A Food Storage Fairy Tale

This is a guest post.

One of the “fairy tales” regarding the storage of foods says that if bay leaves are put in wheat, grains or other like items the weevil will either be killed or kept out completely.

Well, to make a long and interesting story short – or shorter – I have a real tale to tell you.  This rumor has been around for years and once again it is resurfacing, which is hard to believe.  I have taught “food storage” and/or “home storage classes” for years.  Over the years this tale continues to rear its head.  A few years ago in one of  the workshops that I was conducting, the discussion became quite heated as to the pros and cons, who was right and who was wrong – or at least misled.  I decided to end the debate once and for all.  After all, a lot of people were wasting money on bay leaves and on the foods that they continued to lose due to those critters.

I called a local feed and grain store, told them who I was and asked if I might come down and catch some weevil.  After a few seconds of silence, the man on the phone responded, “You’re kidding!” When I explained why I wanted them, he finally admitted they might have one or two. I entered the store with a bottle in hand and was escorted  rapidly to the back – behind the large sacks of grain. Yes, I caught some weevil/beetles.  And yes, I carried on an experiment, which is quite famous now, where I grew families of weevil in test tubes full of bay leaves for several months.  The conclusion, or proof if you will, is that bay leaves have no affect on weevil whatsoever.  They crawl over it. They sleep under it. They run around in it.  They raise their families in it. (Do you know how cute tiny, fuzzy, baby weevil are?)  (And no, I didn’t name them.)  After conducting several different tests, with the same format, but different families of weevil, the results were always the same. Bay leaves  have no fumigant affect on weevil in grains, beans or foods whatsoever! None!

So when you hear someone declaring this fairy tale to be true, you can say, “ But Barbara says!”

What do you do to keep the bugs out of your food supplies?  First, realize that you cannot keep weevil out of your grains, flours, cereal products, etc. The eggs if not the insects are already there, or you bring them home from the local grocery store. Your goal should be to prevent the weevil from growing.  I could say that you could make them house pets, but most women  readers wouldn’t like me very well.

Now, are you going to name the cute, fuzzy weevil that you find in your grain?

Barbara Salsbury, Author, Personal Preparedness Consultant