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Moths-should I throw everything out?

Hard lesson.  Keeping organic beans, tvp and other grains in plastic bags is a big no no. Containers is a big yes.

I've thrown out over a $150 worth of food.

I still have some beans left and and they don't look contaminated but well looks can be deceiving. I know eggs burrow.

Should I just chuck the beans too?

I still have sunflower seeds and walnuts (not organic).  Should I chuck them?

Sigh...now I have to shop again to stock up.  Throwing out dulse, flaxseeds and cocoa powder hurt...really.  :'(

OH no....
Um... I would toss them.
OR you could throw the bag in the freezer overnight....?
I know some people suggest doing that with bagged beans when the come home from the store anyway, cuz who knows what they have at the store....

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Put them in canisters for a few weeks, and see if anything grows. If not, they're good to cook and eat. Insects have some foods they like, and others they won't touch. Our moths love walnuts, but don't touch coconut.

For canisters, I have plastic ones from the dollar store that work great and hold up to a gallon each (they have smaller ones, too). I like the plastic because I am clumsy and it doesn't break when I drop it, and I have a bad back and it is lighter. Empty glass pickle jars are great, too. Sometimes natural foods (grains, legumes, nuts) are sold with the moths already in them - I have seen them this way at the store, and have also had the misfortune of buying them that way. Since they are natural food without excess processing or chemicals, the bugs like them better (sometimes bugs have good taste!) Put them in canisters as soon as you walk in the door -and they only get in the food they came home in, not in everything you own.

Sorry about the waste! :-\

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As a prior sales representative for a company selling bulk natural and organic products, I offer this advice:
I'm not sure exactly what type of moths you have, but they, like all living creatures want to make a home and need food air, and water to live.
First of all I would recommend removing everything from your cabinet and cleaning it out thoroughly. 1 tbsp of bleach in 1 gallon of water is all you need to disinfect.  Just wipe everything down and let air dry.
Any food you had in the cabinet, that you prefer not to waste I recommend sealing in two layers of plastic garbage bags, airtight. (one bag inside the other)  Leave sealed for 2 moth  lifecycles.  ( you will have to do a little research to determine what kind of moth you have, I forgot the life cycles, but it will be at least 6 weeks or more) This will kill any living moths, or any larvae, since they need air to breathe.  (the larvae is not noticeable to the naked eye, or will be noticeable in the food you cook.  Personally, I think all of it is quite edible, and I had no problem using beans that I isolated, the quality was not compromised.)
To avoid re-infestation:
There are moth traps that you can hang in your storage area or kitchen, (like sticky fly traps) I recommend getting one or two.  Your local natural/organic market will have them or should be able to help you find them, if they sell bulk dry food.
Moths love moist environments, that are quiet, and dark in that order.  Therefore keep the storage area as dry as possible.  Quiet?  Simply shaking the container or bag they might try to nest is enough - we would recommend that the store employees simply shake or jar the bulk bins once a day where they dispensed bulk products to keep moths from nesting.
Your best bet to avoid waste and infestation is to buy no more than what you will use in a month or two.  Dry products degrade rapidly anyway, so the nutrititive value is compromised past 6 months.
I hope this helps, and good luck!  Remember, they are protein, so eating one won't kill you, though it may disgust you!

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I never even thought about getting moths from the store!  :-\

Do you guys do anything special when you buy grains and oatmeal from the bin besides putting them in plastic bins. Jeez they could have eggs in them that I'm not even aware of from the store.

Does cooking it in hot water kill the eggs if they happen to sneak buy?

Thanks Jennifer...I'll definitely freeze beans overnite.

Any other tips for future health food store buying?

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maiforpeace- thank you so much for your thoughtful reply!!!

My friend implied if I ate the eggs it would be like having parasites in my body like worms. I'm not so worried about yuck its a moth but YUCK there are LIVING eggs in my body...although I have NO idea what I'm talking about.  :D

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Wow maiforpeace great info!

Eggs living in your body?? Nah....
think of what omnis eat! I'm sure it's not an iota as bad as that!

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Jennifer is right - those eggs wouldn't make it past all those gnarly acids in your stomach!

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Sorry for the hard lesson.  I learned that one a few years ago.  YUK! 

