Bugs in our Food…

Where do we get the rich red color that makes up some of the food we eat daily? Few people realize that it is derived from pulverized insects. Extract of the cochineal bug, a Cochineal Bugscaly insect, has been used for centuries as a colorant. It is what gives color to berry flavored yogurt, some juices, imitation crab meat and even lipstick. It was discarded in the 19th century when scientists started using synthetic substitutes. Its resurgence is the result of consumers demanding the use of “natural” ingredients. The FDA has given its seal of approval on the use of this colorant. In places like Ghana, Papua New Guinea, and Bali, termites, dragonflies and beetle larvae are a big part of their diet regiment. In the west, we have more of a psychological problem with the use of bugs in our food.  But the up side is –no known side effects!