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Author Topic: Tiny little bugs in my rice.  (Read 9545 times)

Offline Tom_Waygook

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Tiny little bugs in my rice.
« on: May 24, 2011, 08:48:57 PM »
So I keep a large bag of rice in my room. My relatives bought it for me and are Korean so I thought nothing of it when they left the bag open (because that is the Korean way?). Well today I noticed some little critters crawling around inside. Gross I know. So let me go ahead and describe them. They are tiny, and have a sort of long snout. I've seen them before when I was a kid. They just like to hang out in rice bags I guess.

Does anyone have a clue as to what they are? Dare I ask if the rice is still edible?

Offline jaspar

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Re: Tiny little bugs in my rice.
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2011, 08:58:34 PM »
I forget what they're called, but I know that gets common when the weather becomes warmer and more humid. I always either seal my rice in a plastic container or keep the bag in the fridge.

I don't know if it's edible, but I know I wouldn't eat it just because of the gross factor.

Offline glb0b

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Re: Tiny little bugs in my rice.
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2011, 09:27:37 PM »
If they have a long snout they are weevils.  They are probably rice weevils. If you can get over the grossness and want to eat the rice it shouldn't do you any harm. You can kill the weevils by putting the rice in the freezer for a few days.

siamagoo

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Re: Tiny little bugs in my rice.
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2011, 09:33:22 PM »
I had this happen to me last year. Stupid foreigner that I am, I stored my rice out with my washing machine.

Ever since a Korean mother told me that my rice tastes funny because I don't wash it, I've been giving it a few rinses before cooking it. After the black bugs moved in over the summer, rinsing my rice had the added bonus of evicting these tiny uninvited guests. I ate like this for about 6 months, and I'm still alive.

Since then, a Korean friend has advised me to store my uncooked rice in those big water bottles. That's what her mom does. This seems kinda overkill, but moms do seem to know their stuff.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2011, 09:48:11 PM by siamagoo »

Offline laizamaria

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Re: Tiny little bugs in my rice.
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2011, 10:10:55 PM »
When I was a child and lived in the Indian Ocean tropics, our rice usually came with weevils. Actually, we would be very surprised if it didn't. This does not mean the rice was dirty, just that the weather conditions in transit caused this. We would just remove them one by one (which takes about 15 minutes for a kg of rice), murder them (I loved that part), and then wash the rice several times by running it under cold water and running our hands through the rice to move it around. I believe the latter helped to bring eggs etc that may still be in the rice, to the top/to float. Then we would pour the dirty water out. We'd do this usually until the water would become fairly clear (not absolutely)... It's much easier and straightforward than I'm making it out to be. Sorry. Putting the rice in the freezer will also kill them and make picking them out easier.
The weevil rice did me no harm. I am a healthy, strong 24 year old!
My extra piece of advice is to 2nd putting your rice in sealed containers. Large empty water bottles siamagoo mentioned is a really good idea. Or get really large tupperware containers.
 :) Good luck...
« Last Edit: May 24, 2011, 10:24:56 PM by laizamaria »
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Offline gookie

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Re: Tiny little bugs in my rice.
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2011, 01:38:26 AM »
It happened to my last Sept when I bought my first bag of rice and I noticed those long-snout critters in my rice. However, i didn't think too much of it and simply rinsed my rice as usual and this also rinsed away the buggies. As for whether it is edible, I didn't notice a change in taste and can't recall that i got sick from eating the rice.

Offline mr sam teacher

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Re: Tiny little bugs in my rice.
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2011, 02:54:37 AM »
My Korean mother-in-law always puts a few cloves of dried garlic and a few dried peppers in the rice bag to keep out the weevils. It works beautifully. If there are already weevils in the rice when you buy it, rinsing it before cooking will take care of them.

But if you let them sit in a bag of rice for too long, they will lay eggs. Their eggs are in big sticky clumps, which can be very difficult to remove. As earlier posters mentioned, putting the rice in the freezer should prevent this.

Offline sambib

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Re: Tiny little bugs in my rice.
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2011, 05:00:07 AM »
Rice is going to get washed anyway. There are bugs on veggies before they get put in stores.


So I keep a large bag of rice in my room. My relatives bought it for me and are Korean so I thought nothing of it when they left the bag open (because that is the Korean way?). Well today I noticed some little critters crawling around inside. Gross I know. So let me go ahead and describe them. They are tiny, and have a sort of long snout. I've seen them before when I was a kid. They just like to hang out in rice bags I guess.

Does anyone have a clue as to what they are? Dare I ask if the rice is still edible?

Offline nzer-in-gyeongnam

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Re: Tiny little bugs in my rice.
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2011, 10:29:14 AM »
As others have said, yes, those are weevils. They're not harmful... they're just looking for a food source and somewhere warm to sleep.

To prevent them from moving into your rice, keep it in a vacuum sealed container. In Japan, they have drawers specially designed to store your rice, that have a sealable lid inside the drawer. I don't know why Korea doesn't do the same.

Washing your rice before cooking should be a normal step anyway, even if you're using a rice cooker. Put your rice into your cooker bowl, add water, swirl around a few times and then get your hand in and mix the rice like you'd do if you were kneading a dough. Tip out the water carefully and repeat 2 to 3 times. Add more water and then cook. By washing the rice, you're a) getting rid of bugs and larvae that may be present, b) removing some of the starch from the rice and c) improving the flavor of your rice. If its washed in cold water, the pores of the rice open a little and when they're cooked in the heat of the cooker let out more flavornoids.
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Offline Damien

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Re: Tiny little bugs in my rice.
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2011, 10:34:52 AM »
As others have said, yes, those are weevils. They're not harmful... they're just looking for a food source and somewhere warm to sleep.

