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Jul 9, 2009 03:50 PM

Rice and moth?

I used to eat the Tamaki Haiga rice (half-milled with rice germ in tact) quite regularly until the sudden jump in rice price last year. Up to that point, the I've only tried Tamaki's haiga rice, which has the mouth feel of good short grain japanese rice but a slightly nuttier taste.

So recently I bought a different brand, Nishiki's Haiga rice, as it was almost half the price of the Tamaki. I opened the rice and put half of it in the usual container for rice, and the other I left in the bag sealed, also as usual. Not long after I started to find moths of sorts here and there, and then the little "moths to be" in a quite undesirable form. I hadn't connect the two. Eating the Nishiki haiga for the first time, I found it to be quite off, totally unlike the Tamaki. I thought maybe i didn't cook it properly. Tried a couple more times, no good. It had no basic sweetness of the rice, and tasted worse than the instant rice....Then one day I was rinsing the rice and felt a little something fuzzy. (I'll attach a picture.)

ugh. Does this mean that this rice had been bug food before i even cooked it?! If so...what should i do with the rest of the rice? I seriously doubt I'll be able to get a refund, but how shall i dispose of it?

Anyone else have had Nishiki Haiga rice? How does it taste usually? I don't know how else to find out if this taste is normal for Nishiki, or if it's indeed bug food.

*As i'm attaching the picture I'm surprised to see how clearly it shows the creature. With bare eyes there's actually a fuzzy white coating around it. I also see that some of the rice are solid white while most other are semi translucent....are the solid ones bad?

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  1. Translucency can vary in a single batch of rice without causing any problems. As for the rice being bug food before you cooked it -- quite possibly, but I think given the large quantity of rice versus the relatively small amount of "bug" material, I doubt seriously that the rice was spoiled or ruined in any way (other than the disgusting fact that bugs were in it).

    Some of the large bags of rice are just infested, period. It has happened to me too, and I didn't realize it until they started replicating and the bugs were more visible. I was totally grossed out. Some Asian markets have had whole sections infested as a result of one or two bad bags, as the little critters can gnaw through plastic bags. I would try another store or source for rice, if possible.

    My home was totally infested, and it took several attempts to become "moth free". I like to buy large quantities of different kinds of rice. I have taken to storing these in either air tight, food grade plastic bins or large glass "Apothecary" style jars (the kind you used to see candy in at the store). After a thorough cleaning, repainting and discard of most moth-prone items in my pantry, and a decision never to keep a bag of rice, flour, bread crumb, pasta, beans etc. half-opened without putting it in a zip loc, I am now moth free. I used those pantry moth traps with the glue and lure for many months and still keep them around.

    It was just a bad bag. I can't tell you if you would like an un-infested bag any better, but I have a feeling that the bugs didn't really affect the overall taste.

    2 Replies
    1. re: RGC1982

      Thanks for your reply. Since reading your reply, I've gone on to discover the extend of the in the process of getting rid of stuff.
      Funny, well, it's not so funny, but, in the midst of finding little larvae(actually not quite so little) lying on bags, I thought of how at one point in time, check out baggers would ask, "paper or plastic?", and how if I were a moth, i'd say, "PLASTIC pleeease!!"
      OK, I'll be hulling garbage out soon. I wonder if i should exterminate before disposal? Ah, probably too late to ask this question?

      1. re: HLing

        I have had a weevil infestation on more than one occasion. I ended up keeping all my grains, pasta and beans in plastic containers and microwaving them. That does 'em in. I was surprised that they could gnaw through the plastic bag. Some of them 'hatched' in a rubbermaid container. After eating most of the grains they tried to chew their way out. You can see and feel the 'teeth' marks.

    2. Freeze the rice for a bit and wash before cooking. No problem. Don't worry.

      1. So, and update: It's Indian meal moths that have been eating my food. Like RGC1982, I have now sworn off leaving stuff in plastic bags. These bugs chew through soft and semi hard plastics! Glass or metal for me from now on.

        I'm also totally grossed out after finding more, stressing about when and where I'd find one as I reach into the cupboard with fear. I have an unreasonable, illogical fear of squirmy crawlies, so, spending 5, 6 hours alone doing this was really exhausting on the nerves.

        The one good thing is that I've found basis for off-tasting things from the past few months. I was growing suspicious of the flour I bought that would taste good when i first opened the bag, and then subsequently tasting "stale". It was driving me crazy to think that I'm imagining things.

        One more lesson learned.

        Now if i can figure out why some grains I buy seem so uniform in size and shape, so lifeless, and literally lifeless in that not only will they not sprout, but when soaked, they soften and go rancid quite if they've been cooked.