During her sold-out Eras tour last week, Taylor Swift swallowed a bug onstage by accident.
By: Valentina Guo
During her performance last Sunday, a bug flew into Taylor’s mouth. She went into a coughing fit, informing her fans that a bug just flew into her mouth. She reacted fast, and declared the bug she had swallowed, a surprise snack, to be “delicious.”
She then sheepishly asked, “Is there any chance that none of you saw that?” She reassured her fans that she was unharmed. “It’s fine, it’s all, it’s — I’ve swallowed it.” she said.
After the coughing stopped, she said, “So I’m just gonna try not to do as many of those,” Then, she predicted: “This is gonna happen again tonight. There are so many bugs. There are a thousand of them. Anyway, this has been fun.”
Everyone hears whenever something happens to Taylor Swift, because, well, she’s a celebrity! People shared and posted all about what happened at her Era tour as soon as it occurred. Some were even commenting and talking about how the insect that flew into her mouth was lucky! “Can you believe A BUG went to the Eras tour AND met Taylor Swift and I DIDNT????,” says a swiftie.
Some people would think that eating a bug is irregular, but this is where we finally have something to share with a musical celebrity. People eat bugs every day, though it’s difficult to tell exactly how many.
Jerome Grant, an entomology professor at the University of Tennessee says “Bugs are everywhere.” They’re part of our lives. They’re not going anywhere, and we’re not going anywhere, so we have to learn to live with them, even if it means swallowing them sometimes.”
He says that most insects that commoners swallow are harmless. Some might have allergic reactions to cockroaches or the scales on moths, (a winglike structure) but you wouldn’t notice it that much unless you consumed them in large quantities.
People with crayfish allergies are more likely to be allergic to bugs as well because insects belong to the phylum Arthropoda, or the “jointed appendages,” which are mostly shrimp, lobsters, and crayfish. But in general, consuming bugs on a daily basis means nothing but “a little extra protein,” says Grant.
Grant has observed that though some online sources claim that people eat 1 to 2 pounds of insects a year (a stat found in The New York Times and even Scientific American) Grant finds this very unreasonable because he figures that an average bug weighs 2.5 to 3 milligrams, meaning that if you reached two pounds, you would have to eat more than 300,000 bugs every year, and nobody’s eating more than 800 a day.
Grant also thinks the myth that people eat bugs in their sleep is false as well. He says that it would probably wake the person up. “Do you know anyone who has eaten a spider in their sleep?” he asked.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture also thinks that eating 1 to 2 pounds of insects a year is unreasonable. In a page about insects written for kids, the department writes “It’s predicted that you’ll eat as much as 1 pound of insects in your lifetime — by accident, of course,”
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has made a handbook called the “Food Defect Levels Handbook.” To summarize, it tells you how many bugs can be in each type of food. Anything and everything from insect bits to rodent hair to cigarette butts is permitted in your food (depending on what you eat). In cornmeal, for example, it’s okay to have one whole insect or 25 insect fragments in every 50 grams, or about a quarter of a cup. Citrus juices are allowed five fly eggs or one maggot per cup. Wheat flour can have 75 or more insect fragments in every half cup or so.
All of the insects mentioned COULD be in our food, though it’s important to remember that just because the FDA said they COULD be in our food, it doesn’t mean they ARE in our food, or in such high quantities anyway. And a lot of people worldwide eat insects as an intended snack.
We can’t forget about the insects you inhale. Though it does not happen often, (Grant says), you would notice if it did. Grant figures he inhaled two to three bugs this year. That isn’t the amount for everyone, though, since different people are outside or near bugs at different times. For example, if you’re a cyclist, hiker, or athlete, or just outside more often than most, you have more of a chance of swallowing a bug than others. Overall, eating insects is a common, harmless thing everyone does daily. And for those who are worried for Taylor Swift, Grant said “She seems just fine now!”