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What Defects the FDA Allows in 11 Types of Food

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istock

Because of the way foods are mass harvested, factory processed and packaged in the States, the FDA has to allow food companies to include a certain number of “defects” in the final products. The term “defects,” we learned, is code for the inclusion of “foreign matter” in canned and packaged foods, including insects, insect parts, rodent hairs, larvae, rodent poop, mammal poop, bone material, mold, rust, and cigarette butts. These “defects” are not dangerous in the quantities they’re allowed, the FDA says, but still: what was that about ignorance and bliss?

Here’s a taste of what you can expect to find on the table. Bon appétit!

1. Canned mushrooms can include more than 20 maggots “of any size” and 75 mites, per 100 grams. Same goes for 15 grams of dried mushrooms. No more than 10% of your mushrooms can be “decomposed.”

2. For every 100 grams of ground cinnamon, it’s OK to include 400 or more insect fragments (legs, heads, wings, thoraxes, etc.), and 22 or more rodent hairs—a substance the FDA charmingly refers to as “rodent filth.”

3. Brussels sprouts can include 30 or more tiny insects, called aphids, per every 100 grams of veggie.

4. Up to 60 percent of frozen berries can be moldy, with an average of 4 or more larvae, or 10 or more whole insects, per 500 grams. To give you an idea of what that means for you: most pie recipes call for about 550 grams (5 cups) of berries.

5. The FDA says it’s OK if 15 percent of a can of cranberry sauce is moldy.

6. Apple butter is allowed to be 12 percent moldy. For every 100 grams of apple butter, it’s OK to have four or more rodent hairs and an average of 5 or more “whole or equivalent” insects. The average serving size of apple butter is about 30 grams, so no worries: you’re only ingesting a little more than 1 rodent hair and 1.6 insects per serving!

7. The turkey meat in turkey burgers, turkey dogs, turkey patties and nuggets has been “mechanically separated” from the bone. That’s code for: an entire turkey, bones and all, has been forced through a sieve under high pressure, oozing—to quote the FDA—a “paste-like and batter-like poultry product” on the other side. That “paste-like” poultry product contains a high percentage of “ground, crushed and pulverized bones,” evident in high levels of calcium, which is cool with the FDA.

8. Meat of all sorts—ground beef, chicken nuggets, taco filling, etc.—must include at least 35 percent actual meat. The other 65 percent doesn’t have to be meat, and can be made up of any mixture of edible fillers and chemicals, including cornstarch, water, soy, maltodextrin, silicon dioxide, food colorings and artificial flavoring.

9. Tomato paste, pizza sauce or other sauces can include 30 or more fly eggs per 100 grams. Alternatively, you can have 15 or more fly eggs and one or more maggots, OR two or more maggots, but not all of the above.

10. Cocoa beans can be 4 percent moldy or insect infested, but only 6 percent moldy and insect infested. More than 10 milligrams of “mammalian excreta” is permitted per pound of cocoa beans.

11. In 100 grams of corn meal—that’s roughly the amount required by your average corn bread recipe—the FDA says it’s OK to have two or more “whole insects,” 100 or more insect fragments, and either 4 rodent hairs or 2 or more chunks of rodent poop. Yum!

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Little Baby's Ice Cream
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Food
Pizza and Cricket Cake Are Just Some of the Odd Flavors You'll Find at This Philadelphia Ice Cream Shop
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Little Baby's Ice Cream

Ice cream flavors can get pretty out-there, thanks to the growing number of creative scoop shops willing to take risks and broaden their customers’ horizons beyond chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. Intrepid foodies can cool off with frozen treats that taste like horseradish, foie gras, and avocado, while Philadelphia's Little Baby’s Ice Cream is pushing the boundaries of taste with chilly offerings like everything bagel, Maryland BBQ, ranch, and cricket cake.

Cricket-flavored ice cream, created by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

Everything Bagel-flavored ice cream, created by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

As Lonely Planet News reports, Little Baby’s Ice Cream launched its first signature “oddball” ice cream—Earl Grey sriracha—in 2011. Since then, its rotating menu has only gotten quirkier. In addition to the aforementioned flavors, customers who swing by Little Baby’s this summer can even try pizza ice cream.

The store created the savory flavor in 2011, to celebrate neighborhood eatery Pizza Brain’s inclusion into Guinness World Records for its vast collection of pizza memorabilia. The savory, Italian-esque snack is made from ingredients like tomato, basil, oregano, salt, and garlic—and yes, it actually tastes like pizza, Little Baby’s co-owner Pete Angevine told Lonely Planet News.

Pizza-flavored ice cream, made by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

“Frequently, folks will see it on the menu and be incredulous, then be convinced to taste it, giggle, talk about how surprised they are that it really tastes just like pizza … and then order something else,” Angevine said. “That’s just fine. Just as often though, they’ll end up getting a pizza milkshake!”

Little Baby’s flagship location is in Philadelphia's East Kensington neighborhood, but customers can also sample their unconventional goods at additional outposts in West Philadelphia, Baltimore, and a pop-up stand in Washington, D.C.’s Union Market. Just make sure to bring along a sense of adventure, and to leave your preconceived notions of what ice cream should taste like at home.

[h/t Lonely Planet]

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Warby Parker
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Space
Warby Parker Is Giving Away Free Eclipse Glasses in August
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Warby Parker

When this year’s rare “all-American” total solar eclipse comes around on August 21, you’ll want to be prepared. Whether you’re chasing the eclipse to Kentucky or viewing it from your backyard, you’ll need a way to watch it safely. That means an eclipse filter over your telescope, or specially designed eclipse glasses.

For the latter, you can just show up at your nearest Warby Parker, and their eye experts will hand over a pair of eclipse glasses. The stores are giving out the free eye protectors throughout August. The company’s Nashville store is also having an eclipse party to view the celestial event on the day-of.

Get your glasses early, because you don’t want to miss out on this eclipse, which will cross the continental U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina. There are only so many total solar eclipses you’ll get to see in your lifetime, after all.

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