I’ll never forget the day I heard an NPR interview with entomologist Dr. Douglas Emlen about dung beetles. I normally would have tuned such stories out, but this one turned fascinating quite quickly. He broke the story in a live interview that most pre-ground coffee has ground cockroaches in it.
Apparently, it’s a not-so-secret industry secret. According to the FDA’s own studies, up to 10% (and often MORE) of green coffee beans are insect-infested. According to Dr. Emlen, they can’t be processed out, so they simply get roasted with the beans and ground up into them.
Imagine yourself relaxing to the voice of interviewer Terri Gross only to hear this anecdote:
Dr. EMLEN: It’s peripheral to what we’ve been talking about but when I was an undergraduate, I was hugely influenced by a professor of mine, a biologist and entomologist named George Ichor(ph), one of the greatest entomologists I ever met. And I remember driving across the country with him when I was a college undergraduate. He was an advisor to me. I was doing research out at a place called The Rocky Mountain Lab in Colorado. And we had to keep going way out our way – this was in the late ’80s, this is before there was a Starbucks on every corner and you can get really good coffee.
And he was fiercely addicted to caffeine – to coffee. And we’d have to drive way off the interstate to go find good coffee in that day. I mean, we’d go 45 minutes off our route to go find a place that had whole bean fresh ground coffee. And I remember giving him a really hard time because we were wasting a lot of travel time trying to feed his addiction because he need a coffee every couple of hours. And he finally explained to me he had to drink only sort of whole bean fresh ground coffee. And it was because of cockroaches. There’s a point to this story which is that he found out the hard way from teaching entomology year after year after year, handling cockroaches – people used cockroaches as the lab rat for entomology labs – he got really badly allergic to them. So, he couldn’t even touch cockroaches without getting an allergic reaction. And because of that he couldn’t drink pre-ground coffee. And it turned out when he looked into it that pre-ground, you know, your big bulk coffee that you buy in a tin, is all processed from these huge stock piles of coffee. These piles of coffee, they get infested with cockroaches and there’s really nothing they can do to filter that out. So, it all gets ground up in the coffee…
Dr. EMLEN: …and he was actually allergic to pre-ground coffee because of that sort of spin off from having handled them teaching entomology for all those years.
GROSS: Oh I don’t know what to say, thank you for that marvelous insight.
Dr. EMLEN: You may not want to put that on the air.
Some people argue that it’s just a little added protein, and bugs are a great source of protein. To that I say — sure. But they can also cause allergic reactions. (I’m one of the people who always used to get a headache and runny nose after drinking pre-ground coffee.)
Others argue that a certain amount of insect parts is normal in all products like flour, nuts, rice and beans. And while that’s true, the acceptable amount of insects in coffee is 10%! That’s crazy high.
EWWW. So how can you get coffee WITHOUT ground up insects?
Don’t want to drink a fresh, hot cup of cockroaches in the morning?
Neither do I.
Thankfully, my husband is a coffee snob. I say that with nothing but affection; after all, I unabashedly enjoy his beverage making prowess. He buys freshly roasted coffee beans once every few days, then grinds them fresh at home before making each cup of joe.
When you buy whole beans, you are buying the best of the best — beans with no insect infestation, no insect damage or filth, and no mold. These beans get selected then roasted separately. Because you buy them whole, you can see how pristine they are.
We use this Cuisinart to grind our beans fresh each morning. It’s served us faithfully for about five years now.
I also recently discovered this hand-cranked Kyocera Ceramic Coffee Grinder. I figure if our Cuisinart ever gives out, we’ll buy this Kyocera to replace it. I like that it doesn’t use electricity and that the bowl is made of glass instead of plastic.
Regardless of the grinder you use, here’s the main thing to keep in mind about avoiding a steamy cup of roaches:
The trick is to buy whole beans and grind them yourself.
It’s that simple.
That’s a relief! But what about buying from places like Starbucks that grind their beans fresh for you?
While that may solve the cockroach problem, it doesn’t solve the bug problem.
That’s because when you buy processed foods — including coffee — you still need to be wary of food coloring made from ground up cochineal insects. In fact, Starbucks has even come under fire for using cochineal dyes.
Cochineal dyes are in a LOT of processed foods. You will find them on ingredients labels under the names “cochineal extract” (which is literally ground up bugs), and “carmine” (which is processed a bit more to create a more pure color).
