Bugs and Beavers

Being an organic farm has many challenges.  One of the biggest challenges is keeping bugs out of the produce.  Being a consumer of organic food I have come to terms with the occasional caterpillar on my broccoli or corn ear worm in my sweet corn.  But as a produce producer I prefer that we provide bug free produce.  Many consumers prefer it this way and few have said they want more bugs. So having bug-free produce satisfies both types of consumers.

Then I came across this article.  Who knew what we are eating?  Who knew what “food manufacturers” put into our food to make it taste better or look better?  After reading this article I felt pretty good about finding half of a cabbage worm in the cauliflower I was eating this past summer.

To summarize the article: Food manufactures use the following ingredients in the foods we eat: Beaver anal glands; cow’s stomach; hair and feathers; beetle secretions; and crushed bugs.  How very appetizing!  Of course we never see these ingredients on the ingredient labels.  They use terms like “natural flavoring” or “Natural Red #4”.  I want to meet the person who first discovered the natural flavoring found in the anal glad of beavers.  On second thought, maybe not.  But it does make me feel less squeamish about eating fresh produce that may contain bugs.  In this case it is important to emphasize the word “may”.  For unlike processed foods which contain these bugs and bug parts, our food has just a small chance of having bugs and bug parts in it.

So given the choice of a small chance of eating bugs and a 100% chance of eating bugs – or the secretions of beaver anal glands – I will take my chances with the organic, fresh stuff.