The FDA Allows Animal Parts, Excrement, Mold In Our Food

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Mold Insect Parts And Rat

What's in the Rub? Mold, Insect Parts and Rat...

Sure, rub it in—but maybe grind your own spices! The FDA calls them food defects and defines its permissible "Food Defect Action Levels" as listed in their online booklet to be "the levels of natural or unavoidable defects in foods that present no health hazards for humans."[1]

The list of "defects" includes rodent feces (excrement), rodent hair, molds, whole insects, insect parts, beetle eggs, beetle larvae, and more. Most defects are defined as "aesthetic" – really?!

Would you like a taste of the foods that we consume according to the FDA standard’s "Protecting and Promoting Your Health"? Here are a few samples of upper acceptable limits (in abbreviated form) gleaned from the publicly available FDA booklet:


Whole Allspice: 5% berries per weight are allowed to be moldy.

Ground Allspice: 30 insect fragments per 10 grams; 1 rodent hair per 10 grams – Latter with the remark that these defects are "aesthetic"!

Ground Cinnamon: 400 or more insect fragments per 50(!!) grams, 11 or more rodent hairs per 50 grams. – From now on, grind your own!

Crushed Oregano: 300 insect fragments per 10 grams and 2 rodent hairs or excrements per 10 grams. – But…

Ground Oregano: 1250 insect fragments per 10 grams and 5 rodent hair or excreta per 10 grams.

Clearly, the difference of allowable levels between whole or rubbed and ground "defects" lies in the purely "aesthetic" effect. Who coined, "what you don’t see won’t hurt you"?

Fruit and Berries

Frozen berries are best, right? Hold on to your seat!

Canned or frozen Blackberries, Raspberries, etc.: 60% mold count, 4 larvae per 500 grams or "10 or more whole insects of equivalent per 500 grams (excluding thrips, aphids and mites)" – no surprise our digestive inflammation levels are going through the roof!

Frozen whole or sliced Strawberries: 45% mold and mold count of at least 50% of subsamples is 55%.

Canned Pineapple: 20% mold or 60% in a single subsample.

Okay, let’s cook it!

Apple Butter: 12% average mold count; 4 rodent hairs per 100 grams, 5 whole or equivalent insects "(not counting mites, aphids, thrips, or scale insects)" per 100 grams of apple butter.

Cherry jam: 30% mold – oh, it’s only "aethetic"!

Cranberry sauce: 15% mold or 50% in a single subsample.

Black currant jam: 75% mold – no, that’s no typo!


You thought that the jar, can, or freezer pack of veggies is the best and healthiest way to eat your greens? Think again!

Asparagus Spears: 10% of spears or pieces infested with 6 attached asparagus beetle eggs and/or sacs, 40 thrips per 100 grams or whole or parts of insects 3mm length to an aggregate length of 7mm per 100 grams of asparagus – oh, and all this is purely "aesthetic".

Frozen Broccoli: 60 "aphids and/or thrips and/or mites per 100 grams" – ouch!

Canned Greens: mildew on 10% of leaves up to ½" in diameter.

Hops (used in the beer making process): 2,500 aphids per 10 grams.

Undiluted Tomato Sauce: 45% mold in 6 subsamples and 40% in all subsamples.

Ketchup or Catsup: 55% mold in 6 subsamples – read 55% mold in 5 subsamples, and less than 55% in the 6th sample, passes the product!

Salt-cured Olives: 10% of olives with 10 scale insects each and 25% of olives moldy.\


Since we no longer eat grain (tongue in cheek!) here just two samples:

Wheat Flour: 75 insect fragments and 1 rodent hair or excreta per 50 grams.

Macaroni and Noodle Products: 225 insect fragments or 4.5 rodent hairs or excreta per 225 grams in 6 or more subsamples.


I hope that you will enjoy reading through the entire FDA booklet.

I don’t know about you, but this is as good a reason for me to switch to unprocessed foods as I can think of.

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[1]  FDA U.S. Food and Drug Administration – Protecting and Promoting Your Health


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