Where you’ll see cochineal dyes:
- frozen fish and meat
- any red pre-made drinks like soft drinks, energy drinks, and even alcohol
- yogurt and ice cream
- canned fruits like berries, cherries, and jams
Basically, cochineal extract (and it’s sister carmine) is the “natural” alternative to Red #40.
So how do I avoid cochineal extract?
Again, it’s rather simple. Start reading labels and ditching anything with “cochineal extract” or “carmine” listed.
My preferred solution?
Avoid processed foods. Just buy whole foods and enjoy processing them at home yourself!
The Provision Room says
Well, that’s a lovely thought this Monday morning! 😛
THANKFULLY, I ground the beans I’m drinking. So, whew!
We use the same coffee grinder.
Thanks for the info. But yikes! that is really gross.
It’s been a faithful grinder. We use it daily.
This is a powerful article. I’m really glad I read it, but I kind of want to throw up now! 😮
Processed foods are often full of yuck.
Hmmm. Pretty much everything is going to have some level of bug bits in it. I just picked a dessicated fly (small) out of some Korean sea salt this morning. And if I had missed it and it went somewhere I wouldn’t be able to see it, I wouldn’t be worried at all.
That said, it’s worth getting the cleanest food you can find.
Ah, just a little protein! 😉
Julie Drigot says
Another piece of the puzzle falls into place. I have never liked canned coffee and now I know why.
Okay, so the thought of ground up cockroaches is kind of gross. Yup, me too. But are we allowed to ask if cockroaches, roasted and ground up are actually toxic? Do they have any nutritional value? We don’t usually drink coffee for it’s nutritional value though some of us are aware of a bit of good in it–not much though. Okay, there’s good coffee and cheap tasteless coffee. You know, the kind people buy in cans, already ground up from the grocery store. No thanks! I suppose the cockroaches come with that sort of cheap coffee. Maybe the cockroaches are adding to the flavor LOLOL! Maybe they even add to the nutrition.
My thoughts exactly. Most people have the exact same reaction (eeeewww!!!) to the idea of drinking raw milk, or even worse, cream cheese made from clabbered raw milk. I know my mother-in-law nearly threw up when my daughter accidentally let it slip that the “incredibly delicious” cream cheese filling on her birthday cake was made from some raw milk I’d left out on the counter for a few days until it separated.
I would think, as Real Foodies tend to be more adventurous in general, the idea of bugs in coffee would not immediately trigger our “gross!” Reaction, but more of a curiousity in whether there is actually some nutrition and redeeming value. Other cultures frequently consume bugs as standard fare. I guess I’m just wondering why all the fuss?
Please read my comment to Ellie below. It’s not so much about “Ewww..” but knowledge so we can make informed decisions.
Kristen, then why:
“EWWW. So how can you get coffee WITHOUT ground up insects?
Don’t want to drink a fresh, hot cup of cockroaches in the morning?
Neither do I.”
Seems contradictory to your claim to “just want to inform.”
How so? I don’t see the contradiction. Did you read my reply to Ellie below?
Several years ago at a homeschool convention, we were told that there are a certain amount of bugs ‘allowed’ in cereals because they’re in the grains when being processed.
a LONG time ago I read about how dirty ground black pepper is…bugs, rodent droppings, and other variously colored items…yummmm, yummm. We grind our own, and have for a long time.
Mr. Augie says
I don’t mind the ground cockroaches so much but the cockroach droppings should be of more concern.
I can’t seem to share this article about the coffee on my facebook page.
Aisha Smith says
Ok! That is my husband’s wish come true. I am done with coffee! (At least until I can afford whole beans and a beans grinder.) Unless you know of an organic, bug-free coffee bean I can have ground for me.
Many places that sell beans will grind them fresh for you in the store. So, a local coffee roaster would be a good bet.
Also, I don’t know what it’s like in other parts of the country, but here in Texas many of our grocery stores sell whole beans and have grinders available in the aisle. So even if you don’t have a grinder, you can still buy freshly ground beans.
Aisha Smith says
And those are safe? Like from cochineal and carmine extracts? Coffee is my second favourite beverage (pure water being my first) but that is a little too disgusting for me.
Yes, whole bean coffee is safe. You just need to make sure it’s ground fresh (i.e. in front of you). It’s the pre-ground stuff you want to avoid.
