Archive for January 8th, 2010

Chili Powder Beetles

Mary cleaned out the kitchen cabinets, which entailed sorting out all the various spice jars. She thought the Chili Powder looked a bit odd and, indeed, it did: a whole colony of beetles and their larvae was a-squirm in there!

The label states:

All Natural

non irradiated — no preservatives

Frankly, I don’t see any particular problem with food irradiation.

If you’re the sort of person who cooks your meals, as we are, then you’re eating plenty of denatured proteins and broken DNA anyway. In this case, snuggling that jar up to a nice warm Cobalt-60 slug for a few minutes would have been a great improvement.

The main ingredient, of course, is “chili peppers”. The remainder doesn’t sound particularly life-sustaining, though: oregano, cumin, garlic, sea salt, and spices. Anything that can live off that brew must have a bad attitude, the way I see it.

Being that sort of bear, I’d written the date on the label: 19 Aug 08. So, in round numbers, we use two ounces of Chili Powder a year. Obviously, we shouldn’t buy that stuff in bulk…

Those are millimeters on the scale it’s crawling on, so these are little bitty bugs.

[Update: Useful advice from the UC IPM folks.]