According to the FDA's standards:
Apple butter: If mold count is > than 12%, if it contains 4 rodent hairs/100 grams or if it has > 5 whole insects/100 grams, than and only than will it be kept off your grocers' shelves.
Coffee beans: If more than 10% of the batch is infested with insects, it will thankfully not make it into your Starbucks latte.
Mushrooms: If 20+ maggots are found in any 15 gram batch, you can rest easy tonight at dinner knowing your meal of Herbed Mushrooms with White Wine has far fewer maggots or else it would not have made it through inspection.
Fig paste: If more than 15 insect craniums have contaminated a 100 gram sample, you will regrettably have to be contented with a fig newton with less gray matter in the mix.
While these standards are enough to make even the heartiest of eaters a bit queasy, relax. Our household standards while cooking are much, much lower.
With my helpers four, Eeny, Meeny, Miny, and Moe, we attempted an ambitious recipe of Everything Muffins this afternoon. This is a great family activity as it provides ample opportunity for everyone to get involved. Carrots to shred, walnuts to smash, powders to measure, and mixing galore. Just be on the lookout for a few ingredients that may have made their way into our homemade treats today...
1 fingertip (sliced off while peeling carrots with the "scratcher")
1 tsp. of blood (great addition for the anemic in our midst)
3 various lengths and shades of hair (when Eeny first noticed the hair, she said "Ooh, yuck!" and proceeded to fold it deep within the batter)
2 pre-chewed raisins (apparently they didn't suit Moe's taste and he offered them back for our enjoyment)
2 dried strips of cheese (residue left over on the grater after 2 full cycles in the dishwasher)
1 apple seed (slipped through aforementioned grater and into the pile of shredded apple)
The moral of this story? The next time you are tempted to rage against the loose standards of the Food and Drug Administration, thank your lucky stars instead that you were not invited over tonight for dinner at our home.
For those of you must still fulfill an obligation to an earlier invitation to come dine with us, please consult with the FDA to see what drug would best compliment the side effects that are sure to arise from ingesting such horrific and wholly unnatural ingredients in our signature dishes. :O)