This doesn’t make sense. First, the article says, “Apparently, it’s a not-so-secret industry secret. According to the FDA’s own studies, at least 10% (and often MORE) of green coffee beans are insect-infested. According to Dr. Emlen, they can’t be processed out, so they simply get roasted with the beans and ground up into them.” If the green beans are infested before they get roasted, what difference does it make whether you get whole beans or go to a coffee shop that serves pre-ground beans in its coffee? The roaches would have been roasted into your whole beans anyway (unless you’re somehow lucky enough to have only pure 90% roach-free beans in your batch), so I’m not following this logic that you can somehow control whether you’re going to have roasted bugs in your coffee beans. Not to mention that I have yet to see any sort of “roach-free” certification on a any brands of coffee…
Think of it like apples. When they’re picked, the beautiful, flawless apples go in one pile and the damaged apples go in another. The pretty ones get stored & sold as fresh apples. The ugly ones get processed into cider & apple sauce.
In the same way, the beans that get ground into pre-ground coffee are the damaged or flawed beans that are left in large insect-infested piles. The beans that eventually get sold as whole, roasted beans have an entirely different process happen to them.
But the beans are green, then roasted. Aren’t the reaches in with the green coffee beans? If that’s the case the beans and the roaches are roasted together. Only difference is you don’t get the ground bugs.
I got the impression that he meant the piles of beans were infested with roaches crawling through them, not that they were inside the beans themselves.
Lisa Davis says
What about organic coffee that comes pre-ground? I grind my own beans, but my husband drinks an organic blend that is not available in whole bean. I guess bugs are kind of organic, but you know what I mean. Are there some offenders worse than others?
I don’t know. My husband and I prefer freshly ground coffee because of its superior flavor, so we’ve never had to ask these questions!
So any whole bean coffee in the store is okay? Where does your husband get these coffee beans? As I read some of these comments about “whats the big deal”, roaches are filthy disease carrying bugs, others may not be. I for one don’t want to drink roaches!
Cochineal or Carmine is NOT ground up insects. It’s a bit more of a process than that. Please don’t spread misinformation. Carmine is not used in meats or fish. That’s is illegal in the US. It is also not used to color ketchup. That would be lycopene.
Carmine has been used for thousands of years as a NATURAL. colorant. What ppl should be avoiding is Red #40. Don’t create / join in the HYPE!
Actually, cochineal dye really is just ground up bugs and water.
You can watch this video to see how it’s made –> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YzM1Edb6mo
Carmine, as I wrote above, has more of a process done to it to make the dye more pure.
And yes, this is a natural dye! I thought I was very clear about that, calling it a natural alternative to Red #40.
It’s not about hype, but knowledge. I don’t mind if my t-shirt is dyed red with cochineal dye, but that doesn’t mean I want to eat the ground up bugs!
It’s actually in a lot of stuff in the USA. I’m allergic so I have to avoid it. It’s in Yoplait strawberry yogurt. All imitation crab. Any red candies sold at IKEA, just to name a couple of examples. Oh, and my husband grabbed a beef stick at the checkout at Winco the other day. I had to spit it out after reading the ingredient list due to carmine.
What’s the big deal? Lots of cultures prize eating insects for their protein and if we weren’t so squeamish, I think we would see that insects are a great place to find protein that doesn’t do wide scale damage to our soil (unlike standard cattle raising). Obviously, we prefer traditionally raised, grass-fed meats, and, obviously, cockroaches are particularly gross, but really, what is the problem here?
I agree Ellie; what’s the problem?? Do people even know what is in their jarred peanut butter? or many other things? Gosh, have we, as a culture, been this far removed from our food? Do we really think that because a label is snazzy that the food inside is…uh…some kind of “perfect”? We’ve become supermarket addicts and expect the government to watch over us. How’s that working?? If I can’t see the roasted and ground up bugs then I’m not going to care. I buy high quality, locally roasted beans and grind them myself mainly for the flavor, not because I’m afraid of the bugs.
Please notice I didn’t write, “HOLY CRAP! Don’t eat the bugs! They’re so dangerous and unhealthy and nasty.”
When I lived in Mexico, I routinely ate fried grasshoppers AND ants! It was delectable.
It’s one thing to willfully eat insects; it’s another to think you’re getting one thing and get another.
For me, it’s about knowledge and empowerment. For example, I used to often have allergic reactions to coffee (a brief bout of congestion and itchy eyes after each cup). So, I stopped drinking it.
Years later, my husband started buying freshly roasted whole beans and grinding his own. I loved the way it tasted, and guess what? No allergic reaction!
Now that I have this bit of info about “acceptable” ground up insect levels, I can put two and two together and make an informed decision. I can say, “I’ll drink freshly ground coffee, but not cheap pre-ground coffee.” And I can say that with the knowledge that one will leave me feeling fine while the other will make me feel like crap.
