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Fittingly Mad: Food Moths in the Bulk Foods Section

At my local health food store, I feel at home. I love the array of beautifully colored produce, the familiar healthy brands names like Kashi, Cascadian Farms, Stonyfield Farms, and Garden of Eatin'.

I love all the natural beauty products like Nature's Gate and Natracare tampons.

I especially love the hot and cold food bar, salad bar, and the deli.

I used to - and I stress USED TO - love the bulk foods section. There was a time in the recent past when I bought everything in bulk: popcorn kernels, brown rice, whole wheat flour, chocolate chips, granola, quinoa, split peas, dried cherries, dried mango, herbs, spices - If it was in bulk, I bought it.

I felt good about getting the foods I loved for cheaper, in the quantities I needed, and without all that unnecessary packaging.

Yeah, I felt great about it until a few days ago. I went to get a little baggie full of salted cashews (my fave), and as I opened the clear plastic lid, something flew out. YES!!! Something flew out of the cashews.

Want to know what I did? Then

I didn't freak out. I just took the scooper and shifted around the nuts and thought maybe it was my imagination. Oh but it wasn't. An infestation was more like it.

You know how I DESPISE Indian Meal Moths. If you bring home a pregnant moth or some eggs, you'll have an infestation of your own. I quickly shut the lid, and walked over to the nearest sales person. I said in a really low voice, "I'm not trying to be a bitch, but there are FOOD MOTHS in the cashews. You should know before they infiltrate the entire Bulk Foods Section!"

The guy thanked me and pulled the cashew container out and brought it into the back. That didn't really make me feel better, because I've had Indian Meal Moths at my house and they get into everything. I'm sure the cashews were only the beginning.

Needless to say, I've stopped buying food in bulk from that store. I'm too grossed out to take the chance. I stick to well sealed packaged items now.

Fit's Tips: I'm not saying you need to stop buying in bulk, but you should definitely look at the food carefully. Trust me - you DON"T want moths at your house.

sandstone257 sandstone257 8 years
You should always check the product before you buy any of it - fresh, clear bagged or bulk (no you can't open the paper bags without buying them). The store management should also be checking their stock and suppliers... But you may find infestations in goods from your regular grocer as well. But to ensure that you don't get an infestation of any type (meal worms/moths and such) immediately (repackage first if that is your intention) freeze (chest/upright freezer not over the fridge) for 20+ (longer is better) days this kills most if not all of the eggs and any larvae. Freezing also preserves the flavor of a great many foods if you can keep them frozen until use but if you can't then a vac-sealer helps store the bags in a heavy plastic bucket with a tight fitting lid.
SU3 SU3 10 years
:jawdrop: That's horrible! definitely creeepy
cubadog cubadog 10 years
Bugs are gross but I get more grossed out when people use the bins as their personal snack station. Who knows where those hands have been.
Fitness Fitness 10 years
I know - it totally creeps me out. Disgusting little buggers!
colormesticky colormesticky 10 years
I frigging HATE those moths. I have to buy resealable bags of dog biscuits- that seems to be their favorite thing at my house. Those creepy things can get through anything- foil, cardboard, plastic- except Ziploc.
crispet1 crispet1 10 years
Creepy as hell! Ew.
Phil Phil 10 years
GAH!! So, I've posted that I'd gone through a food moth infestation about two and a half years ago. I thought I was safe, but today I was in the restroom and I saw one flying around.... As soon as I washed my hands, I headed to the kitchen to comb through everything that had been openned. I didn't notice anything - I pray it doesn't start up again. That infestation was terrible and disgusting and incredibly annoying! Moths already freak me out to begin with.
mabess mabess 10 years
EWWW! I never even thought about this. Wow. I'm really grossed out. Schaianne, I had a similar nasty experience. One time at Wendys, I was eating my salad and I found a huge caterpillar/worm bug glistening with dressing in my bowl. Thankfully, he was complete, ie I hadn't taken any bites of him but I freaked out and didn't eat salad for the longest time and no more Wendys.
kayleigh83 kayleigh83 10 years
GROSS!! I have never heard of these moths or them being in any food. Maybe it's a regional thing where you live? But gaah that would just gross me out sooo bad. Blech.
GeikoSera GeikoSera 10 years
Good for you. I'm pretty sure my moth infestation started from a packet of dried figs I got from my health food store. NEVER again!
christinafry christinafry 10 years
schaianne~ only months? I'm pretty sure I would never go back. roaches are my number one most hated thing evar tho... sooo gross. I have a hard time eating a Mickey D's anyway, cuz I always think about that supersize me movie and I get grossed out of the craving. yuck!
bpjedi bpjedi 10 years
OHMIGOSH. I think I just got a little sick to my stomach. I'm also a fan of the bulk section. I usually look through things pretty carefully, bust still... bugs really creep me out, so I end up putting a lot of stuff in the 'fridge and freezer to avoid infestations at home.
Schaianne Schaianne 10 years
I can't stand bugs ... and bugs in my food are the absolute worst! I had a bad experience at my local McDonald's in October where a roach CRAWLED (yes, it was alive) out from underneath one of the lettuce leaves in my salad ... luckily I hadn't taken a bite yet. I didn't eat there for months.
mj mj 10 years
OMG that is really really gross. Do you think you would feel better about bulk at a large chain, such as Henry's or Sprouts? Do you think it makes a difference?
Namtaro Namtaro 10 years
This post is very timely - I had an infestation last summer, which has returned but I did not know the bug's name until now. Thanks so much for the information!
xxbrittney xxbrittney 10 years
wow ive never even heard of indian meal moths, thx for the heads up! at my parents house (aka my home when im not on campus) my dad buys everything in bulk so i will deff give him the heads up!
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