET
    The brownish grains caught her eye as she was stirring melting butter into her Cream of Wheat.

    Curious, Cheryle Steinback spooned one of the flecks onto a napkin for a closer look that sent her heart plummeting. The brownish thing had legs.

    "Tell me this isn't what I think it is," the Brunswick resident told her family as they ate breakfast on Saturday.

    But it was. It was an insect. It was in her food. And it wasn't alone.

    A check through the Cream of Wheat box turned up many more of the wormlike bugs, some of them still alive and crawling. Even worse, Steinback's 5-year-old daughter had already eaten an entire bowl of the cooked cereal.

    "Mommy, I ate bugs," Steinback's daughter said, bursting into tears.

    For Steinback, the discovery ruined a dish that she had grown up eating, a comfort food that her daughter loved anytime, even for dinner. There is no excuse for the bugs' presence, she said, especially since she opened the box on Saturday and had just bought it from Walmart about two weeks before. And the expiration date -- March 21, 2013 -- was a comfortable distance in the future.

    So Steinback started making calls, first to poison control, which told her that her daughter wasn't in any danger; the insects die when they hit the stomach. The news was good, but it didn't take away the gross factor, Steinback said.

    Since Saturday, she has exchanged emails with Cream of Wheat representatives, who apologized and offered her complimentary product coupons. But the messages didn't satisfy her.

    "I don't want coupons. I want resolution," she said.

    The company needs to locate the problem, consider better packaging and maybe recall some merchandise, she said.

    But figuring out when the bugs entered the box can be tricky, reports B&G Foods, the makers of Cream of Wheat.

    According to a company statement, Cream of Wheat is heated to 140 degrees and 280 degrees just before leaving manufacturing facilities in a process that "would kill any possible insect life." The manufacturing facilities and warehouses are also treated by pest control experts.

    And insects can infest products as they make their way from manufacturing to the customer's hands, the company statement indicated.

    "We apologize to Ms. Steinback for the discomfort this situation has caused her and her family, and we are making every effort to pinpoint where this incident originated to prevent future incidents of this kind," the statement read.

    But Steinback believes one way of preventing this from happening again is to let other people know about her experience.

    That's why she has papered Cream of Wheat's Facebook walls with postings about her experience and contacted local newspapers and television stations.

    She also notified the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, she said.

    Normally, when the FDA hears about a complaint like Steinback's, they interview the person, then decide whether to send out an investigator to collect a sample, said Stephen King, spokesman for the federal agency. After identifying what type of insect is in the food, they might send someone to the manufacturing site to check for problems.

    The agency tracks complaints and keeps an eye out for trends.

    The FDA called Steinback by Wednesday and left her a voice mail, and she said she was planning on calling them back.

    In the meantime, as she waits for future investigations, she's storing the infamous box, holding herself back from tossing it in the trash and getting rid of the reminder.

    "Every time I look at the box, I think, 'Oh, my God,'" she said.

    (Copyright 2011 The Frederick News-Post. All rights reserved.)

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    Oct 01, 2011 12:13 AM GMT
    The obvious solution is for someone to smack her across the face and say shut up you dumb bitch.
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    Oct 01, 2011 12:17 AM GMT
    Geez.. weevils are a fact of life!
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    Oct 01, 2011 12:44 AM GMT
    TropicalMark saidGeez.. weevils are a fact of life!
    And they're great with butter and cream of wheat.

    That stupid bitch should be glad the company didn't charge her for the extra protein and flavoring.
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    Oct 01, 2011 12:47 AM GMT
    Ariodante saidThe obvious solution is for someone to smack her across the face and say shut up you dumb bitch.


    Sage advice in ANY situation, really.
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    Oct 01, 2011 12:57 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    Inostrankan said
    Ariodante saidThe obvious solution is for someone to smack her across the face and say shut up you dumb bitch.


    Sage advice in ANY situation, really.


    Wait..not sure I get this. A person complains that a product she bought with her money has insects and she's the dumb bitch?



    I don't think it's THAT she complained, but rather the amount of complaining that resulted from a minor inconvenience. Throw the box out, post one picture to Facebook/Twitter/Google+ and move the fuck on. She acted like the cereal box exploded and burnt her house down or something. Therein, lies the dumb bitch needing slapped comment.
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    Oct 01, 2011 1:01 AM GMT
    Peanut Butter: Average of 30 or more insect fragments per 100 grams
    Wheat Flour: Average of 150 or more insect fragments per 100 grams
    Frozen Broccoli: Average of 60 or more aphids and/or thrips and/or mites per 100 grams

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Food_Defect_Action_Levels
  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Oct 01, 2011 1:07 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    Inostrankan said
    Ariodante saidThe obvious solution is for someone to smack her across the face and say shut up you dumb bitch.


    Sage advice in ANY situation, really.


    Wait..not sure I get this. A person complains that a product she bought with her money has insects and she's the dumb bitch?