How many others are out there with missing puzzle pieces? How many don’t know enough to even realize that their thirty minutes of itchy eyes or congestion is because of their coffee — or more specifically, the roach content of their coffee?
I wrote this article because I believe it’s important for us to have knowledge about these things so we can make informed decisions.
If you read this and want to keep drinking roach coffee, more power to you! There is no judgement here.
But if the thought grosses you out, or if this information can be the missing piece that makes the big picture become clear, then I want you to be informed.
While this information is certainly interesting, you didn’t seem to say that the taste was actually better from freshly ground (freshly brewed obviously is, of course..), or that there was anything to fear but the fear this article might put in those squeamish at the thought of bugs in anything ingested. Unless of course, you’re someone who has developed an allergy to roaches. How common is that? It sounded like that professor only developed this unusual problem after handling the critters on a daily basis.
So I’m also left wondering, what’s the big deal? Bug allergies? Eww factor? That did seem to be the biggest point you were making. It wasn’t very clear is all.
Exactly! If we had honest labeling laws here we would be able to help ourselves. I mean, if you’ve been tested for everything under the sun and no dr. Can tell you what’s wrong, and you still feel like crap, then you’re on your own. And I would be willing to bet that a majority of the time it is something people are injesting. And because of nutrition science, our government allows dishonesty in labeling. If something doesn’t change the nutrition or offers equal nutrition, they don’t have to put it as an ingredient. It’s frustrating and despicable.
Liz Marin says
Much ado about nothing! People all over the world eat insects for protein. Americans are entirely too squeamish about these kinds of things. The only way cockroaches in ground coffee – or any other processed foods, for that matter – are going to be a problem is if you are allergic to them. Many millions of us drink tons of coffee every day without any problem, so what exactly is the big deal?
Please see my reply to Ellie above.
Janine Washle says
Wonder if the ground coffee from Starbucks or Whole Foods has ground up cockroaches/bugs in it? Is this a problem of run-of-the-mill ground coffee manufacturers or is it across the board?
If the beans arrive at Whole Foods or Starbucks whole, and then they grind them fresh, then this is not a problem.
If they arrive pre-ground, then it is.
Lillian Hughes says
Thankfully I usually drink tea!
Leah G says
so coffee is the ONLY non whole foody thing we do and we often laugh it must have something in it. I am torn. should I go down another cup or run. how gross!
I could smell the roach’s bad odor in the coffee and thought it was where they kept it that roaches would get to it. Sometimes I had to throw it away because it was very smelly. But this is just to much! Unbelievable, I would have never thought they deliberately add them to the coffee and grind them together, and thats what we are drinking. My suspicions were correct, from now on no more grounded coffee for me. yyaawkk!!!
marlo c says
part of being a food renegade is not just having great information like this but thinking critically about it. to be blunt, so what if there’s ground-up bug in your coffee or OJ? plenty of cultures deliberately eat insects for their protein so we know (certain) creepy-crawlies aren’t inherently toxic. are you objecting to the lack of transparency about insects in coffee? are you suggesting insects should not be consumed?
I’m with you, Marlo
Please see my reply to Ellie above.
I have eaten and enjoyed insects before. Have you?
Anyhow, that’s not what this article is about. It’s not about edible bugs, or people opting to eat insects.
It’s about the fact that people buy pre-ground coffee thinking they’re getting coffee, but are in fact getting coffee AND roaches. Knowledge is power! Many folks have minor allergic reactions to coffee, and they’ll want to know (like I did) that a possible reason is the roaches in their brew.
I agree with the need for transparency, but that’s not entirely how the article was framed. The “ick factor” was hyped over issues of safety and choice. I like Food Renegade because of their critical thinking about food.
How do they filter out the cockroaches before or after roasting the whole beans? If they can’t filter them out before grinding, how is this done before packaging??
Never mind….saw I missed that the whole beans aren’t bug infested although who can confirm/guarantee that?
Is this such a bad thing? Tons of things have bugs in them. Bugs are a sustainable food source and many countries around the world eat bugs everyday – and in the next 30 years it will be cost effective and sustainable for north america to get on this band wagon. Would we rather artificial dyes in coffee? Personally I’d rather the chochineal insects.
liz collins says
i recently went to the santa barbara mission and learned about cochineal color dyes there, by seeing the insects themselves. then heard a story about starbucks using the cochineal dyes in their drinks. and people freaking out. and now they use toxic chemical food coloring. not a very good transition. i’d rather eat/drink bugs. that being said, i don’t do processed foods and i don’t drink at starbucks, easy way to deal with it, like you said. and i don’t mind eating bugs. don’t panic, as long as they’re organic.
