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The secret extra animals in your food

Yes, you CAN have your peanut butter and some roaches, too! In the United States, it’s legal to get served a little extra protein in your PB&J. Even vegetarians get a little extra meat, whether they want it or not.

Here are some of the FDA’s regulations regarding acceptable levels of insect parts in food. Most of these regulations were made for “aesthetic” purposes only:

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Peanut butter: You can have up to 30 insect parts or 1 rodent hair per 100 grams.

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Chocolate: If you want that Hershey bar, go for it, and get yourself up to 60 insect fragments or a big, fat rodent hair in every 100 grams.

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Canned fruit juice: Have yourself a nice glass of orange juice—with up to one maggot for FREE!

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Cornmeal: If you want to go whole-hog, may we suggest some cornmeal? You can get up to one whole insect per 50 grams and up to 1 piece of rodent doo doo per 50 grams (on average) and be juuuust fine. Tamales and hushpuppies for everyone!

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Fish: Because we like oozy things, we’d love to see the stuff we’re allowed to eat on fish. With red fish and ocean perch, we can have copepods “accompanied by pus pockets,” and for blue fin and other freshwater herring, we can have up to 60 parasitic cysts per 100 fish.

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Hops: How about a beer? With an average of more than 2,500 aphids allowed […]

By |December 17th, 2014|Backbones, Bugs, No Backbones, Other Science|2 Comments

Lessons from the Schoolyard: Why Do Dogs Hump?

Sometimes you just need a good hump. If you’re a dog. We’re talking about dogs here. Why do dogs hump even when they’re not gettin’ it on? Check out the top five reasons:

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1. Play date!

By six weeks old, male and female puppies already start with those sexy pelvic thrusts as a normal, healthy part of play. Later in life, it could help dogs get attention from their buddies. Most research shows that mounting in play is one way that dogs win friends and influence doggies. It’s like saying, “Let’s be friends. Like me! Like me!” Keep this in mind for the playground, kids!

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2. Arousal and excitement

Fist pump? How about air hump? Sometimes dogs get excited about going in the car or playing at the park. Dogs. Get. Excited. Like cheering when your team scores a touchdown, a hump here or there could easily pop out during times of excitement.

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3. Nervous nancies

For dogs, mounting is a well-known displacement behavior, associated with emotional conflict or anxiety. If a new person or dog drops by the house, a nervous Nancy could quickly become a nervous humper.

Buzzhootroar_4_10nov144. Like a massage, but different

Some kids suck their thumbs to calm down; dogs don’t have thumbs, so some may get in the habit of mounting, say, a pillow, while winding down for the night. Who are you to judge?

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5. Who’s the boss?

Many folks think dog mounting is about dominance. Why not? It looks and feels all “dominance-y.” […]

By |December 3rd, 2014|Backbones|6 Comments