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06 September 2007 @ 11:48 pm
Ew, mealworms  
Let me set the stage: I'd been rushing around all day and hadn't had a meal since the breakfast sandwich at Starbucks (where I was called Tabitha). I finally sat down and finished a quick meal of rice and refried beans, made quickly because I was starving. At this point I had gone from my short nap to my mammogram and then off to babysit. So my young charge and I were going to watch a movie together and I grabbed a Quaker Oatmeal to Go bar for dessert. I'd had them there before and they're pretty good without being overly sweet like a real dessert.

We had the lights off and as the movie started I opened the package and started eating. Meanwhile I was answering questions about the movie and thinking there was something a little strange about this bar, like it was too dry or something, too crumbly. Then a connection got jiggled and our screen went dark, so I turned on the light so we could fix it. I happened to look down at some point and saw something wiggling in my oatmeal bar package. Looking more closely I saw it was simply crawling with little mealworms. Being a bit phobic of bugs and, by the way, a vegetarian, I completely lost my mind for the next 15 or 20 minutes and proceeded to try to vomit what I could. However I had no clue other than sticking a finger down my throat as to how to make myself vomit (in the absence of ipecac). I had limited success, though it worked better when I actually pictured what I had just eaten. Ugh.

Later we examined the package and couldn't see an expiration date although once I got home and had the bright lights of the ceiling fan I discovered where it was hiding. Apr 23, 07 was described as the BEST BEFORE date. I guess they're not exaggerating with their dates, huh? I normally wouldn't think a few months would make that much difference with dry goods like that. The package was clearly sealed before I tore into it. No other holes were visible.

We looked at the others and none of them were infested. Wow, what luck, I got the only one.

I think it's worth a note to Quaker to point out that somehow the date was on the opposite side of the package from where the words "Best Before" were located.

It will be awhile before I can stand to look at another granola-type bar. And I will never start eating something in the dark again, ever.

I was a bit freaked out that it might make me sick--I'm afraid to examine it also for mold or other decay. I got so sick last year from some kind of food contaminant (in the hospital) that I'm a bit gun shy. But it's been a few hours and other than feeling queasy from the psychological aspect of it all I am not showing any signs of sickness. Perhaps I got the worst of it up, perhaps my stomach acid killed the rest, I don't know. I suppose it could hit me tomorrow. Mindful of our problem identifying the exact virus or bacteria last year I've sealed this stuff in a plastic bag in case we need to culture it.

My hostess felt bad but it certainly was not her fault!
3treekisser3treekisser on September 7th, 2007 08:15 am (UTC)

Mari Adkinsmariadkins on September 7th, 2007 01:28 pm (UTC)


(and yes, I was eating breffus as I read this. >.<)
Mari Adkinsmariadkins on September 7th, 2007 01:30 pm (UTC)
Ooops. Graphic didn't work. LOL Failed to remember I wasn't on a BBcode board. LOLOLOL

Tapatitapati on September 7th, 2007 05:23 pm (UTC)
Ooh, sorry if I ruined your breakfast!

I was reminded of the cereal with the weevils, Dania's story...when I read it I remember thinking I would never eat cereal without looking at it...pride goeth and all that.
Mari Adkinsmariadkins on September 7th, 2007 07:37 pm (UTC)
I grew up in a family of nurses and medical professionals. It takes a lot to turn my stomach. LOL
Tapatitapati on September 7th, 2007 05:14 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I need a hug! I'm going to try to do something fun today to recover.
lovediamondloveotter on September 7th, 2007 02:32 pm (UTC)
Oh ew that's creepy!! I am never going near one of those oatmeal bars. Mealworms are actually quite edible though (people use them in dishes!!) so you shouldn't get sick.
Tapatitapati on September 7th, 2007 05:20 pm (UTC)
I've eaten plenty of oatmeal type bars in the past--that's why I was so caught by surprise!

It didn't help that I had just read this the day before:


Interesting parasites...
litlebananalitlebanana on September 7th, 2007 03:14 pm (UTC)
Ew, how horrible! I want to throw up just thinking about it.

I always feel like I'm such a baby when I won't eat something after the "use by" date, but now I feel totally justified.
Tapatitapati on September 7th, 2007 05:13 pm (UTC)
Some things are ok but apparently if it has grains then things can hatch, even in a sealed bag.

To my mind, the "sell by" date implies that one can use it after that date, because why would you be allowed to sell something that becomes inedible on the following day. But I don't try to push it and I always look behind the front row for a better date. :)

I'm still queasy today but am not sick or anything. Just trying to get the image out of my mind...
jew_witchgirl: Cafe Skyjew_witchgirl on September 7th, 2007 06:46 pm (UTC)
Just remember that even though they are called "mealworms," they are nevertheless not meant to eat. Except in some of the scary countries I like to visit.

Wow, that's sooooo gross - I hope you're doing better. What an awful experience.
Tapatitapati on September 7th, 2007 10:47 pm (UTC)
I'm finally getting hungry enough to eat something in spite of the image that won't leave my head. I'm having some strawberry yogurt right now and I have a potato in the oven. I am finding myself reluctant to eat anything grain-based today...

I'm so easily grossed out anyway that this was quite the ordeal. (shudder)

But I'll get past it. After all, as a child I reportedly sat on my mother's porch and consumed box elder bugs, which she found smeared on my face. Apparently I liked bugs back then. So, no permanent harm done.

But I still won't eat a Quaker bar of any type ever again.
Angiextremeroswellia on September 7th, 2007 08:05 pm (UTC)
*Vomits in sympathy* Bleeech. One time my mom made fudge around the holidays and put it in some plastic container with a lid on it that we *thought* was sealed. Turns out a fly had gotten inside, laid eggs and they hatched in the fudge. I hadn't even taken a bite (thank GOD) when I noticed maggots wiggling around. I screamed, dropped the fudge and threw up in the toilet anyway. Blech. Blech!
Tapatitapati on September 7th, 2007 10:49 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah, maggots--when my mom was in her major depression and wasn't cleaning up after her dogs, maggots laid eggs in the dog's feces. UGH.

But you know they're using them in medicine these days, to consume diseased tissue. I just pray I never need their services!
lunaetstellaelunaetstellae on September 7th, 2007 09:03 pm (UTC)
Oh my gawwwd....my stomach is queasy just reading this. You poor thing.
Tapatitapati on September 7th, 2007 10:50 pm (UTC)
I'm finally eating solid food again, so I'm recovering.

I just never want to see another breakfast or granola bar for the entire rest of my life.

On a cheerier note, I found cinnamon tablets in 500mg dosage at my local drug store! Just two a day with meals and I'll equal the dose in the study.
thirishar on September 10th, 2007 01:14 am (UTC)
Ewww, but...
Hey, you never know, they could be a good source of protein - I've heard of people eating grasshoppers before.