Melissa Napier says
I’m surprised, Food Renegade! No mention of edible bugs? That’s a whole new food source with excellent protein, easy to propagate organically and easy on the environment. Look into it more!
Oh, I’ve eaten edible bugs. I used to live in Mexico and regularly enjoyed fried grasshoppers and ants.
I don’t understand your point. This isn’t an article about edible bugs, but people thinking they’re getting one thing (coffee) and getting another (coffee + roaches).
Please see my response to Ellie above.
What’s wrong with eating cochineal extract? Is there evidence of it being harmful? Humans eat bugs all over the world. I can understand not wanting to eat cockroaches, but if we’ll eat crickets, why not cochineal bugs?
I don’t think anything’s wrong with it, so long as you know what you’re eating and WANT to.
Connie Kuramoto says
Yup, when are we going to learn that most everything from big companies is poor quality or worst? I buy whole coffee beans from a local roaster. Good for the local economy, good for me.
Could you explain where you get “at least 10%” from? Following your links, I’m reading that the FDA action level is 10% or more samples infested or damaged, meaning if they find that the food is rejected. If you assume the inspections are doing their job (I know that’s a big if) then doesn’t this mean at most 10%, not at least 10%, is infested? (And I would assume it varies by producer / importer as well)
I’m wondering if they put poison outside to keep the roach population down? Then the roaches eat the poison and go live in the stored coffee beans where they die. They are then roasted and ground in our coffee. We would be consuming whatever the roaches ate.
Kosher certified coffee and other products will not have any ground up insects as this contravenes the kosher dietary laws.
Starbucks stopped using that coloring a little while back, you might want to verify your facts.
Yes, thank you, I did. Notice that in the post, it’s in the past tense. I say, “Starbucks has even come under fire for using…” and link to an article from 2012 in Business Insider that talks about the Starbucks issue and announces Starbucks’ plans to switch to an alternative natural red dye (which turned out to be lycopene).
Bugs are full of protein and good for you! I have worked at an organic agrotourism farm and we had rocks mixed in with the grain. I think ‘food impurity’ is truly unavoidable in any food production. Bugs are a an important part of life on the planet.
Very powerful indeed. Reminds me of the time I was interviewing a research professor who ended up telling me about the process of sea salt ( in mexico) and how some companies, in order to save money, refused to add iodine to the salt, despite the fact that the package said it contained iodine. Plus the fact that during the harvesting, the men stepped all over the salt and sometimes, so did their dogs.
Thanks for the info. At least we’re not eating them. The hot water just pours over it. It is gross, though. Sorry to say, that my husband and I buy Folgers in the red container, but most likely after this, we will just buy the whole beans from the market down the street. Of all the bugs in the world, I have to say that cockroaches are the yuckiest ever!
And I thought it was really about selling coffee grinders…..
Mrs. D says
Well crap. I’m so mad and sad about this latest information I could spit and cuss up a storm!! But I am grateful to know about it and share with others. And now, to be proactive. Time to buy my own beans, grind them and put them in the K-Cup….so sad.
There are small companies that actually care about quality… we home-roast organic green coffee beans in single order batches over an open-flame, AND we then provide robust Gluten-free flavors. There is nothing but sheer goodness in the coffee. We are small, but we’re committed. http://www.johnsjava.net
casey blanche says
I am a specialty coffee Roastmaster that has roasted over 11 million pounds of coffee over the last decade. I can tell you that I have only found insects, coffee berry borer, in one pallet of coffee during this time. I should mention however that this coffee was not specialty grade and was refused.
Specialty coffee is processed, milled, bagged, rested, exported on container, screened in customs for infestation/contraband/fungus, then shipped to a warehouse for storage or directly to the roaster. At the warehouse coffee must be stored in compliance with food grade standards. I should add that many specialty coffees are now protected by food grade grain-pro bag liners. If there is any truth to this article, I postulate that bugs would only be found in triage- the lowest grade coffee. This coffee is be purchased by large industrial roasting operations for canned and office coffee.
We drink coffee every day and used to use a self contained drip coffee maker. A couple of years ago my husband brought me a particularly delicious cup of coffee, and I couldn’t help but comment on how good it was! I couldn’t figure it out, because we made it the same every day.
