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I Know an Old Lady that Swallowed a Fly

spider
15 Jun
16

spiderI know an old lady that swallowed a fly……………….

What is the average number of insects and spiders humans eat unaware? According to the experts not very many.

In terms of creatures that crawl into your mouth while you sleep … likely zero. Insects are not that stupid. They will not crawl into the warm, moist, CO2-exhaling cave that is pretty obviously the entrance to something big and living. Granted, some insects like roaches do occasionally crawl into ears and get stuck, but that’s very rare. The idea that we swallow a certain number of spiders every lifetime/year/night is just an urban legend.

What about in our food? That’s a different issue. Because crops are almost always infested with insects, the harvests will usually have pieces of insect too. The amount of insecticides or controls you would need to keep a farm 100% insect free is so high that it would cost more to control the insects than one would get from selling the crops. Plus, at certain levels, the damage from insects is not even noticed. 

The point is, crops will always have insects on them, no matter where they came from or how they were grown, so whatever you buy at the store or market, especially processed food, will have teeny tiny quantities of insect parts. These are harmless to humans—insects are edible, after all!  So, assuming the food you ate was as defective as possible, you may have eaten enough parts to make a few whole insects … but you’d have never noticed, and it would all be extra protein anyway.

I don’t know why she swallowed the fly, I guess she’ll die!

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