Tea with Legs...


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Tea with Legs...

Postby swampdonkey » Nov 3rd, '08, 15:32

Hi all. I'm new to the forum so cheers. I was interested in finding out if others have had a similar experience, which I'll outline next, so I searched for a forum and came across this one...so I joined.

Recently I purchased a pound of organic chamomile. Upon receipt, I poured part of it into a ceramic storage jar and in doing so noticed a little critter walking along the rim of the container. Thinking it was a local visitor, I flicked it off and moved on...then I noticed more of them in the tea. To make sure they arrived in the tea, I pulled out a metal strainer w/ very small openings and sifted the open bag. Sure enough, there were several bugs in the bag. At the suggestion of those who sold me the tea, I opened the second bag and that was inhabited as well.

A bit of background. I've purchased many lbs of this chamomile from one online tea retailer over the years and had no issues w/ bugs. As this company was sold out for sometime, I searched on the web and found another supplier to feed my need.

The seller was most understanding. He inspected their stock and assured me all was good and quickly replaced my order, which arrived this past weekend. Upon opening the bag, all looked well but for my own well being, I again sifted part of the bag and sure enough came across additional bugs. I wrote to the company this weekend but have not heard back yet.

Note: all the bugs are alive. From what I can gather online, they're likely a type of cigarette beetle which are enamored w/ chamomile.

So, does anyone have any insight into this? Are bugs a part of the organic chamomile business? Comments are appreciated!

Cheers!
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Postby olivierco » Nov 3rd, '08, 15:36

Welcome!

A related recent topic here
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Postby Shelob » Nov 3rd, '08, 15:52

Hi and welcome to TeaChat.

Oliverco sent yo to the right link on that subject!

Why not post under the Intro to TeaChat and introduce yourself there? Everyone will make you feel very at home. And check out TeaDay Poll and whatz in your cup, very friendly place to be. Glad to have you on board.
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Postby kymidwife » Nov 3rd, '08, 17:35

Ahhh, yet another good reason to stay away from chamomile. Tastes like cough syrup to me anyway, so that was reason enough.

Sarah
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Postby gingkoseto » Nov 3rd, '08, 20:30

Chamomile is the only thing I drink from tea bags, because whole flowers are too expensive for me. Well since it's contained in tea bags, I don't know if there are little bugs in the bags or not. Out of sight, out of mind.:P I drink Chamomile only for health purpose, and it works excellent on me.

However, the bug thing is a true dilemma! I love chrysanthemum a lot, which is in the same family (Aster) as Chamomile and, I think, is one of the best flower to drink. I get whole flowers for relatively low price. I never got bugs in my chrysanthemum tea, but that's what bugs me! A friend of mine in herbal tea business told me chrysanthemum gets bugs easily (I guess the same case as for chamomile) and without pesticide, it's almost impossible to get rid of all bugs. And she means, pesticide applied directly to the flowers! After I got the news from her, I haven't yet had any mood drinking my beloved chrysanthemum tea :cry:
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Postby swampdonkey » Nov 3rd, '08, 21:10

Yep, that is exactly what I'm feeling. I love chamomile before bed, esp w/ liberal amounts of local fireweed honey, but I suspect I'll be inspecting each flower from now on. Silly, I know, since I've likely steeped a number of these critters in the past...but then again, they were probably dead. It's just when you see the live ones crawling around in the package that it makes it difficult to brew with.
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Postby Chip » Nov 4th, '08, 01:16

Freezing it will kill the bugs anyway. I would still pick through it to get the dead bugs out. Bleh, you know they eat and breath and ... well ... you know. :roll:

Welcome to TeaChat BTW. Introduce yourself under Introduction. Then share what is in your cup on TeaDay!
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Postby hop_goblin » Nov 4th, '08, 05:53

I don't know if I could make myself drink something that had bugs crawling in it. Think of their poop and urine and such. :?
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Postby eanglin » Nov 4th, '08, 09:47

hop_goblin wrote:I don't know if I could make myself drink something that had bugs crawling in it. Think of their poop and urine and such. :?


Just don't think about it.
Really.
You have eaten *pounds* of bugs over your lifetime- you just don't think about it/realize it. (There are laws regarding acceptable amounts of bug parts in processed foods. *Processed* foods.) People have been eating insects and insect byproducts for as long as there have been people, and most never suffer ill effects from it.

Its only when contamination levels exceed what society considers an 'acceptable' level that bug infestation is seen as a problem- that level has varied a lot over mans history depending on available food preservation technology and economic factors. 100% insect free is impossible even with todays technology.

Stay away from 'Forest' honey - it is the sweet excretions of Aphids, gathered by honeybees and concentrated into honey by a process that resembles a child blowing spit bubbles.

Don't eat figs- the fruit is fertilized by many tiny wasps that enters the fruit before it matures in order to both pollinate it and lay many eggs inside its developing seeds. Every fig is a wasp nursery *and* graveyard.


Insect populations in herbs can be contained thru freezing and eliminated by irradiation treatment. Since the second isn't practical for most people, try keeping bug- prone drygoods in the freezer- only take out what you intend to use within a few days.
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