Well, shortly afterward I was cleaning out the coffee maker and to my horror discovered the remaining pieces of an unfortunate cockroach that had gotten into the water reservoir.
So, it seems, the secret to a delicious cup of coffee is *fresh* cockroaches. :-/
I have eaten honey roasted cockroaches in other parts of the world and they are delicious. I believe the so called civilized world is missing out on a great food source by not eating ready available protein and being grossed out by bugs.
Siro Battaglin says
I don’t know about US policy, but in Australia it’s actually LEGAL for a product to contain up to 3% impurities- this includes bugs! It would seem food suppliers in some industries can never ensure absolute purity of a product, or they deal with such large quantities that it’s not practical, or perhaps too expensive. This however explains why one might mysteriously find bugs in your cupboards at home. Kind of creepy…
Jane Grant (@Temecula_homes) says
“Shock Effect”, title. The FDA allows for some percentage of bugs in all processed foods. I highly doubt that ground up bugs are in every processed bag of ground coffee. I’ve been grinding my beans for several years and I can personally testify that I have never seen a bug in the thousands of bags of coffee beans I have purchased. If the bug theory you attest to were as probable as you claim I think I would have seen a bug or two in some of the bags of beans!
So? they are roasted and a great source of protein…come one, get real people MOST of your food has bugs, bug eggs, larvae or other members of the animal kingdom in it… In fact, most organic foods are teaming with bugs…its part of what they are…..
Well, I think I may need to re-examine my psychological state. The thought of ground-up bugs in my coffee (or any other food) does not in any way gross me out. And I’m slightly disturbed that it doesn’t gross me out. Hmm. Maybe it’s because we buy whole beans and grind them already?
Thanks for the information. I’m sure we end up eating bugs with our produce, etc., so it isn’t the end of the world but I would prefer to be informed and choose the cleanest options. I respect that others eat bugs by choice but I don’t particularly want to.
I never knew about the roaches!
You may want to check out this link -and several others available- on the issue of MOLD GROWING ON WHOLE BEANS.
I agree that fresh ground coffee beans are great, but do you know how they are picked, processed/roasted, high heat ruins the healthy component and taste of the bean, to early picking or to late picking is not good. Where are your coffee beans from? What kind of soil are they grown in? I have seen the beginning to the end of the growing, picking by hand, does your coffee only go through the grower and pickers? Not sell the agrents processors etc. We found a coffee that has no middle man on,y work with the growers and pickers, grown in ‘sweet’ volcanic panama soil. Has been rated the number one coffee bean by the World a Tasters Cup for the past 12 years, and this company purchased all of these beans, the Panama Boquete Gesha Coffee Bean, and the do the processing for the beginning to the end. It is the only coffee we will drink, all others taste and are enferior to the healthy benefits of this coffee. It is processed and packaged in the USA. It is Sisel KAFFE. Check it out at my website. http://barbg.mysiselkaffe.com. And no bugs, goes through rigorous testing before any are released!
Emil Eidt via Facebook says
That’s not so much a problem.
The far greater problem is that it has exploitative labor in it.
Laura Joanna Myers via Facebook says
People have been using insects (particularly carmine) to color things for millennia. If the traditional diet people are so into “eat what your ancestors ate” and “eat like traditional societies” then eating bugs, which are a staple food in many cultures’ diets, shouldn’t upset you at all.
Jonathan Waits via Facebook says
Why anyone who knows anything about food, particularly coffee, would drink pre ground in the first place is the bigger question.
Amanda Caton via Facebook says
Wow this opened my eyes, thank you so much 🙂 just another small change I can make to a healthy happier life 🙂
Susie Wiebe Redecop via Facebook says
I buy coffee beans-my coffee maker grinds them for me:)
Melissa Pomeroy via Facebook says
Bugs are fine
Jessica Ellington via Facebook says
Bugs in your food are the least of your problems. Think about all the chemicals and pesticides.
Katherine Murphy Song via Facebook says
Patricia Ann Murphy, here’s the coffee article I told you about during your last visit. Sorry!! ☕️
Patricia Ann Murphy via Facebook says
Katherine – thanks! I saw the article a few weeks ago; and although I really don’t want to be eating bugs of any kind, I am more concerned with the mold issue. So, I will be looking for the hand crank (non-electric) grinder they mention in the article to have on hand if my cuisinart electric grinder dies. Thanks for sharing.
Sara Prow Blackard via Facebook says
So glad I grind my own!!
