Wednesday, February 13, 2019

An Unwanted Luncheon Guest

When a product fails to meet your expectations, do you ever contact the company and let them know?

Don't worry, the puppy photos have nothing to do with this post. He's not the product that we are disappointed in. Same goes for the children.

Recently, Paul and I were enjoying lunch on a Saturday while the kids played outside with the dog. We decided to "make" a package of organic stew that is both healthy, due to its high vegetable content, and economical. It's one of the only prepared foods we ever purchase on a regular basis because it is incredibly delicious. Paul says he doesn't even normally miss the meat since it's so yummy and filling on its own.

Well, we sat down to eat and Paul was just about to take a spoonful when he noticed something unexpected, unwanted, and rather disturbing floating in his bowl of stew. He gingerly picked it out, placed it on a napkin, and passed it over to me so that I might confirm that the thing was in fact what he thought it was.

It was.

So, I grabbed the package of stew out of the garbage and turned it over to find where the company might be contacted with any questions or concerns. This was definitely concerning. Only an email address was provided, so I sat down to type the following message out. To preserve the identity of the company in question, certain items have been redacted.


Hello there,

I have been a huge fan of the Tasty Bite Indian Madras Lentils for several years now. I buy them in bulk at Costco and eat them at least once per week. They are fabulous.

HOWEVER, my fondness for this product has now been spoiled because I prepared a bag for lunch and enjoyed 3/4 of the product before discovering, to my horror, that there was a large beetle in my bowl among the beans. I instantly wondered if this was a poisonous beetle and did a little research and found that it is probably a subspecies of the common Leaf Beetle which enjoys feasting on legumes. While I generally support your mission to bring whole, organic food to the table, this is going a bit far, don’t you think?

I want to alert you to this fact so you can work on quality control in packaging this product in the future so as not to lose more fans because otherwise it's a pretty tasty product.

For your reference, the barcode number on the infected package is 8273300002. The expiration date is September 30th, 2019 and the timestamp on it is 08:23:31.

Should I be pitching the rest of the box? Please advise as to my next actions. I'm unsure if I am willing to continue purchasing Tasty Bite products in the future if I am going to be eating bug protein.

Attached is a couple pictures of my six-legged luncheon companion. I have more should you need to see additional photographic confirmation.

Thank you for your attention to this matter,



As I was typing this out, admittedly giggling a bit while doing so - the majority of this was written to be very tongue-in-cheek, Paul was conducting a little research of his own seeing if he would die after eating his bowl of stew. He claimed that his mouth was feeling a bit numb. His primary concern was that the bug in question may have consumed some fertilizer and died as a result of poisoning and perhaps some of the poison had leeched into the stew. And he thinks I'm the worry wart.

I should note that the company in question immediately responded to our inquiry and launched an investigation of the contaminated batch. They were extremely responsive and very courteous. 

Here is a picture of our little friend, just in case you were curious.

Cute little guy, isn't he?

Don't worry, I shan't be posting a recipe because I imagine all appetites have been spoiled by this post.

But tell me true, would you complain to the company if this had happened to you?


  1. I would probably complain too, that is a problem!! But then I also tend to be more the "I want to show someone they are wrong!" one of the two of us. Luke knows I honk my horn at drivers but Matt super rarely does.

  2. Oh! That's awful! I would complain too but sadly over here in Malaysia, customer service remains generally poor. Either there is no reply to the email or they will just hand out a general reply and that's the end of it. I love the way you wrote the letter of complaint :)

  3. Leaf Beetles are a delicacy in many cultures. Paul should have crunched away and enjoyed the treat.