Why I Will No Longer Buy From the Bulk Foods Bin

I purchased some corn meal from the bulk foods bin at our local Whole Foods market. I sealed it up in a glass jar and didn’t use it for several months.

Yesterday, I opened the jar, and bugs flew out! And there were lots of mealy worms crawling around in the jar!

ew. Ew! EW!!

I know that bug eggs or boogers or whatever could be present in any product that I buy, bulk or not, but I didn’t need that reality illustrated so graphically.

Did you return it? What did Whole Foods say?

Could have been worse…

the boogers could have flown out.

I learned the hard way to keep corn meal in the fridge. Even the pre-packaged stuff.

:: shudder ::

I’ve purchased buggy cornmeal myself…in my case, it was Indian Head brand, nicely sealed in its paper bag. (The shopkeeper refunded my money after I turned down his offer of a replacement sack.)

We are none of us safe.


And here we are, keeping the cornmeal out.
We don’t eat it much anymore anyway, but, boy, I can’t WAIT to see whats it our stash o’ cornmeal…

Sadly, I have had this happen with pre-packaged grains as well. Odd, earwig-like things in my rice, and some kind of moth in my bulgar. These were reputable brands, so I think that the problem lies with insects laying their eggs on grain in the field, not with later contamination. Also, I have ONLY had the problem with grains that have been sealed in glass or metal containers, which leads me to think that this happens all the time, but nomally the insects chew their way out of the plastic bag and escape before you notice them. (And actually, this doesn’t bother me.)


Unfortunately, this does happen. I usually get them in the feed for various critters in the house.

The best prevention method is to freeze things prone to infestation overnight. This won’t “remove” them, but chances are you’ve eaten worse.

I recall getting an entire large bug in a package of instant oatmeal (all perfectly sliced). When I called the company, I got a refund as well as a pamplet with details on “acceptable” limits and sized of insects in grains and so forth.


If the infested grain isn’t in a sealed container, the bugs will get out and infest other grains in the kitchen, and will hide in the various nooks and crannies in the kitchen and elsewhere in the home. If you don’t get on top of the situation, or don’t notice it, right away you will need to undertake a major chemical warfare campaign to get things back to normal. This is experience talking.

Maybe I’m just a freak or something…but I keep any sort of flour/grains in the freezer. Flour, cornmeal, buckwheat, rice, etc…stored in the freezer.

When I put anything in the canister, I put a bayleaf or two in there. Seems to keep any bugs from magically appearing.

No bugs in the buckwheat?

Oh tay!

I’m pretty sure there were bugs in the SNL character, but my buckwheat flour has no bugs. And bug-free buckwheat pancakes with lots of real butter are great. Supernummy.

I have rice that I like to store in my kitchen cabinets. So far I haven’t found any bugs, but then again I haven’t been looking all that close for them. Still, I boil the rice for a good 20 minutes which oughta kill those suckas dead. Plus, all that water should make them plump and juicy. Just right for a nice meal with a side of eggs and toast.

Once I was about to put some rice on the stove when I noticed one of the grains was moving. The damn bug larvae look exactly like grains of rice - I wouldn’t have seen it if it had held still. So just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not there.

bon appetit :wink:

You guys suck! Now I have to go out and replace the flour and rice in my cupboard.

EWWWWWWW! :smiley:

Just about all grains have a chance of having some bug eggs in 'em. Like the others in this thread, I’ve found out the hard way. I used to buy grains in bulk before I realized that it was just asking for infestation. In addition, I’ve seen meal moths in sealed bags of rice that I’ve had in my pantry for many months. Yup, there’s bug eggs in our food, no doubt about that. I just try not to think about it too much.

Another BIG culpret is bird seed. My last infestation - a horrible one that took months to get rid of - came from some bird seed I had left in the garage over the winter. They came in my house, and I could NOT find the source. I went through my pantry, found nothing. They just kept coming, until I finally traced them to the garage.

I’m extremely careful about grainy kinds of things and dried types of things. I’ve had meal moths get into those strings of dried oranges, cloves, and cinnamon sticks you can buy around Christmas time. I’ve had them get into nuts. I hate those bloody bugs.

All my grains are kept in sealed jars, ziploc bags, or tupperware, and are thrown out after a month or two. No bugs for me, please.

Yep, the advent of warm weather is, unfortunately, the wake-up call for buggies, which are in the stored goods to begin with, no fault of your kitchen hygiene. I’ve also had some Nasty experiences, but wouldn’t fault Whole Foods; it’s just part of warmer weather. Plenty of bugs probably get ground up with yer everyday crackers, too. Bleached white flour travels well , precisely because nothing will eat it, but it’s barren of nutrients without enrichment. Kinda a sign that it might be not worth eating, to my mind. I now store whole grains in summer in the freezer. The eggs are prolly still there, but don’t hatch.

Wondering: Anyone know if microwaving whole grains dry disables moth larvae?

elelle: Microwaving kills everything, because it boils the cells from the inside out. Microwaves are tuned to a frequency that especially hits water molecules, causing them to heat up and causing the group they are a part of to change state from solid to liquid or liquid to gas. That process is capable of killing anything.

My mom always said bugs were extra protein. So if I can’t see 'em, I don’t care.

I keep my grains in the freezer, except for the cereal I eat every day. For that, I put the box in the freezer for a couple of days, just to kill off any random protein.

I REALLY don’t like any surprises in my food.