Sunday, June 14, 2009

Defect Levels

I love reading other blogs as it catapults me into ideas for writing. PITA recently wrote about arm hair in gourmet pizzas. See? It may never have occurred to me without her timely post that hairy armed men were contaminating my pizza. (It is a little gross to think about.) I advised her not to think about it, given that contaminants are in all of our food. Think not? Take a look at the FDA's Defect Level Handbook.

What? You do not know about this? Yes, our government has put time and money into determining how much crap (literally) and bugs and dirt is acceptable in our food. For example, condimental seeds other than fennel seeds and sesame seeds can can have an average of 3 mg or more of mammalian excreta per pound. Significance? Aesthetic You think? (Of course, are you going to notice that that's not a poppy seed? If I catch y'all inspecting your hard rolls at the next buffet, I'll know why now.) But aesthetically unpleasing? Only because I can see it? Not because it is MOUSE POOP in my food?

And, I want to know whose job it was to determine how much mammalian poop can be in my condimental seeds before a consumer (me) notices. I can picture the million dollar study: A man sits in a lonely lab with a jar of corriander and tweezers, adding one mouse turd at a time, shaking the jar. "Crap," he says, "that was one too many!" And later, a panel test: "Do you notice anything about these peppercorns?"

I could go on, but frankly, if you want to avoid bugs, excrement, dirt, mold, parasites and bacteria, you'd best not eat or don't follow the above link. For me, I think "not visible" and "not thinking about it" is my creed, given my past experience with larvae on broccoli. But thanks to PITA (love ya, PITA), I think I'll stick to box pizza.


Anonymous said...

If you want to make people loose weight by not eating for a worked. :)

Kristen Painter said...

What makes you think box pizza doesn't have it's own special contaminant? Just saying.

Arby said...

Can you imagine the blind taste study?

Scientist: "Excuse me, ma'am, but did you notice anything different about your chocolate chip cookies today?"

Ohio Housewife: "Well, quite a few of the chips didn't melt like the others."

Scientist: (Turning to assistant) I told you, Smithers, there was too much...

pita-woman said...

I know, there's "crap" in everything we eat, but as you say, it's best just to not think about it.
I think nothing of handing one of the dogs a treat and then popping food into my own mouth despite the fact I've got dog slobber on my fingers. **sigh** (and knowing that dog probably recently just licked his/her own butt).


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