Fact Check: Video Does NOT Prove Presence of These Microscopic Insects In Our Food, Drinks -- It's Clickbait

Fact Check

  • by: Marlo Lee
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Prove Presence of These Microscopic Insects In Our Food, Drinks -- It's Clickbait It's Clickbait

Did this content creator prove there are microscopic insects in our food and drinks? No, that's not true: Entomologist Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann told Lead Stories that this video is "garbage click bait." Another entomologist, Brian Federici, said there is a possibility of seeing "small arthropods" in unprocessed foods, but they are typically killed once the food is processed.

The claim appeared in a Facebook post on May 13, 2022. The video opens with a person scratching red bumps on their forearm. Another person appears, prepares a microscope slide and presses it against the first person's red bumps.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2022-05-18 at 11.37.27 AM.png

Facebook screenshot(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Wed May 18 15:38:57 2022 UTC)

The Facebook account that posted this video, Simple Ideas by MetDaans, describes itself as a video creator and "the latest social media account that seeks to inspire everyone to explore their own creativity and live their best lives." No sources are cited to back up the findings in this video.

Lead Stories contacted two entomologists, experts who study insects, to ask if there was any truth to this video. Gangloff-Kaufmann, an entomologist at Cornell University focusing on bed bugs, cockroaches, wasps and bees, told us in a May 19, 2022, email that this video was "garbage click bait." Clickbait is something designed to make readers want to click on a hyperlink or to make a specific page more popular. Gangloff-Kaufmann continued:

Clearly the mission of the company behind this facebook account is 'creating and publishing highly engaging content for across vertical channels.' The key word is engaging (with fear).

The quote she used can be found in the Facebook account's About section.

Brian Federici, a professor at the University of California Riverside who holds a Ph.D. in medical entomology and insect pathology, told Lead Stories in a May 19, 2022, email:

Certainly these small arthropods can occur in fresh foods or other sources, but are typically killed in processed food. You should check the USDA websites on what occurs in various foods, processed and unprocessed.

We reached out to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and will update this story when a response is received.

In October 2021, Lead Stories debunked the claim that there are cockroach parts in chocolate. Lead Stories debunked another Facebook video that claimed to give viewers 16 "easy tests" to determine whether the food in their homes is real or fake.

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Marlo Lee is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Howard University with a B.S. in Biology. Her interest in fact checking started in college, when she realized how important it became in American politics. She lives in Maryland.

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