Did you know there are bugs in many common foods? Whether you are a vegetarian, vegan or omnivore, you may have to ask yourselves if you want to eat bugs in your food. According to CNN, in the USA, there is no way to get rid of all the bugs that get into food along the food processing chain, but the US Food and Drug Administration has set some food defects standards to keep them to a minimum.

In Canada, Global News reported a percentage of insects are allowed in processed food. In fact, the government has funded cricket farming to be used as a food source. 

How to Avoid Insects

You can remove some insects by washing or inspecting your food before eating it. Soak your fruits and vegetables in vinegar or baking soda. For tea, buy loose leaf tea so you can inspect it. You can avoid insects by eating less processed food and making the food yourself. Scrutinize your food when buying at bargain groceries stores. Make sure the food is not expired. A few times, I spotted bugs alive in packaged foods at the grocery store.


Common Food with Insects

Listed below are some foods you may find dead insects and insect eggs :





Fruit juice



Spaghetti sauce


Peanut butter 






Tomato sauce


Sweet canned corn


Cured meats

Frozen Berries

Ice Cream machines

Food Ingredients

Read the ingredients closely; bugs such as crickets are now an ingredient in some foods such as cheese, flour, and other protein-based food. Some people see bugs as a substitute for meat. Livestock production is not environmentally sustainable, and some feel that using animals for human consumption is unethical. In comparison, insects can be fed food waste. While others think insects are part of the animal kingdom and should not be eaten.

They say you are what you eat!

Reading the Ingredients

If the food you buy is processed, reading the ingredients is essential. Bugs could be in your food under the following names:

  • Carmine/cochineal is a red, pink or purple dye made from the beetle bug. It is also called Red 4, carminic acid and cochineal.
  • Confectioner’s glaze, shellac, candy glaze, pharmaceutical glaze, “glazing agent,” and E904 are made of a female lac bug secretion.
  • Acheta powder or protein are made of crickets.

Many people with insect phobias would appreciate labels added to food that say “bug-free” instead of vague labels like 100 percent natural and rain forest certified. Or if there is rodent hair, insect eggs, worms and insect parts, list it in the ingredients on the package so consumers can make their own choices.

Finally! before you decide whether you are a “bug vegan,” We must ask ourselves, are bugs healthy to eat and made for human consumption?