I freeze or refrigerate everything I get in bulk.  Flour, nuts, seeds, nut.yeast, beans, sugar, pasta, grains, coffee, etc  ad nauseum.  Some may say overkill, but I've not seen another one of the little flying bastards in my food since.  :P

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I have actually never had a problem keeping bulk food in plastic bags...  but I did once buy some flax seed and then get home and realize it had worms in it.  Ewwwww!

My advice is don't buy too much at once, as the longer it sets the greater the chance for infestation and/or hatching.  I don't think the bugs are always a matter of infestation once home from the store...  the eggs may be there, but you are blissfully ignorant until they hatch! 

Don't buy from a store that doesn't have a high turnover.

Look at the item when you buy it - in the bin and in the bag, before you leave the store. 

Freeze whatever you won't use in a timely fashion - or as a matter of course, if you have the freezer space.  We don't, so I rely mainly on not buying massive quantities at a time.

If your purchase is a recent one and it is buggy, let the store know!!!  They will want to empty and clean their bins.

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I actually take my glass storage jars to the store and fill everything right into those and don't open them up until I use the food inside. I haven't had any infestations, even when my roommate had an infestation in her cereal box. Make EVERYTHING in your pantry airtight if in any way possible. I don't even leave cereal in it's box because you can't re-seal the bags. So I put cereal into glass jars. My mom puts them into plastic bins, I'm just not a big plastic fan, but it works too. The big metal containers from coffee are good too, and their plastic lids fit reasonably tight.

PS: people are posting like crazy today. I couldn't read and respond to this thread without 6 people replying (and that was in about 3 minutes).

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If your purchase is a recent one and it is buggy, let the store know!!!  They will want to empty and clean their bins.

Good point!!

I feel for you NoIllusions, my freezer is the size of a shoe box (literally) so I'd be stuck tossing a lot stuff! LOL

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Veg Anna, I agree, I have never seen this much activity so fast on any forum!  I guess this tells us all what is on our minds (or stomachs!)

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check everything and store things in some type of airtight containers. my family has had tons of trouble with moths. 2 natural remedies are to get cedar chips or a cedar block and put them throughout your cabinets or you can try putting bay leaves throughout the cabinets. i dont think that they kill the moths but they ward them off somehow.

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thanks for the responses.

Just got MORE plastic containers, and some glass containers. 

Its a good lesson though.

I'm renting right now, so when I buy a house in the future now hopefully I won't have this problem.

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Sorry for the hard lesson.  I learned that one a few years ago.  YUK! 

I freeze or refrigerate everything I get in bulk.  Flour, nuts, seeds, nut.yeast, beans, sugar, pasta, grains, coffee, etc  ad nauseum.  Some may say overkill, but I've not seen another one of the little flying bastards in my food since.  :P

Ditto, my family always thought I was nuts for keeping so much stuff in my refrigerator and freezer....looks like I'm not the only nut.....but yeah I'll admit it....I am kinda nutty..... :D

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Actually what CAN you keep in the freezer???

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I read like three entries into this post and then got scared and raced into the kitchen to clean out my cupboard.  The few bags of rice, couscous, and dried beans that weren't in glass jars or tupperware got "secured"  ;D

I've only had problems with bugs showing up in my flour, so I keep pretty much all my baking supplies (flours, gluten, powdered soy milk, etc. in the fridge).  Flours last longer this way, too.  I also keep all nuts and seeds in the fridge (again, keeps them safe from bugs but also keeps them from going rancid as quickly).

After reading this post, though, all my rice and dried beans are going to stay in tupperware or glass jars, so hopefully I don't have to learn "the hard way."  Thanks for sharing your knowledge, everyone!

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that stinks you have to toss all that out, too bad your weren't closer to me my chickens and the wildlife around here would LOVE to eat some of that stuff (and my chickens say the moths are a bonus bok bok)!

I'm guessing you have pantry moths?  My friend had them a few years back, they sneak in via food..so it's not your house, it's the food and it happens. They make these little trap things that do a pretty good job, there's no pesticides in them. It's a triangular cardboard "hut" with sticky tape and I believe moth pheramone inside to attract them.

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