The Food Defect Action Levels (or "Why You Don't Want to Eat Chocolate")

This chocolate grasshopper probably fell in a vat of chocolate but managed to escape.  Wonder if he left any parts in there?
This chocolate grasshopper probably fell in a vat of chocolate but managed to escape. Wonder if he left any parts in there?

I Used to Love a Good Chocolate Bar

  • No one has loved chocolate in their life more than I have, but recently I gave it up cold turkey when I found out that a chocolate bar was a lot more than just chocolate.
  • How many rodent hairs and insect parts would you classify as "acceptable" in the chocolate bar you are just about to eat. For me, that answer is "none", but the U.S. Department of Health publishes a pamphlet called "The Food Defect Action Levels" that is available to the public and lists the acceptable amount of "natural and unavoidable defects in food". The current acceptable level for chocolate is "1 rodent hair and 16 insect parts." The "1 hair" was enough to make me do some projectile vomiting, but the "16 insect parts" pushed me over the edge.
  • For your edification, these are the basic three parts of an insect: the head, the thorax and the abdomen...so you could be chowing down on an eyeball, a nose, some legs or maybe an insect stomach that is full of feces that it just had for lunch. Yummy, eh? The criteria considered, according to the pamphlet, is based on the reported findings (e.g., lengths of hairs, sizes of insect fragments, distribution of filth in the sample, and combinations of filth types found).

Cacao Is Very Addictive!

  • The processing of cacao beans into powder and chocolate is an unsanitary, risky procedure to say the least. Quite simply, chocolate and cacao are laced with animal hair and feces, insects, and mold. The carcinogenic mold called aflatoxin has been found in large quantities on cacao beans. And, cacao is one of the most addictive substances known. It can especially be toxic to your liver. Harvesting of the cacao beans occurs in the tropical countries of South America with low sanitation levels. Cacao tree beans are cut and piled in the farmer's field where they ferment for 6 days. During this process, children and adults walk over the piles; and insects, rats, small animals and other living things that make their nests in the piles.
  • And, chocolate, which is made from the fruit (beans) of the cacao tree, can be toxic to your pets. Theobromine, one component of chocolate, is the toxic compound in chocolate. (Caffeine is also present in chocolate, but in smaller amounts than Theobromine.) Both Theobromine and Caffeine are members of a drug class called Methylxanines. The Merck Veterinary Manual online states that the clinical signs of chocolate toxicosis usually occur within 6-12 hr of ingestion. The initial signs might include polydipsia, hypertension, hyperthermia, bradycardia, hypotension, or coma can occur. Hypokalemia might occur late in the course of the toxicosis, contributing to cardiac dysfunction. Death is generally due to cardiac arrhythmias, hyperthermia, or respiratory failure. The high fat content of chocolate products may trigger pancreatitis in susceptible animals.
  • Now, how's that Snicker Bar looking to you?

I think he just saw his chocolate move!
I think he just saw his chocolate move!

From Yummy to Yukky

Do you know what's worse than biting into a chocolate bar and seeing a grasshopper leg?  Try biting into a chocolate bar and finding a HALF of a grasshopper leg!
Do you know what's worse than biting into a chocolate bar and seeing a grasshopper leg? Try biting into a chocolate bar and finding a HALF of a grasshopper leg!

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mnjm 7 years ago

Haha..wow!

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