When we’re not at war with them, some of us don’t mind eating bugs. Edible insects are said to be the future of food, but not everyone is psychologically ready to add a new source of protein to their diet—no matter how sustainable it is. Especially when bugs are not officially on the menu. In the past weeks, the British brand MyProtein has been weathering a pretty bad storm in Japan, after countless customers reported finding insects crawling in their protein bars.
“[Sad news] Accusations of crime are being posted one after another.
Myprotein’s Twitter account (@MyproteinJP) is at death’s door after coping (with the issue) by closing replies under their tweet regarding insect contamination.”
(Here @takigare3 makes a pun with 虫の息, literally, “insect breath” an expression that expresses a faint breath or dying whisper, from someone so weak they’re at the death’s door).
Here’s a video of a bar called carbcrusher clearly infested with what looks like tiny white worms.
“Here’s the video I took on the 9th when I opened a new pack. This is really bad.”
Their customer service flooded with claims, MyProtein Japan publicly addressed the issue and published an official statement… which failed miserably at convincing people everything’s alright with their products.
“The Myprotein official website posted a ‘notice and apology’ regarding the issue of abundant amounts of insects crawling from unopened protein bars purchased on http://myprotein.jp.
They stirred up a storm of criticism for such nonsensical content: ‘The result of a third party’s investigation links to an accident during transit, so it has nothing to do with us,’ ‘It’s just a bug, so you won’t have a problem even if you eat it.'”
Yes, eating bugs is probably harmless, but do we really want them as additional protein to our menu? For most customers, the answer is a big, fat “no.”
If you eat processed food, you eat bugs
Of course, food manufacturers do their very best to keep factories bug-free, but they can’t really keep them all at bay. Many countries have implemented guidelines allowing a margin of error for bugs, such as two mini beasts per 500 grams of canned tomatoes or 30 flies per 100-gram peanut bar. While we’re at it, know that creepy-crawlies are not the only uninvited guests to ingredient lists—rodent hair and mold are also party crushers!
Unless you purposely think about what’s going on behind the scenes at a food factory, you usually can’t even guess there might be a surprise ingredient in your snack. Bugs, mold, and the like are processed (translate: crushed, powdered, and baked) well enough that they’re invisible to the naked eye. Think of it as the special ingredient that gives your processed food that extra oomph of flavor you’ve come to love.
How to use に関する / に関して (ni kansuru / ni kanshite)
Let’s have a quick review of JLPT N3 expression に関する and its te-form variation, に関して.
As a verb, 関する translates as “to be related to”or “to be connected with.” This expression helps you make a point about another topic or in relation to another topic and making connections.
Constructed with the particle に, に関する becomes an adjectival phrase that means “about, regarding, concerning, with regards or in relation to.” If it helps, keep in mind that に関する has the same meaning as について (“about”) with a more formal ring to it.
Both phrases follows a noun or noun-close, but に関する is always followed by a noun, while に関して can be followed by a noun, verb or clause through a particle.
虫混入に関するツイート = Tweets related to insect contamination.
この問題に関して、もうしえてください = Think a little bit more about this issue.
の「」に関してのはとてもかったです = Last week’s episode about “World Cuisine” was very interesting
余罪 yozai crime/offense 告発 kokuhatsu accusation, complain 相次いで aitsuide one after another 虫混入 mushikonnyuu insect contamination リプ (from リプライ) ripu (ripurai) “reply” in reference to Twitter’s reply button 閉鎖する heisa suru shut down 対抗する taikou suru oppose (to), cope (with) 未開封 mikaifuu unopened お詫び o wa bi apology 第三者機関 daisanshakikan third party organization 輸送中 yusouchyuu during transit, in transit 無関係 mukankei unrelated (here, “have nothing to do with us”) 炎上 eijyou going up in flame, but also stirring up a storm of criticism