Why you may have been eating bugs without realising it

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share to Google Classroom

If you are horrified by the thought of eating insects, the bad news is that you have probably done so many, many times.

This is because one of the most widely used red food colourings – carmine – is made from crushed up bugs.

The insects used to make carmine are called cochineal, and are native to Latin America where they live on cacti.

Now farmed mainly in Peru, millions of the tiny insects are harvested every year to produce the colouring.

Carmine is added to everything from yoghurts and ice creams, to fruit pies, soft drinks, cupcakes and donuts.

It is also used extensively in the cosmetics industry and is found in many lipsticks.


Peru leads the way in production of carmine. The country has a 95% share of the international market.

This creates work for no less than 32,600 farmers.


59 Responses

  1. EWWWW!!!!! I will never eat those things [ well , only sometimes ]

  2. Yuk. Never eating red stuff again. Never never never never never never never never! I ate a yoghurt today and now I feel sick thinking about it. I feel the vomit.. EWW

  3. Well actually its fine because we have been eating it our whole lives and nothing bad has happened to us so I think I’ll probably still eat red stuff because its just a few bugs. 🙂 An yes it is gross but like I said we have been eating it our whole lives.

  4. wow ,my sister was saying that there was bugs in tomato sauce but i said your crazy who told you that!

  5. thats funny cause recently our teacher told us about around 2bil eat insects and now i know its much more then that

  6. haha don’t really care. I’m going to eat it anything, and they’re good for you

  7. yuck yuck yuck yuck yuck yuck yuck i can not believe it i love those things and sad for the bugs over 1,0000 thats heaps of lives

  8. Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    those foods are nice
    so the bugs must be to

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

In a hair-raising tale from Uttar Pradesh, India, meet Smita...
In a bizarre incident in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia,...
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards are back, and this year...
Twenty-six-year-old Kalpana Balan from India, has clinched a coveted spot...

World & National News

Christmas is just around the corner, and what better way...
Jonathan, a Seychelles giant tortoise, recently celebrated his 191st birthday...
In a bizarre incident in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia,...