Sunday, September 22, 2013

Boll weevils in rice, brown mangoes, moldy peaches

Lundberg Organic Brown Long Grain Rice is grown in California, but Della Organic from Costco Wholesale comes from Arkansas. Consumer Reports says some rice growers in the South use old cotton fields, where arsenic was applied to kill boll weevils, leaving traces of the poison in the rice crop.


We're having a run of bad luck with spoiled food -- from boll weevils in organic brown rice to fruit not ripening or sprouting mold.

Most troublesome are the tiny beetles my wife found when she was preparing Della-brand Organic Long Grain Brown Rice from Costco Wholesale.

When she added chicken broth to the brown rice in an electric cooker, she saw live boll weevils floating to the top.

Old cotton fields?

I recall that when Della brown rice first appeared at my Hackensack Costco, I tried unsuccessfully to reach a company official to find out if it came from old cotton fields in Arkansas.

I stopped buying white rice grown in the South many years ago after Consumer Reports told readers about tests that found traces of arsenic from use of the poison to control boll weevils in cotton fields.

H Mart, the Korean supermarket chain, sells several brands of California-grown white rice, including the deeply discounted Kokuho Yellow Label.

Rice from Amazon

This year, I ordered California-grown Lundberg brown rice from when the Della brand disappeared from the shelves at Costco in Hackensack.

Then, when the Lundberg product finished, I bought another 12-pound bag of Della brown rice, and that's the one with the boll weevils.

This morning, I again ordered Lundberg Organic Brown Long Grain Rice from, even though it is more expensive (about $24 for six 2-pound bags).

Spoiling fruit

Last Sunday, I bought a box of eight jumbo mangoes from Brazil at H Mart in Little Ferry for $9.99.

When my wife cut open two of them, they were brown inside, and I plan to return the spoiled fruit for a full refund today.

A second batch of Jersey peaches from the Paramus ShopRite took days to ripen on the kitchen counter -- like the first -- and were mealy or not that sweet.

One got moldy and had to be thrown away.

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  1. Those might not be "boll weevils" but instead "rice or granary weevils". The rice weevil will have 4 little yellowish-brown spots on its tiny back. They are very tough to control, as they hide their eggs within the grains of rice. So there is a reasonable chance that you are eating these bugs a large portion of the time you eat rice. If not then you are more than likely eating poison.

    1. I stopped buying that brand of organic brown rice. Now, I buy Lundberg Organic Brown Rice from California.

      What do you mean "eating poison"? That sounds hysterical.

  2. Victor, they probably mean if you aren't eating weevils they have probably sprayed rice crop with toxic insecticides. ..although if organic..I doubt it..they have strict guidelines about that. Also we eat bugs, worms, weevils in many of our foods unknowingly. I am not losing sleep over that. But if there are rodents getting into grains in the processing plants or stores, that can have more serious consequences.

  3. This is so gross. I have a bag of Della Organic Long Grain Brown Rice in my house now. It is FULL of bugs. I will lose sleep over it. YUCK!

    1. Sorry to hear it, Katid.

      I have been buying Lundberg Organic Brown Rice from for more than 2 years now, and have never found anything but long-grain rice in the 2-pound bags. Under the Subscribe & Save program, I get six bags at the same time for a reduced price.

      Yes. Lundberg is more expensive, but worth the peace of mind.


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