Long Explanation: Ah, the pleasures of maintaining a kitchen pantry full of organic and exotic foods and spices. I buy a large amounts of both organic and imported dry goods for my family, and both are prone to infestations. There's a reason why so many pesticides are used in conventional agriculture - and the reason is insect control. But I myself would rather deal with insects than with chemicals, so this is how I manage the issue.
Dry goods don't usually come in glass or plastic containers, so you need to remove the contents from their bag or box as soon as you get them home from the store, and keep them in your own bug-proof containers instead.
|Does your pasta come in a cardboard box or thin plastic wrap? Forget that. That's a red-carpet invitation to insects.|
|Repackage dry pasta into glass or plastic bottles. You don't have to spend a lot of money on the bottles. I wash out spaghetti sauce jars and large stew jars and use them for the job.|
Repackaging in glass also has the advantage of showing you just what food products are your biggest offenders. If you wait until an infestation is underway to respond to it, then you won't know whether your rice infected your pasta, or your pasta infected your rice.
|I use locally-grown Texmati rice where I can, but for some dishes including the biryani I talked about in this post, I haven't found a substitute for true imported Asian basmati rice. |
I have never, not once, had an outbreak in Texmati in all the years I have used it, but Asian basmati is a different story.
|Ewww.... the contents of this container are now destined for my compost pile. |
I know that the basmati is the offending insect source because it has been sealed in this air-tight glass jar since the day I brought it home. These guys hatched out a few months after purchase (white rice keeps for up to a year).
With respect to rice, heating it at low temperature in the oven and freezing it for a few days is said to take care of the problem of any viable insect eggs remaining in the product when you buy it. I'm currently experimenting with both of those methods and I'll let you know what I find out.
rrrrest of the story as to why I made over my kitchen pantry in a rather unconventional manner last weekend.