Finding Worms in Sunflower Seeds | Junk Food Blog

11 November, 2006

Finding Worms in Sunflower Seeds

sunflower seedsIn the last post, I mentioned eating half-way through a bag of Deerfield Farms brand of sunflower seeds and not yet finding a worm.

There's a story I want to share with you.

About 18 years ago, my aunt and her family visited us from Japan. They're from Kyoto, and this was their first visit to the USA. She brought her two kids as well. Her son, Yasuhiro, was 16 years old at the time. I was 22. He had never seen sunflower seeds before.

We were in the backyard patio sitting around the table. I had my bag of David sunflower seeds. Back in those days, the David brand was notorious for having lots of worms. It seemed like every other mouthful of seeds you'd find one with a worm in it. You could tell because when you cracked it open, and used your tongue to pull the kernel out, what you felt were tiny granules of worm turds, and a bitter-tasting (but fully cooked) worm.

Sometimes the kernel was only partially eaten. Other times it was completely eaten. The partially eaten ones you could still eat, worm and all, and not be too bothered by the bitter-taste. But then there were others that tasted down-right nasty, and I couldn't help spitting it out.

So, I proceeded to teach Yasuhiro how to eat sunflower seeds. First I demonstrated my skills by popping a handful into my mouth and one-by-one spit out the shells and chewed the kernels. He was impressed.

At first he grabbed one seed, held it in his finger, and used his front teeth to crack it open. Then he would pull the kernel out with his finger, look at it, and put it into his mouth. He liked it.

About an hour into popping seeds with me, and talking about this and that, he got to the point where he could put a whole seed into his mouth, crack it open, pull out the kernel, and spit the shells out.

Then he found a worm.

Oh the look of horror on his face!

If you can imagine a Japanese teen-ager and the kind of expression they make when they find something disgusting, with his eyes tightly shut, and a nauseated expression with his mouth. He spit everything out and reached for a drink.

I finally told him, "Oh yeah, you'll find a worm every now and then". It's ok, they're fully cooked."

He stopped eating sunflower seeds from that point on. I told him that if it was an issue, just look for a tiny hole in the shell, and avoid that seed. But his mind was already made up.

But these days, with the advancements in pesticides and high-tech food processing machines, it's rare to find worms anymore.

13 comments:

Lesley on 11/12/2006 06:43:00 AM said...

Grody. I have no idea if I've ever eaten worms or worm by-products in a sunflower seed, but I can tell you that I'll never eat an unshelled seed again, regardless of what you say about pesticides! Blech!

Anonymous said...

Have you ever checked out the worms in pistachios? You would be surprised!!! No one at work believed me. They don't really look like they have worms but believe me, I've found them.
Lori

Anonymous said...

Check out pistachios. They appear to be normal but there are REALLY big worms in them also.
Lori

Whitney on 8/28/2007 08:32:00 AM said...

I have been eating David sunflower seeds for 10 years and just found my first worm! I'm so glad to know it isn't uncommon because for an hour I was sure I was poisoned and was going to die!! Have to admit I'm still grossed out by it, but continuing to eat my seeds.

Anonymous said...

Yup, I just found mine in a pistachios from sunkist company and it's discusting...

I really think to stop eating pistachios from now ...

Michelle on 8/21/2008 12:38:00 AM said...

All these years, and the thousands of sunflower seeds I've eaten, I never knew that the bitter-tasting things were worms and the granules worm turds!!! OH MY GOSH!!! I always just assumed they were bad seeds! Now not only do I feel stupid, I am totally grossed out! Won't keep me from eating sunflower seeds, though. Now I'll just be quicker to spit those ones out and be sure to have a beverage nearby. :-)

Anonymous said...

I just found a huge worm in my pistachio, I didn't eat it because I thought it was burnt, then noticed the dark coloration was actually a worm! Gross

Kaede on 1/29/2010 11:34:00 AM said...

owned

Anonymous said...

Ok I was eating my Davids sunflower seed and poured a handful out and there comes a worm, but not a cooked one, a LIVE wiggling one. Needless to say Im a female and vomitted numerous times and will never be able to eat them ever again, seriously may even have nightmares

Anonymous said...

Actually I find worms all the time in the David brand sunflower seeds... its so disgusting, so I keep an eye out for the shells with holes in them now too.

Anonymous said...

Thats so disgusting!!!

Anonymous said...

I WAS EATING DAVID SUNFLOWER SEEDS 1DAY AND MY BOYFRIEND TOLD ME HOW HE FOUND A WORM IN 1 B4.ITHOUGHT HE WAS CRZY TIL 1DAY I SAW 1 IN A CRACK SHELL.I WAS GROSSED OUT I THREW UP BAD.HE SAW ME EAT THOUSANDS OF SEEDS AND IT TOOK HIM 4EVER 2 TELL ME. NEVER AGAIN WOULD I EAT ANOTHER SUNFLOWER SEED. I CAN'T EVEN LOOK AT THEM ANYMORE. C.C

crystalshoots on 10/20/2011 03:30:00 PM said...

Hahahaaha! OK. So, I am a "don't eat sunflower seeds - they have worms advocate." However, one of my coworkers was eating some today and she made them look really good so I went down to the vending machine and got a bag of my own.(Mistake#1) It was a relatively small bag and I rationalized to myself, what are the chances I would get a worm in such a small bag? (Mistake#2) I almost made it through the whole bag but sure enough with like 10 seeds to go, I got a mouth full of black turd powder next to a thick mummified worm... UGH! I have only myself to blame. I will never relapse again!!!

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About Steve

Affiliate marketer, blogger, website publisher, business owner, entrepreneur, motorcycle rider, living in sunny Southern California, who happens to love junk food, and makes money writing about it.

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