Friday, 7 March 2008

Would You Let An Earwig Ruin Your Dinner?

Not long ago, gonebacksouth  revealed in her post, Taggie by Maggie, that she threw a whole healthy stir fry in the bin because she was horrified on finding an earwig sizzling on top of the vegetables.
I replied to the effect that I wouldn't have wasted it. I would have just removed the earwig, but several readers agreed wholeheartedly with her and said they would have chucked it out too.
Well, I know I am probably one of only a few bloggers who were born during the Second World War and food rationing didn't finish until I was 10 years old, so I feel I was definitely influenced by the "waste not, want not" attitude of the era.
The majority of you are probably young enough to be my children & some of you my grandchildren, but that doesn't matter! I like friends of all ages. I do believe though, that many of you have been brought up in a more affluent environment than I was. 
However, this has got me thinking what would have to be found in a stir fry to make me throw it out!
Any human bits, finger nails etc., would send me straight to the bin! As would hairs that looked totally unfamiliar! 
Bluebottles & houseflies ............ straight to the bin!
Also mouse, or droppings ... Heaven forbid!
Spider, crane fly or similar inoffensive creature ............. probably not!
Bee, wasp  or moth.......... no!
Caterpillar ........ mmmhh - not sure, a bit squeamish!
I would hope that the frying on high heat would sterilize germs, if there were any.
Anyway, don't the Australian Aborigines eat wichety grubs live? I have seen them doing this on travel documentaries. Well, I couldn't do that, dead or alive.
Now if I found only half an earwig in my stir fry, I would definitely look carefully for the other half, as I certainly wouldn't want to crunch down on the remainder!
So may be I discriminate between certain types of creature. Some seem more dirty than others. I really don't know.
So come on, would you throw good food out because of an earwig? If not, what WOULD make you chuck away your dinner?


Cath said...

In all honesty, if I knew absolutely that I had the whole thing out and the surrounding bit of food, I would serve that portion to the husband! lol Lesson from my mum. She was brought up the same as you and would waste nothing. I save left overs and hate throwing things out, but if there is any doubt about what is in there, it's gone!

Maggie May said...

Had to laugh about husband getting the suspect food!

Cath said...

Hi Maggie - I tagged you! Come over and check it out. Hope you don't mind. Are you meant to tell people they're tagged or just wait for them to find out? Anyway, I told you. :-P

The food - trick I learned from mum ;0)

Dusty Spider said...

I'm with you Maggie May I wouldn't throw the meal out for an earwig but I would for half an earwig. Once found half a caterpillar in cabbage that my husband had grown and cooked but obviously not washed properly. Trouble was I was sure I had swallowed the other half!! Ugh! Flick x

Granny Smith said...

Well, I'm old enough to be your mother (2 0f my children were born while WWII was still going on), but having lived also during the great depression, I wouldn't think of throwing away food that could be salvaged by removing the offending element and washing thoroughly.

I have a grandson who took a course in the nutritional benefits of insects and how to prepare them for meals. He got off to a bad start in high school by bringing a fried ant sandwich for lunch!

Gone Back South said...

Maggie, I'm so thrilled you've picked up this thread (would you for a threadworm?) as I've also been pondering your comment since the earwig incident! My mum would never have thrown the meal away either. But she can make banquets out of left-overs and nothing goes to waste.

Maggie May said...

Dustyspider......... I wouldn't want to swallow anything nasty, I am almost a veggie!

Hi Granny smith! I eat your apples every day! But would say no to an ant sandwich!

gonebacksouth ........I'm glad you're not cross with me!
Ahhhhh .. a threadworm, or any other worm ..... in the bin!

Irene said...

I would have a problem with wormy things, or caterpillars, and I also object to finding a stranger's hair in my food or any bit of another person's anatomy. A fly or a spider I would just carefully lift out.

I once ate at a restaurant and found a hair in my hamburger and a hair wrapped around the top of the ketchup bottle. That was so disgusting that I just walked away and never returned.

To get bugs homegrown vegetables, soak them in cold water that you have added salt to. It usually works and the bugs float to the top.

OvaGirl said...

