I'm fully aware that the FDA allows a certain amount of insect parts (and other unsavory contaminants, like rodent hair and cigarette butts) in food--I just don't like thinking about it very much. Are you with me? Still... this link between chocolate allergies and, ahem, cockroach fragments is worth finding out more about.
Here it is: most people who are allergic to chocolate are actually not allergic to chocolate. They're allergic to the cockroach parts that are in chocolate.
The average chocolate bar contains about eight bug parts. (The FDA allows up to 30 bug parts per bar.) Allergists says eliminating cockroaches from cocoa is impossible; the contamination happens at the beans' source (farms), and using chemical pesticides to eliminate the bugs completely would actually be worse for your health than ingesting them.
So people may suffer allergy flare-ups after eating chocolate due to the cockroaches. Reports MSNBC: "The roach bits can affect people with asthma, as well causing migraines, cramps, itching or hives in people who are allergic to them." Oh, and it's not just chocolate that allergy sufferers should beware of; cockroach parts can also be found in peanut butter, macaroni, fruit, cheese, popcorn and wheat.
But if you're thinking of trying to nix foods that contain bug parts, better think again: Morton Teich, an allergist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine says that avoiding insects in your food is "almost impossible. You probably would have to stop eating completely."
Do you ever think about these kinds of "natural contaminants" that are in the foods we eat every day? Does it gross you out? Are you at peace with it? Are you--or anyone you know--allergic to chocolate?