It seems you're almost never going to get a pure product since the world is made up of so many different things. While that may seem obvious, check out some of the disgusting things you may not have considered actually end up in your food:
Many spices including cinnamon bark, bay leaves, and cocoa beans can contain a small amount of animal excrement.
Asparagus “Thrips” And Aphids
Up to 10 percent of canned asparagus can harbor asparagus beetles or egg sacs. TEN PERCENT. That probably doesn’t happen too often, but it gives you a creepy-crawly feeling.
Berries And Insect Larvae
Berries can harbor up to 4 larvae per 100 grams. Nothing is safe.
Aphids In Frozen Broccoli
Frozen broccoli has to have an average of no more than 60 aphids, thrips, or mites per 100 grams. This isn’t too bad, but some of those flower buds may actually be aphids instead.
Food products in the US can contain a certain amount of “foreign matter”. This term includes anything from garbage to cigarette butts.
Cockroaches And Insect Parts In Chocolate
Chocolate is considered “tainted” when it averages more than 60 insect fragments per 100 grams. That’s just a bit larger than a King size bar. Each bar could get you a nice little bit of insects.
Tomato sauce as well as other fruit and vegetable based sauces can contain on average 15 or more fruit fly eggs per 100 grams. At least it’s all blended up together, you’ll never know the difference.
Pictured is cockroach excrement. Gross. But bugs do this and break apart all the time as they feed off of spices they love. The FDA, for instance, allows 325 insect fragments per 10g of Thyme. Not something you want to think about.
Maggots In Marashino Cherries
Up to five percent of marashino cherries can contain maggots. Canned mushrooms are only consuidered unfit for sale if there are “over 20 maggots of any size per 100 grams” or “five or more maggots two millimeters or longer per 100 grams”.
Mold And Rot
Canned Pineapple can contain up to 20% moldy fruit. Apples are only considered unfit for sale after the mold count is 12% or higher. The equivalent of one in ten apples can be moldy. And one in FIVE pieces of pineapple?? Thank goodness companies don’t push these to the limit.
Rodent Hairsy Peanut Butter
The FDA regulations for peanut butter state that it cannot contain more than 1 rodent hair per one hundreed grams on average. Somehow the regulations for a single hair are way harsher than for insects.
Sand And Grit
Smooth and chunky peanut butter, as well as many other processed food products can contain up to 25mg of sand or grit per 100 grams. Cranking out the food so fast could leave a bit of the machine behind as sand. Thankfully not too much!
Sticks And Stones
Sticks and stones may break your bones, but they may also end up in your food in tiny amounts.
Very Moldy Tomato Paste
Tomato paste is only legally considered “bad” if more than 45% of it contains mold. Ew, that’s almost half.
Thousands Of Insect Parts In Oregano
Oregano can contain up to 1,250 insect fragments in every 10 grams. ONE THOUSAND. Ten grams is really not that much, the bottle pictured is 90 grams, so that could have over 9000 insect fragments.
This is a copepodkils, a parasitic cyst the FDA allows around 60 of per 100 herring caught in the US.