Saturday, November 9, 2013

ARE YOU WASHING YOUR..RICE?



Greetings, Everyone! I hope all is well.
Ok, so let's talk..food..Oh, and pests. Yeah, not a charming combo we care to think of. Well, did you know that it's not uncommon to find pests such as 'rice weevils' or 'confused flour beetles' and their larvae in your dried goods such as corn meal, rice, flour and other dried goods. I also captured a pic of some freshly opened organic rice that I found a couple, well 2, of these little buggers floating around in. So, I thought it would be awesome to chat about what to do to prevent them from infesting your pantries and cabinets and further invading your other dried goods.

WELL..HOW ON EARTH DO THEY GET INTO THE FOOD?

It's not rare to bugs or 'rice weevils' inside of your rice packet(s). They can enter one of two ways: Sometimes they are already in the rice when you buy it, particularly their larvae. This happens when the insects lay their eggs in the crops, and when the crops are harvested, they end up in the packages. They usually go undetected because they are hard to detect with the naked eye. After some time, the eggs hatch and they end up in the dried goods. Another way they enter is by opened packages from your cabinet or pantry.

WELL..WHAT DO I DO ABOUT IT?


  • ONE: Check ALL stored open packages in your pantry or cabinet for bugs. They LOVE grains such as rice, quinoa, buckewheat, flour, cornmeal, cereal, crackers, etc. Throw away any or all packages that contain the bugs. Once they have infested one package of dried goods, they can not be safely eliminated and may contaminate other dried goods. 
  • TWO: As soon as you purchase any dried goods, such as rice, quinoa, etc, place them in airtight containers and place in the freezer for at least 1 week, or you can choose to keep them continuously stored in the freezer if you already have an infestation in your cabinet or pantry. Placing them in the freezer helps to kill any larvae. You can also place dried chillis (peppers) in the airtight containers as the bugs hate the chilli.  
  • THREE: Thoroughly wash and cleanse your rice. Usually you can tell if your rice has been infested once you place the rice into water, as the pests will float to the top of the water. Discard if you do find infested rice.  Even if you do not see any, it is a good practice to thoroughly cleanse your rice that you are preparing to cook immediately. Repeat the cleansing two to three times, then proceed to cook. 
  • FOUR: Store ALL dried goods into air tight containers. I have included some pics below of how we store our dried goods as well as herbs and spices in our cabinets and pantry. As always, I hope this helps.

OUR HAPPY PANTY

Here is a quick photo of a pot of rice I was preparing and cleansing from an un opened bag of organic brown rice. As you can see, the package was already infested with hatched weevils. This package was not freezer stored as we had just purchased this the same day :-(








 Our dry goods stored in the freezer before preparing.










We store our dry goods, once opened in air tight containers in our pantry.












As well as our herbs and loose leaf teas in glass mason jars once opened.








As well as our spices, we store them in smaller mason jars..those pesky rascals like spices as well.















This has nothing to do with dried goods, but for some reason, mentally, it makes me feel better to have everything completely clean, organized and neat. We reuse paper bags from Trader Joes to hold our potatoes and onions. I simply cut the bags in half and use them like storage bins. Everything has a place.









7 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Great suggestions. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Love your mason jar tea and spice storage!

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  3. nice post and also it too usefull....
    thanks a lot more

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  4. I have even found the weevils in my crisco shortening. That is the first place I found them and then in my large bags of rice (unopened but infested). Thanks for your tips on using Mason Jars. My airtight containers were not so airtight and I will be looking to purchase new ones. Another great idea is to use ziploc bags to store your spices if you get the smaller ones (like cream of tartar). I have been doing this for years and so far, no bugs!

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