Story Time: Dead Things in My Food

Okay, so I should really be doing my Spanish homework right now, but it’s Thursday, and I had a test today, and my auto-immune allergies are going nuts (I am literally allergic to my own body, if you didn’t know), so you know what? Spanish can wait another fifteen minutes while I talk about this. Because I feel like this is a very important topic to discuss and it’s been bothering me lately.

I am a vegetarian. AND I KEEP FINDING DEAD THINGS IN MY FOOD.

I swear fate is out to get me or something, because I never used to have this sort of problem, back before I stopped eating meat. But in the past three years or so since I became a lacto-ovo vegetarian, I feel like I’ve been nearly constantly finding dead bugs and small animals in my food. Or sometimes even living bugs. Like one time there were moth larvae in my apple sauce, squirming around in there. I nearly threw up. In the middle of my high school cafeteria. But that would just add more gross to the already disgusting situation, so I managed to hold the puke down.

So that’s example number one.

Example number two: Dead moths and moth eggs in my cereal.

My house has this unfortunate habit of getting infested with insects every few years. One time it was house flies. Another it was moths. The house flies mainly took over the spare bedroom, so it wasn’t too big of a deal (or I’ve probably, actually just blocked out the memories because they were so horrifying, but whatever–what I can’t remember can’t hurt me, right?). The moths, on the other hand, were a massive deal, because they took over the pantry. Where all of our food was. And despite my best efforts to make sure I never picked up anything that looked like it had been tampered with by the moth invasion (well, quite a few times I actually did open a box of crackers or mac and cheese, only to find a bunch of eggs in it, but I never actually ate any; those went straight to the trash)–but anyway, at one point I did get my hands on a box of Special K that apparently had a few more vitamins in it than it had been manufactured with, and boom: halfway through eating a bowl of cereal, suddenly a dead moth comes floating to the surface of the milk. And I screamed so badly my mom thought I’d managed to pour scalding water all down the front of myself (again).

I didn’t eat any food out of the pantry for like the next two years, until my parents could prove without a doubt that all of the moths were gone, along with all of the food that had been around while they were. I kept all of my food in sealed containers in my bedroom. I’m not joking. No me gusta dead moths in my cereal.

Example number three: House fly in my jell-o.

I don’t know what dining halls are like at other colleges, but at the University of Michigan, the food selection mainly consists of two things: Meat. And dessert. Since I don’t eat the meat, I generally stock up on a lot of the dessert (I’m a really healthy person, you know).

Well, this one time I wasn’t feeling all that hungry (probably I’d had a few too many cookies the night before or something), so at the dessert counter I made sure to pick up the smallest bowl of jell-o available. This fact is important because that means I picked THAT bowl of jell-o to eat specifically. I could have had any of the bowls of jell-o, but no: I stood there and debated over the options and chose the smallest one possible.

Finished eating the rest of the meal, went to take a bite out of the jell-o, and what do I see sitting there, very dead and very jiggly in the middle of my very wiggly bowl of jell-o? A DEAD HOUSE FLY. A big fat one, too.

What made it even worse was the fact that I was at Spanish Lunch, where you’re not allowed to speak at all in English. And it was only like the third week of classes. So I honest-to-goodness had no way of communicating to anyone why I suddenly was looking rather green, outside of pointing to my jell-o and making grossed-out-faces. Like this:

Snapshot_20130131_6

This is a reenactment. No flies were harmed in the taking of this photo.

That’s the Michigan Difference for ya.

And now, for the most recent example and the one that’s been bothering me the most: Finding (what was quite likely) a dead mouse in my nachos.

I say “quite likely” because I didn’t want to look at it hard enough or long enough to figure out what it actually was.

The story basically goes like this:

One of my favoritest things to do when I want a snack is to make a couple plates of “nachos,” which are basically just tortilla chips with Kroger Mexican Cheese melted over them in the microwave, because I am too lazy and too picky to make anything more elaborate.

A couple of weeks ago, I was hungry, so I made some nachos, was eating them, and lo and behold, what did I find? A BURNT CHIP. IN MY NACHOS. This had never happened before, so it kind of startled me, but I figured it wasn’t a big deal, threw it out, and then kept on eating.

Finished that plate of nachos and I was still hungry, so I decided to make a second plate.

(Note that my bag of tortilla chips was nearly empty at this point, so I wasn’t really shaking some chips out onto my plate any more, as much as just turning the bag upside down and dumping what was left of its contents.)

Lo and behold, again–there was a SECOND BURNT CHIP.

Oh well, I thought. It’s just one chip. So I reached down to grab it off the plate before I sprinkled the cheese on, all prepared to throw it out like it wasn’t a big deal, but no–there was something stuck to it, hidden under the other chips. I pulled on the burnt chip until it and whatever was stuck to it came out from under the pile, and guess what. That “something” was this large, burnt grey mass that had fur sticking out of it.

Just like the bowl of cereal the moth was in, I had already eaten the majority of the food that had been touching this thing, because it had been at the bottom of the bag. The rest of the bag’s contents were in my stomach. Which meant that I had MORE THAN LIKELY INGESTED DEAD MOUSE PARTICLES.

I am a vegetarian. I go out of my way to avoid interacting with dead things, especially dead things on my plate, where they might end up in my stomach. And fate is just out to get me it seems, throwing one dead thing at me after another.

I’m like paranoid to eat anything now, because one of these times it’s going to be a full out dead cat hiding out in my pudding or something.