To prevent them from moving into your rice, keep it in a vacuum sealed container. In Japan, they have drawers specially designed to store your rice, that have a sealable lid inside the drawer. I don't know why Korea doesn't do the same.

Washing your rice before cooking should be a normal step anyway, even if you're using a rice cooker. Put your rice into your cooker bowl, add water, swirl around a few times and then get your hand in and mix the rice like you'd do if you were kneading a dough. Tip out the water carefully and repeat 2 to 3 times. Add more water and then cook. By washing the rice, you're a) getting rid of bugs and larvae that may be present, b) removing some of the starch from the rice and c) improving the flavor of your rice. If its washed in cold water, the pores of the rice open a little and when they're cooked in the heat of the cooker let out more flavornoids.

Yes, she is right. Always wash your rice. There is lots of extra starch just sitting there, not to mention other things. Wash it with cold water and you can just see the water turn white from the extra starch.
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Offline justanotherwaygook

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Re: Tiny little bugs in my rice.
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2011, 10:37:10 AM »
As others have said, yes, those are weevils. They're not harmful... they're just looking for a food source and somewhere warm to sleep.

To prevent them from moving into your rice, keep it in a vacuum sealed container. In Japan, they have drawers specially designed to store your rice, that have a sealable lid inside the drawer. I don't know why Korea doesn't do the same.

Washing your rice before cooking should be a normal step anyway, even if you're using a rice cooker. Put your rice into your cooker bowl, add water, swirl around a few times and then get your hand in and mix the rice like you'd do if you were kneading a dough. Tip out the water carefully and repeat 2 to 3 times. Add more water and then cook. By washing the rice, you're a) getting rid of bugs and larvae that may be present, b) removing some of the starch from the rice and c) improving the flavor of your rice. If its washed in cold water, the pores of the rice open a little and when they're cooked in the heat of the cooker let out more flavornoids.
Those drawers do exist, they're just not in every apartment.

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Offline IslandGook

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Re: Tiny little bugs in my rice.
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2011, 10:43:19 AM »
I'll agree totally with the storing rice in a sealable container.  Also, that garlic/pepper idea is golden.  I hadn't heard that before for this particular problem, but it seems sensible to me, as we used to use similar combos in the garden to keep critters away from certain plants. 

While washing is totally necessary, I'll just throw out there that if you can find whole grain brown rice (it is available here, but a little harder to track down), then actually soaking it in water overnight will "activate" the rice grains.  That is, it will make them start to sprout.  Supposedly that has some health benefits, as the rice starts to metabolize some of the enzymes that it has been storing and makes them more available for your digestion too. 

Offline hankmcmasters

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Re: Tiny little bugs in my rice.
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2011, 10:59:51 AM »
my korean boss in busan would keep his rice in a ceramic cask with a wooden lid.  it had little legs so it was standing off the ground a bit.

i've gotten weevils in my rice in america before too, it happens everywhere. i usually kept my rice in the refrigerator then, and i do the same now.  contrary to what everyone here said, i would throw out my rice whenever there were weevils.  i don't really have a reason except that i like to eat bug free rice.  the good thing about seeing weevils is that it means the rice is relatively clean, its not too laden with pesticides.

also, you can buy sprouted brown rice and organic brown rice from "Jayeon Dream" stores http://www.icoop.or.kr/
the sprouted rice is vacuum packed.   happy hunting

Offline azk00

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Re: Tiny little bugs in my rice.
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2011, 03:10:34 PM »
omg i did not know of this. i am going to put my rice bag in my fridge now ><

Offline rubenporto

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Re: Tiny little bugs in my rice.
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2011, 03:32:33 PM »
I'll be changing the way I store my rice. cheers for the info!

Offline GLondonful

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Re: Tiny little bugs in my rice.
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2011, 03:32:39 PM »
Rice bugs are edible.  My mother used to joke with me growing up that they are extra protein.  (Not that we ever ate any.)  She also told me that rice bugs are very clean bugs, because all they eat is rice.

Edible, yes.  Nutritious, yes.  The gross factor is another thing entirely.

Offline sweet_potato

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Re: Tiny little bugs in my rice.
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2011, 03:38:41 PM »
I visited a rice factory. Wash the hell out of your rice. Seriously.

Offline cinnamon

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Re: Tiny little bugs in my rice.
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2011, 03:48:20 PM »
I remember from when I was a child that even the wheat flour back home would get weevils if not properly sealed, but usually my mom would just sieve them out! It had the added bonus that my dad managed to convince me that if I ate too much raw cookie dough that I would "contract" weevils! Hehe!  ;)

Offline annekat

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Re: Tiny little bugs in my rice.
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2011, 04:44:39 PM »
Ok... I'm so checking my rice when I get home. Then freezing it.

I just wikipedia-ed these lovely little pests, apparently the females bite a hole in the side of a grain of rice and lay an egg in it. And they lay 2-6 eggs a day and live for up to 2 years...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_weevil here's the article if you wanna see :)
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Offline jhwife24

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Re: Tiny little bugs in my rice.
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2011, 02:16:28 PM »
it's ok to eat. but most of korean don't eat when they...apeared.
we washed and make rice cake...usually.

 

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