Dawn Walker via Facebook says
Bugs aren’t bad for you, they’re actually a great source of protein and other things, and quite popular around the world. If you want to turn someone off pre- ground coffee, maybe just stick to the facts that it’s not going to taste nearly as good, and that it won’t stay fresh as long, you control the size of the grind completely, Less chance of contamination of other coffees, etc. “Scare tactics” (or gross out tactics if you must) are what people use when they’re desperate to change people over to something without any real reasons. You’re better than that.
Barb Gimbel via Facebook says
Pretty sure my filter keeps the bits out of my cup. But yeah… a little extra protein never hurt anyone. I have more concerns about my dog or cat having a drink from my cup when I’m not looking. Oh and this one time a monster sized centipede snuck in my cup and I happened to take a mouthful before looking… I’ve never spat coffee out so fast in my life. Also, I’m pretty sure kids eat more bugs then we get in our coffee… and they don’t die from it. It’s not nice to think about it… but surely there are worse things in life then a bug in your drink.
Gene Vacca via Facebook says
Is that how they get the hazelnut flavoring?
Richard McKenna via Facebook says
It’s filtered who cares
Pamela Noeau Day via Facebook says
Get your coffee from Blue Star Coffee Roasters.
Redland Rambles via Facebook says
Jill Tieman via Facebook says
I’m not opposed to bugs! A good source of protein and totally sustainable!
Corvallis Coffeeworks via Facebook says
A bug-free bag of coffee is highly unlikely to be found, especially if it is organic, sustainable and from the equatorial tropics. Whole-bean coffees are quite often allowed a certain amount of defect from insects, either damage or larval stages in the bean itself. We are currently studying how these insects affect flavor, bean chemistry and roasting characteristics.
I was enjoying a nice cup of coffee while reading this. I had to pause for a bit a think this through. Are these the kind of cockroaches that commonly infest homes? The ones that carry diseases with them? Or are they the outdoor roaches? The outdoor ones I can tolerate, but if we’re talking about German roaches and such then I’ll have to switch over the beans right away.
than according to this martial I could have accidentally swallowed ground cockroach because some of the grounds got into my coffee
Marissa Smith via Facebook says
Well, everything commercially manufactured has a legal limit of how many mouse droppings, bugs, pieces of human hair, etc, can be in it (usually something like parts per million).
Luke LeRoy via Facebook says
Angel Brazier via Facebook says
I grind my own beans
Cindy Paeth via Facebook says
I know bugs in food has a certain “yuck” factor, but really, unless they have toxins in them, they are harmless. Dead cooked (sanitized) bugs don’t hurt anything.
Gayle Trepanier via Facebook says
Mmmm, extra bonus protein! 😉
Alice Benham via Facebook says
Three words: Whole Bean Coffee
Jill Herron Chapin via Facebook says
Pretty much everything does? Why the scaremongering around coffee? Trying to keep it all for yourself, lol?
Heather Chilton Wormsley via Facebook says
If this is true, it’s always been that way. Secondly, since my husband roasts his own, he can inspect them to see if they are hole-ridden. Lastly, I put VERY little stock in the FDA for everything else— why would I believe them for this?
Frederica Huxley via Facebook says
Karen Branson via Facebook says
I’ve been drinking coffee every morning for decades. If it has ground bugs in it, they haven’t killed me yet!
Sunny Edgren via Facebook says
Foodworks for Health via Facebook says
The extra protein probably contributes to all those health benefits we hear about coffee!
Guius Baltar via Facebook says
Annie Schwiderski via Facebook says
Hmmm – I do grind my own at home, but that isn’t feasible if I need an afternoon refresh when I’m at work. I have taken lots out of my diet and coffee isn’t going in that category. Guess I’ll have to keep on eating some ground up bugs.
Teresa Jorgenson via Facebook says
Most of the world thinks we’re weird for not eating insect protein. I guess now we can tell them we do.
Kate's Plate via Facebook says
I eat cricket flour.
Jan Gordon via Facebook says
Good! Means that I am eating my protein!
Wendy Pertain Holman via Facebook says
Reflections from the Artist's Garden via Facebook says
Well I suppose they haven’t hurt anyone.
Tom Fallion via Facebook says
Who cares? I am going to be growing mealworms for fun to eat here soon.
Cecilia E Long via Facebook says
seriously its no big deal. Anyone who is really into authentic paleo / natural eating wouldn’t mind mild insect infestation. Was quite common and supplied protein.
Roy Smalley via Facebook says
And why, exactly, would we care about a few insects in coffee grounds?