I have become a lot less squeamish over all sorts of things since having the baby. Partly because I'm always so tired, the thought of cooking something and throwing it out because there is a bug of any sort in it just seems crazy. I guess if i found mouse crap or something like that i'd throw it out but earwigs, no. Witchetty grubs are meant to taste delicious!

Maggie May said...

Irene ... I also have a problem with wormy things! In my dinner!
That restaurant was disgusting & really needed to be reported to somebody.
Yes, the salt & water method is a good, well tried & effective way of getting out bugs.

I have heard wichety grubs are sweet & tasty, but I will not try them, thank you!

Maggie May said...

That last one about the wichety grubs was for Ova Girl!

Mean Mom said...

I would fish out the earwig, and happily eat the rest of the meal. Recent tv programmes and films I have been unlucky enough to watch make me say that I would not eat anything with pubic hair on it, or spittle!

Thank you for visiting my blog. I have dedicated my next one to you. I hope that you have not fallen out with me after my long silence!

Maggie May said...

mean mom........ I am SO pleased to hear from you! And a whole site dedicated to me! Wow! That is a first! Thank you.
Glad you are recovered from the nasty attack of whatever it was. Looking forward to your blogging!

Expat mum said...

I'm with sweet irene on the hair thing. For some reason I find that gross - even if it looks like mine. I have to admit though, I was standing over my pull-out kitchen bin (trash can) the other day, and the top of the banana I was eating snapped off and fell in. (Obviously leaning too far.) After establishing that most of the bin contents were non-food items, I picked it out and popped it into my mouth.
I do have a rather nasty chest cold at the moment, but I'm sure that has nowt to do with it.

Maggie May said...

Expatmum ......... Well I might have rinsed it! We have to use our common sense & what feels right for us!

Robin said...

I admit I had to google earwig. Whether or not I would eat it would have to depend on if I picked the earwig OFF of the dish or OUT of the dish.

Oh and it would depend on if someone called it an earwig, what a disgusting name, it reminds me of ear wax. Or it makes me think of the Star Trek Movie, The Wrath of Khan when they pulled that bug out of Sulu's ear.

Maggie May said...

Robin ..... I must admit that it hadn't occurred to me that my American friends would not know that an earwig was a fairly inoffensive insect that absolutely loves being in dahlia flower heads! There is some legend about them living in people's ears, but that is a load of nonsense! (Isn't it?) Srewth, I hadn't thought of that!
Well ... you've completely put me off the little blighters now!

Casdok said...

Interesting as i am reading a book about the Australian Aborigines at the moment. Its fasinating, so am in 2 minds at the mo!

MarmiteToasty said...

As long as the earwig was not attached to an ear or a wig then I most certainly wouldnt throw it away....

I did eat a live huge white wobbley grub once on a school camp, we dug it out a rotten log and I told the nippers that in the survival book one could eat these and then the little bleeders told me to prove it LMFAO..... so I did..... I got so much 'street cred' that day from the nippers lol what they didnt see was me going behind a tree in the woods and heaving me guts up after I had swallowed it lol..... well, I didnt wanna ruin me new reputation lol....

And say NO to pube hairs in chinky take-aways LOL


MarmiteToasty said...

ps...... to Casdok..... if you are reading about the Aborigines you should watch 'The RabbitProof Fence' which I watched yesterday whilst doing me ironing.... not much moves me to tears..... do you know how hard it is to iron whilst sobbing lol


Maggie May said...

Casdok ....... I like reading about other countries, too!

marmitetoasty ............. I wouldn't have done that no matter how much I wanted to impress the kids. You are an exceptional lady!
The Rabbit Proof Fence. I have never seen that but can sort of guess what kind of thing it might be about.

I reckon this subject could have gone on. I am going to be reading comments anyway, if any one wants to continue!

family affairs said...

Yes an earwig wouldn't make me throw the food out - or a hair, but human bits? Definately - I agree with you that we don't have same regard for food as war children....looks like we might have to again soon. I was brought up in HK though, so all sorts of weird things there to eat!

Iota said...

I was born in 1964 and I absolutely would have just picked the earwig out and served the dinner. Waste in a world where people are starving seems so wrong. I don't think earwigs harbour too many germs and like you, I think the cooking would sterilise the food.

But I wouldn't tell my family before they ate the food, and probably not afterwards either.