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Old 02-05-2009, 10:04 AM   #1
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black specs in cornmeal

Hi everyone! This is my first post so hopefully I'm putting this where it should be. :)

I'm new to baking and I just went to use some cornmeal and I saw that it had black specs in it. Last year we had some bugs in our pasta boxes and since then I've been PARANOID that bugs are in everything in my cupboards. Are these black specs normal? Or are they bug castings??

I looked through the cornmeal and don't see anything living so would there still be bugs in there if there had once been bugs?

Help! :)

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Old 02-05-2009, 10:26 AM   #2
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Were there a lot of them?
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Old 02-05-2009, 10:35 AM   #3
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I've never had black specs in my cornmeal; I'd toss it out.
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Old 02-05-2009, 10:51 AM   #4
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Its not uncommon to have a relative few darker specs amongst the yellow ones. But more than a few isn't good.
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:01 AM   #5
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I just checked my box of Alber's Yellow Corn Meal, which has been open for a year. There are a few darker pieces, maybe a couple in a teaspoonful, among the yellow specs. The darker ones are more brown than black, and they're the same size and shape as the yellow ones, so I'm confident that they're corn, not bug droppings.

BTW, I keep all my flour, sugar, cornmeal, etc., in ziplock bags or in the plastic bags in which I brought them home from the supermarket, tightly sealed with a twister. I transfer open boxes of cereal and grains (rice, etc.) to large sealable plastic containers. I haven't found a bug in anything in a long, long time, although we are occasionally plagued with silverfish in the cabinets.
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:03 AM   #6
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A few dark specs in commercial cornmeal is normal -- They come from the "hilar" on the corn kernel which connects the germ to the rest of the kernel. It also connects the kernel to the cob....They are harmless! In stone ground meal they are more numerous.
Check out your Fritos, and Doritios which are made from whole grain corn...You will think they added black pepper to them....

Enjoy!
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:10 AM   #7
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They sound like flour weevils to me, but I'm not a bug expert. If they were in your pasta it might be the same thing.

I don't know what do to about it. I'm divorced and single so I have room and keep everything in the fridge that's open.
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:12 AM   #8
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Yes, there's a lot. Some are bigger than others. I'm guessing I'm going to toss it. :(
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:17 AM   #9
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I get those in my cornmeal - I think Uncle Bob is right, just look at Frito's
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:23 AM   #10
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I agree. Not bugs, but just part of the corn when it is ground. I have it in mine too.
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