    Weevils are not going to kill her. They die once you cook them. If she's that scared of them, put the cream of wheat in the oven at 200-250F for 7-8 minutes, and they're dead.
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    Oct 01, 2011 1:13 AM GMT
    When I was 12, I asked my mom for grits & eggs for breakfast. When I got to the table I looked down at what should have been a stark white bowl of grits but it looked like cream of wheat. "Mom" I said, "I wanted grits not cream of wheat". She started laughing, and I examined the bowl closer. "Oh my gosh these are bugs!" I exclaimed, horrified. To which my mom replied "oh they're just weevils- they won't hurt you."

    I stopped being a pussy that morning when it came to food. and yes, I ate the rest of the box over the next few weeks.
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    Oct 01, 2011 1:28 AM GMT
    Weevils are like spinach! Makes yer muscles grow strong! Yum!
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    Oct 01, 2011 1:51 AM GMT
    ALL grain-based foods have bugs in them, and they will grow if you just leave it sit around. Fact of life, deal with it.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Oct 01, 2011 2:01 AM GMT
    I wouldn't have been thrilled, but I wouldn't have freaked out.

    icon_eek.gif
  • islander24

    Posts: 161

    Oct 01, 2011 2:13 AM GMT
    What kind of cook is she? Any mother or father should know weevils could have been in her cabinet, at Walmart and maybe the Cream of Wheat factory.
    I 've thrown out an assortment of boxes when I found them in the flour, pasta, bread crumbs. Damn little things bred and get in everything.
  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Oct 01, 2011 2:24 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    But let me guess, maybe if this person were a homosexual complaining then we could count on everyone here to provide unconditional support? I know how 'sumayew bitchuz' whine over the pettiest of things. Honestly, how guys here would not get their panties all up in a wad after discovering they ate bugs. You know you're all a bunch a' gurls. icon_twisted.gif


    It has been determined that this is sage advice in any situation:
    The obvious solution is for someone to smack her across the face and say shut up you dumb bitch.
    Also cooking adequately kills most things. You can also pick out what you find gross like the rodent droppings. Things like flours, rice, cream of wheat, and grits can be put in a hot oven for a couple of minutes to take care of the problem without browning them. How clean do you think the flour you get from stores is?
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    Oct 01, 2011 4:09 AM GMT
    Calling poison control was ridiculous. Yes, its a bug, but even if you ate it , it would not kill you.
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    Oct 01, 2011 4:22 AM GMT
    Who knows where rhe package got infested. Could have been in her own cabinets. It very likely was not a manufacturing defect.

    I once had to throw away an entire kitchen full of food due to a weevil infestation. It's gross but it happens.
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    Oct 01, 2011 4:26 AM GMT
    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2011/09/30/Man-survives-crash-by-eating-bugs-leaves/UPI-53381317403776/

    CASTAIC, Calif., Sept. 30 (UPI) -- A 67-year-old Southern California man survived for six days in the Angeles National Forest after his car plunged off a mountain road, officials said.

    David Lavau of Lake Hughes, Calif., was rescued Thursday night by friends and family who had formed a search party, KTLA-TV, Los Angeles, reported.

    Lavau was airlifted to a hospital, where he was treated for a broken collarbone and bruises, family members told KTLA-TV. Lavau said he survived last Friday's crash by eating bugs and leaves and drinking water from a nearby creek.

    The Los Angeles Times said reports a second person was in the car when it went off the road were not confirmed.

    The California Highway Patrol is investigating the accident.
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    Oct 01, 2011 4:27 AM GMT
    She had the box sitting in her cupboard for two weeks. Bet you dollars to donuts they got in through a micro tear in the packaging while the box was already inside her home. I grew up in a hot humid house with a ton of bugs and had several instances where I opened "new unopened" boxes of food and there were bugs inside.
  • dancedancekj

    Posts: 1761

    Oct 01, 2011 4:28 AM GMT
    My problem wasn't weevils, but flour moths. These things can chew through paper, plastic bags, and even find their way into rubbermaid containers. I ended up buying canning jars, placing all of my grains, dried fruit, beans, and flours in them to prevent recontamination.

    This lady needs to shut up and just deal with it. People have actual problems like unemployment, cancer, or genocide to deal with. Quit wasting people's time you fucking drama queen and grow the hell up.
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    Oct 01, 2011 4:32 AM GMT
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/07/0715_040715_tvinsectfood_2.html

    For Most People, Eating Bugs Is Only Natural

    Sharon Guynup and Nicolas Ruggia
    National Geographic Channel
    July 15, 2004

    If you think eating insects is gross, you may be in the cultural minority. Throughout history, people have relished insects as food. Today, many cultures still do.

    Ten thousand years ago hunters and gatherers ate bugs to survive. They probably learned what was edible from observing what animals ate, according to Gene DeFoliart, a professor emeritus of entomology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    "Eating insects certainly is an old tradition," he said.

