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To feel so grossed out by all the bugs...

(31 Posts)
BehindEveryCloud Thu 29-Jan-15 23:31:54

... That I've just eaten in bloody tesco finest red velvet cake??

Friend brought it over for lunch. She had 1/8... Through the day I have eaten about 1/2 of the cake (possibly more blush)

One slice left. About to throw box away and see "not suitable for vegetarians". Out of curiosity, start googling ingredients starting with cochineal.


YES I've probably been hidden under a rock to have never realise until now that it's made out of bugs. Female bugs. Not sure why that makes a difference but prob makes me think of them on their periods releasing this red dye.

Anyway. Not really an AIBU but needed to rant and maybe have someone tell me they would have been just as thick ignorant as me in not realising sooner.

Seriously feel sick and also hate tesco because the cake was actually quite nice. I don't understand the need to put squashed bugs in a cake... Is that was qualifies it as "Finest"??

FightOrFlight Thu 29-Jan-15 23:36:51

Sorry, can't help you here - I've known about cochineal for years.

If it's any consolation very few vegetarians worry about cochineal for some reason.

RandomNPC Thu 29-Jan-15 23:38:49

Isn't the colour from their crushed shells?

FightOrFlight Thu 29-Jan-15 23:39:22

BTW, Cochineal is also called carmine in some foods. You also want to watch out for shellac

"Shellac is derived from the excretions of the Kerria lacca insect, most commonly found in the forests of Thailand"

Middleagedmotheroftwo Thu 29-Jan-15 23:40:21

They're only bugs!

FightOrFlight Thu 29-Jan-15 23:42:23

Random I think they use the whole of the insect (females only) not just the shells.

BehindEveryCloud Thu 29-Jan-15 23:42:49

Shockingly, I'm not usually so dense. Very embarrassed that this slipped by me and questioning how capable I really I am to function alone with day to day tasks such as eating cake

KingJoffreyObviouslyWatchesHol Thu 29-Jan-15 23:45:04

Apparently the average person swallows a couple of spiders a year.

I had a flatmate who woke up with one in his mouth.

BehindEveryCloud Thu 29-Jan-15 23:45:30

Middleagedmotheroftwo - I have an image of stuffing a handful of live bugs into my mouth.

Tbf, could be the quantity of cake making me feel sick

someonestolemynick Thu 29-Jan-15 23:45:47

It is a very common red food dye. You would have eaten it on many occasions. It's in s lot of sweets.

FightOrFlight Thu 29-Jan-15 23:47:25

there will only be a tiny amount in the cake - not even a whole bug's worth!

Some people can have quite bad allergic reactions to it though sad

It's sometimes used in red lipsticks too.

BehindEveryCloud Thu 29-Jan-15 23:47:40

Yuck at spider in mouth. How big was it?

Obviously I'm just not very good with the whole eating bugs thing (maybe need time for my newfound knowledge to sink in ... I'll probably be downing bottles of cochineal soon)

Middleagedmotheroftwo Thu 29-Jan-15 23:47:42

They were long dead by the time they got into your cake. Bugs don't have a brain or feelings in the way animals do. And fewer bugs in the world has to be a good thing, surely? hmm

BertieBotts Thu 29-Jan-15 23:49:14

You haven't eaten bugs, though, you've eaten a chemical compound which is produced by bugs. Not dissimilar from eating eggs or milk.

It's really common - E122 I think? One of the richer coloured natural red colourings, a lot of them are artificial (with unknown effects on health/behaviour) or they are weaker in colour.

BehindEveryCloud Thu 29-Jan-15 23:49:56

THANK YOU FightOrFlight that comment about it not being a while bugs worth actually makes me feel a lot better flowers and the rest of my cake

FightOrFlight Thu 29-Jan-15 23:50:02

E120 Bertie

BehindEveryCloud Thu 29-Jan-15 23:50:26

Whole not while*

BertieBotts Thu 29-Jan-15 23:51:33

Ah thanks Flight smile

FightOrFlight Thu 29-Jan-15 23:52:07

No cake for me thanks (vegan) even without the bugs the egg would rule it out < will accept vodka instead though >

throwinshapes Thu 29-Jan-15 23:55:01

I'm a veggie that looks out for and avoids cochineal. Vile.
That said we do eat shitloads of insect/ insect parts esp in the likes of flour and bread.
However, can do nowt about that (aside from avoid bread/ flour/ pasta CAKES! blush)

kinkytoes Thu 29-Jan-15 23:55:36

I never realised this. But the colour of the cake looked so fake it put me off anyway. Ironic!

Iggi999 Thu 29-Jan-15 23:56:15

"Very few vegetarians worry about cochineal" - all the ones I know do, hence no smarties! Surely there must be another just-as-good dye that could be used?

FightOrFlight Thu 29-Jan-15 23:58:47

Glad to hear that Iggi

I used to be a moderator on a veggie/vegan forum and a lot of the veggies were 'meh' about cochineal. Then again they didn't seem that bothered about gelatin either < boak >

I thought they stopped using cochineal in Smarties and started using artificial colour?

RandomNPC Thu 29-Jan-15 23:59:34

The 'eating spiders in your sleep' thing is a bit of a myth:

RandomNPC Fri 30-Jan-15 00:00:57

I've refused to eat Smarties since they stopped putting letters on the lid.

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