Flemming Strupp via Facebook says
Do you breathe regularly? 😛
Jeff Perushek via Facebook says
Oxygen is killing us everyday.
Ryan White says
Yikes! This is the reason why a fresh brew in the morning is still the best. I won’t survive without my coffee maker. Great post by the way. I won’t forget ground roaches.
100 years ago people were alot more healthy than they are now and I’m sure they ingested alot more roaches, bugs ect…. so I don’t see why it would be so important that anyone know specifically what is in their coffee or anything else because obviously back when everything wasn’t so “regulated” everyone was doing alot better than they are now, and if it made you feel better when you switched how do you know it was specifically because of roaches? what if it could have been a pesticide you don’t know they used or the water there or a million other things that could have caused it? It just doesn’t make sense that something would be a problem for people now but yet health wise we were in better standing when we werent trying to over look everything.
I also want to add if bugs are such a problem than I think people are just going to have to make their own flours too and pretty much make everything their selves having the stuff in front of you you can go through each little grain yourself starting from wheat to rice so on and so forth
This is based on an interview with ONE entomologist who is not a specialist in the coffee making process. After roasting the coffee (at temperatures no insect or common bacteria could survive), companies store it in airtight silos to prevent contamination with insects. These silos often have low temperatures inside (which already diminishes considerably the kinds of insects that could survive inside: forget about cockroaches) and they often use chemicals to keep insects away as well. Also, roasted coffee beans can´t be stored for very long, they have to be shipped quickly or they´ll go bad. Companies are not willing to waste their huge batches of carefully selected and roasted coffee beans so they store it carefully. This kind of scaremongering is good for journalism because it´s sensational clickbait, but you don´t really have to worry about drinking cockroaches unless maybe you buy coffee from a smaller company with poorer storing capabilities.
Pat Cooper says
The answer to this may already be in the comments, but I admit that I haven’t searched the lengthy list to find the answer. Why would we believe that whole bean coffee has no roaches in it when the article about roaches in coffee clearly states that there is no way for the processors to cull the roaches from the beans. There are far, far too many pounds of whole bean coffee sold for me to believe that the beans are hand-selected for the whole bean coffee. This, in my mind, would be an absolutely ridiculous expectation, so someone please provide the “truth” about this process–or at least something more believable.
Matt Moore says
There are bugs in wheat,corn,all grains,and anything grown outside even apples, tomatoes and etc. Organic food has bugs in them. Bugs can go from non organic fields to organic fields and you end up eating them. Nothing is truly organic in this world anymore! Pollution in the air is all over. As long as there is man and sin in this world, we cannot avoid it. Eat organic to avoid most of the pesticides and herbicides, but you wil never avoid all the bugs. Thank God their nutritional!
Oh crap. Wish I hadn’t read this. Going to have to think of it as extra protein. I’m not giving up my one coffee a day. Lol
Nothing wrong with cochineal if you’re not allergic to m insects, but those who are might also want to avoid food grade shellac, most commonly found on candy and pills.
Debrah L. Roemisch says
I read a study awhile ago that said if we would accept just a small percentage more of insects in food we could reduce pesticide use by 80%!! I would much rather have a few bugs than pesticides in my food.
Kimberlee Jolly says
I do micro photography as a hobby. I have a picture of a pinch of coffee on a slide and you can see a bug in it.
Dear Coffee Lovers like me;
This article is definitely true. A week ago(25/01/2020); purchased a grocery store’ own brand coffee at New Mexico area and i saw light brown pieces in the dark granules. Took the coffee can next to powerful light fixture and i saw the body parts of the bug. It was shredded and roasted. I am a kind of coffee professor since i drunk all kinds of coffee types from different countries for more then 30 years. Normal coffee should be dark medium size or small size granules only without shining light color pieces in it. When you open the coffee can, under powerful light fixture, move the can to get light from different angles. If you see shining parts, that is sign of mixed bug leftovers in your coffee. In my case; the lazy manufacturer even didn’t bother to shred the whole mixture for couple of times to hide body parts and i was able to see clearly leftovers of the bug. I have a theory that this is happening because the raw coffee seeds wait a lot at manufacturer’ warehouse and bug larva that exist in the seed has chance to grow up and come out. If manufacturer could process it immediately, roasting process could kill larva before egg evolves. I am not a scientist but this may lead to unknown sickness because if larva has virus or bacteria attached to it’ gens, it can lead to great health issues.
Ginny cotton says
I have a Keurig so I was wondering if it also has ground up insects in it