    The ancient Romans and Greeks dined on insects. Pliny, the first-century Roman scholar and author of Historia Naturalis, wrote that Roman aristocrats loved to eat beetle larvae reared on flour and wine.

    Aristotle, the fourth-century Greek philosopher and scientist, described in his writings the ideal time to harvest cicadas: "The larva of the cicada on attaining full size in the ground becomes a nymph; then it tastes best, before the husk is broken. At first the males are better to eat, but after copulation the females, which are then full of white eggs."

    The Old Testament encouraged Christians and Jews to consume locusts, beetles, and grasshoppers. St. John the Baptist is said to have survived on locusts and honey when he lived in the desert.

    In the mid-19th century Maj. Howard Egan, a superintendent of the Pony Express in Nevada, observed a Paiute Indian hunt where the quarry was neither bison nor rabbit, but rather the wingless Mormon cricket.

    Major Egan later described how the Paiute dug a series of large trenches, covered them with straw, then drove hordes of crickets into the excavated trap. The Indians set the straw on fire, burning the crickets alive.

    Paiute women then gathered bushels of the charred bugs and brought them back to camp to make flour for bread—an important seasonal source of protein.

    Insect Cuisine

    Many types of insects appear on menus today. Bugs remain a traditional food in many cultures across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, DeFoliart said.

    In Ghana during the spring rains, winged termites are collected and fried, roasted, or made into bread. In South Africa the insects are eaten with cornmeal porridge.

    In China beekeepers are considered virile, because they regularly eat larvae from their beehives.

    Gourmands in Japan savor aquatic fly larvae sautéed in sugar and soy sauce. De-winged dragonflies boiled in coconut milk with ginger and garlic are a delicacy in Bali.

    Grubs are savored in New Guinea and aboriginal Australia. In Latin America cicadas, fire-roasted tarantulas, and ants are prevalent in traditional dishes. One of the most famous culinary insects, the agave worm, is eaten on tortillas and placed in bottles of mezcal liquor in Mexico.

    Cultural Choices

    But despite its long tradition—and current favor among at least half of the world's peoples—eating insects is still rare, not to mention taboo, in the United States and Europe.

    One reason, DeFoliart said, is that after Europe became agrarian, insects were seen as destroyers of crops rather than a source of food.

    "We became invested in livestock, and bugs became the enemy," said David George Gordon, a biologist and the author of The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook.

    Manfred Kroger, a professor emeritus of food science at Penn State University in University Park, says what people choose to eat is conditioned by culture.

    Many Westerners readily consume shrimp and lobster (which, like insects, are arthropods) along with pork and oysters—foods other cultures reject as dirty.

    "We have 200 to 300 staple foods that we pass down from generation to generation—and trying new foods is always a touchy subject," Kroger said.

    "Eco Protein"

    Kroger is anything but a lone voice in the wilderness when he argues that there are many nutritional benefits to eating insects.

    Hamburger, for example, is roughly 18 percent protein and 18 percent fat. Cooked grasshopper, meanwhile, contains up to 60 percent protein with just 6 percent fat. Moreover, like fish, insect fatty acids are unsaturated and thus healthier.

    DeFoliart, the Wisconsin entomologist, says that not only are insects nutritious and delicious, they could be an environmentally friendly source of human protein requirements.

    "In our preoccupation with cattle, we have denuded the planet of vegetation," DeFoliart said. "Insects are much more efficient in converting biomass to protein."

    Insect farming is arguably much more efficient than cattle production. One hundred pounds (45 kilograms) of feed produces 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) of beef, while the same amount of feed yields 45 pounds (20 kilograms) of cricket.

    Noting the widespread use of pesticides in industrial agriculture, DeFoliart said, "People are poisoning the planet by ridding it of insects, rather than eating insects and keeping artificial chemicals off plants that we eat."
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    Oct 01, 2011 4:52 AM GMT
    every time I see this topic I get excited thinking it's something about Nantucket... then I get let down that it's some bitch who... I don't even know cause I don't care.
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    Oct 01, 2011 8:32 AM GMT
    I didn't finish off my bag of rice fast enough last year and towards the end it was filled with rice weevils. I just washed the rice and it was fine. A solution that I found was to put the rice or grain in plastic containers and then freeze them to prevent the eggs (if there are any) from hatching.
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    Oct 01, 2011 12:44 PM GMT
    the best thing in the bowl was the bugs... #WheatIsPoison
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    Oct 01, 2011 1:18 PM GMT
    If she hadn't just bought the box and it was sitting on her shelf for a year I would say grow up. However, I feel she should complain (maybe not to THAT extent) since it is new.
    Apparently I am in the minority here because that surely would gross me out.
  • WhoDey

    Posts: 561

    Sep 20, 2012 1:56 AM GMT
    tumblr_m6apc1i7kl1rxri32o1_500.jpg

    Zombie thread!