My dinner is riding on this…rice gone bad?

This evening I was scooping a cup of rice out of a large bag of basmati rice and noticed some dark flecks here and there throughout the mix. On closer inspection I realized they were little fuzzy bugs. I’ve heard of bugs invading flour but never of them invading rice, except in places like Survivor when the bag is outside. What are these little bugs? And…if said little bugs are carefully picked out, is the rice still good? I imagine steaming would kill any critters I missed, but what about their eggs? Is it at all possible to fall ill from these rice bugs or their eggs? And…if there are already bugs in my rice, does this mean that the rice has simply gone bad…can rice go bad?

I really don’t feel like going out to the store to buy more rice right now…

Put the rice in a bowl with some water. The bugs will float and can be poured out with the water. Any you miss, or their eggs, won’t kill you. Put the rest of the rice in the freezer.

Eat dinner.

Then go on a major bug hunt in your kitchen. The critters have probaly invaded other grain products, or originated in one.

Oh the bugs are probably weevils.

Throw out that bag of rice, put the rest of your cereal products into sealed containers, and search for bugs. If you let it get out of hand you will be living in a bug nightmare. Don’t let the little bastards get a foothold!

I’ve had bugs in my rice too - I sifted them out, looked through the rice and discovered that many of the grains were hollow after the bugs had matured and eaten them. I couldn’t face eating the rice, but in Japan (where I was), in the past when food has been scarce, it was common practise to eat it regardless.

I don’t think the rice will hurt you, but it will be harbouring bug eggs.

Weevils are evil little dudes. I’ve found in the past that when they become apparent in one source it’s only a short while before you have to throw out all your stuff that isn’t in airtight containers. It seems that often the larvae are already in the grains/flour when you buy the stuff and the right weather conditions get them going. Bay leaves in containers seems to limit their activity but may just be pot luck. My impression is that when the conditions are right the little buggers will just appear out of thin air. I have had them appear in an airtight container of flour.

I read an interesting article (a year or so ago and can’t find a reference now) that mentioned that the food rations issued to soldiers/settlers/convicts alike in the first and second fleets to colonise australia were severely lacking in protein.

Obviously a bit of judicious hunting, fishing and trading with the indigenous population could have compensated for this, but on the whole the records do not support this.

An alternative proposed was that due to the massive infestation of the flour and other comestibles, an appreciable amount of protein (and other needed nutrients) was consumed in the form of weevils et al.

I guess what I am saying is: If you are malnourished, you are probably better off with the weevils… :slight_smile:


The most common thing to see is grain moths (you’ll eventually find sticky strands of silk in the bottom of the container, and see some adult moths around, if that’s what you’ve got).
The bad news is that they can chew right through plastic bags, even some plastic bottles, and wriggle through the threads on many containers that don’t seal air-tight to get into your flour, grains, rice, etc. The good news is that freezing kills them (toss your rice into the freezer for a couple days), and that they’re harmless to eat. The throw the grains into a bowl of water trick works to remove adult moths which are esthetically unappealing in food, but again, harmless to eat.

Last night I couldn’t quite go through with it and made something altogether different. After discovering they were probably weevils…thanks everyone…I did a little more research to find that as don’t ask mentioned, the weevils do develop inside the grain as these small, white, wrinkled, grub-like larvae. The creepy thing is that you don’t even know they have been growing inside the rice until about a month later when the adult emerges leaving behind an empty shell as MelCthefirst stated. For all I know I’ve been eating these little guys all along. Now that I’ve gotten my protein fill (funny,quinkin), I’m done with that bag. Sorry, guys, but you’re leaving my home along with all of your friends.