Okay, I have to admit that I am posting this at the request of my friend Edith Ann(and that's the truth),and after reading a similar article in today's Advocate. Actually, this originally appeared in the Advocate back in 2006, but I s'pose since I wrote it, it isn't technically plagiarism, right?
Breakfast With The Beetles By pilot in A Pirate Aground In The City January 27, 2006
Eewww factor high on this one......I caught a piece of a story on the radio about 4:30 this morning on the way to work, regarding the pretty colored fruit on the bottom of Yoplait Raspberry Yogurt, and ruby red grapefruit juice. It turns out that they don't come by those bright red hues quite so naturally, and need a bit of a boost in the pigmentation department to spiff 'em up and make them look all the more tasty, they do. Also turns out that the most effective and safe coloring agent for these products, comes from a little cactus eating female beetle from south of the border known as Dactylopius coccus.
By the way, they also use this dye in shampoo, candy, and many other products as well. Credit the Aztecs and Mexican indigenous tribes for discovering this little bug, and the Spaniards for capitalizing on it.
Yes Birddog - I Snopes'd this one. Like I said - 8.5 eewww factor. Probably pegs the needle on the PETA (people eating tasty animals) meter too, considering it takes about 70,000 of these ladybugs to make a pound of dye. I'd love to hammer on this one more, but it's time to head downstairs to the Greasy Spoon for a yogurt and some grapefruit juice.........
Read about your breakfast here: http://www.snopes.com/food/ingredient/bugjuice.htm
Born on the bayou where Texas and Louisiana meet on the Gulf Coast. A kid in the '50s, so my heroes were Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison. Raised in a fishing village, ...Adrift, I grew up on boats and made my money as a kid the way kids in the '50s and '60s did - cutting lawns, throwing a paper and bagging groceries until I was big enough to work on a shrimpboat. Best job I ever had was piloting a ten ton crew boat, worst was probably chopping cotton. I have stood atop Mayan pyramids deep in the Yucatan jungles, and on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange. I am equally at home at a musical on Broadway, or a honky tonk full of shrimpers and tug boat hands. The best ten years of my life were spent in the '70s in Austin, Texas. The last thirty have been spent in the far western 'burbs of Houston working as a petro gypsy in the engineering business. I have had my share of adventures, several of which I probably shouldn't have survived. I am at age 58, the proud father of twelve and fourteen year old sons, so... Onward through the fog!