Anyway. I just thought this matter needed to be addressed–maybe fate needs written proof that I see what it’s doing (not so sneaky over there, are ya?). Sorry for the gross topic!

~Julia

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17 thoughts on “Story Time: Dead Things in My Food

  1. Pingback: Story Time: How I Met Darren Criss | Julia the Writer Girl

  2. I’m the worst pseudo-vegetarian out there, so in very hungry situations I’m fine with meat touching my food as long as I don’t have to eat the meat. But this was absolutely hair raising *shudders* I hate hate hate bugs (once I was chomping broccoli and found an EARWIG hidden between the stalks…couldn’t eat broccoli for a year) so I though the moth infestation would be the worst of it but nooooo the dead mouse x.x Definitely the worst.

    I guess luckily for me I run into more dead animals than find them in my food. During the xc season I ran into a dead raccoon just lying on the sidewalk and I screamed the loudest I’d ever had 😦

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  3. Yeah…

    Like I said, that mouse was supposed to go to a… um… business associate. BUT IT WASN’T MY FAULT. My secretary got the addresses mixed up… But don’t worry, she WON’T be making that mistake anymore. Come to think of it, she might not be doing much of anything anymore. (Larry was kind of hungry.)

    But I’d, um… I’d consider making some… uh… plans. The good news is that you’re a poor college student, so you don’t have to worry about money! 🙂

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    • Oh my goodness, hence why I wouldn’t trust you with Henry! haha

      Don’t worry, I’ll leave everything to you… just make sure to open that lovely little box marked “dangerous, lethal” first, okay? (Oh, and don’t worry about that label. It’s totally lying, dear. It’s full of… um… suckers and rainbows! Yeah. Suckers and rainbows. A whole box of ’em. Just for you. Just… ya know… make sure to open that box… before anything else…)

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  4. i too am a vegetarian and have had some similar experiences with moths in cereal and rice crackers but never as bad as the mouse incident. what it comes down to is you can examine your food for a while but that will get exhausting and you will let your guard down again and it might happen again (my complicated relationship with raisins) but you have to eat something for a while it just might not be raisins nachos or jello. in time i hope you feel better but understand i feel your pain

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    • It’s always just long enough between incidents that I forget to be freaked out about every single little thing I eat, and then BOOM: there’s another bug. I don’t know whether to be glad or horrified that you understand my problem, haha. It absolutely sucks.

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    • You know, I went the better part of a year not eating gelatin, but it was just too much for me, since it meant avoiding marshmallows, some cakes and pies, and 99% of the candy that my chocolate allergy still allows me to have, along with most yogurts, smoothies, and just–so much food. There was so much food I had to give up because it had gelatin in it. So this summer I finally just made the decision to start eating gelatin products again–in moderation, of course (I still only have them every once in a while; probably a couple of times a month, max)–but it made me feel like I was finally free to eat what I wanted to again.

      I know it’s not good, eating gelatin. I know it makes me a bad person, because it’s made from animals. But there are just some things I can’t go without and remain healthy–namely yogurt, since it’s one of the few sources of protein you can get on a college campus.

      But anyway, that’s my spiel, and yeah; I feel guilty about eating jell-o. But honestly, I avoid so many other things that so many other vegetarians still eat and use (fish, leather, etc) that I feel like people should really stop yelling at me about it (note: not you two–there were some vegetarians at my high school who’d start lecturing me about gelatin every time I went for a Star Burst). We all make decisions about what we eat and don’t eat–how far we’re willing to go. And gelatin is, unfortunately, the stopping point for me.

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      • Also, just a head’s up on the jell-o you see in my hand in that picture: that stuff’s gelatin-free. The only time I ever eat regular jell-o is when it’s basically my only choice of food in the dining hall.

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      • i cant stand when people who eat fish claim to be vegetarians but jelliton is fine. i hadn’t realized starburst were a vegan no no. and also i used to be allergic to chocolate but i out grew it and now can have it in moderation. food is totally on in individual basis on what to eat but the important thing is that you know your boundaries as do i and even if they are different others should not judge us people of the meat free variety.

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        • Honestly, I don’t think people should judge what others’ eat anyway, meat or no meat, as long as they, like, aren’t eating other humans. Because that is just fundamentally wrong.

          Yeah, a lot of foods you wouldn’t expect have gelatin. When I wasn’t eating it, I went kind of crazy trying to keep track of every little thing that went in my mouth, checking ingredients lists online and stuff. It was insane.

          A brief list of some popular foods that contain gelatin: http://voices.yahoo.com/surprising-sweets-snacks-contain-gelatin-6104970.html

          NO WAY, you outgrew your chocolate allergy? You’re so lucky!! My entire family is allergic, back through as many generations as we can get that sort of information from, but I didn’t have it too bad when I was younger (I’d just get hives and an upset stomach if I ate very much, while my brother would get a high fever and start throwing up everywhere and have to go to the hospital and all that jazz, practically just from looking at it wrong), so we thought I might outgrow it when I reached puberty, since the allergy was so weak in me, but no. Instead it just keeps getting stronger and stronger, and at this point I’m moderately airborne allergic to it, which sucks.

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          • yeah it runs in my family and it was hives for me too but around age 10 my dr. tested me and i turned out to be able to have it in moderation because if i ate like a whole devils food cake in one sitting i will get acme and the alergie may come back but one of my brothers and my mom never have. also that list is crazy pop tarts like i dont eat them but who would have suspected that?

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