One of our readers reached out to us after discovering something questionable in a batch of dried black beans. She found these worm-like organisms after making a batch herself, and she doesn’t know if they came from the beans, the garlic cloves, or something else. She explained that all of the ingredients were washed well. The beans were rinsed and sorted, and the garlic cloves were smashed but not chopped. Whatever the things are that she found likely darkened in color after cooking for such a long time with the beans. She wants to know what they are. Here is the photograph she shared with us:
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We aren’t entirely sure what our reader has discovered. Since our reader explained that she rinsed and sorted the beans, these two creatures are probably not twigs that were accidentally mixed with the beans. So, if they are worms, what kind of worms are they?
We think these organisms might be some type of bean weevil larvae. Bean weevils, which are seed beetles, feed on almost any available food source including black beans, lentils, and most other legumes. Female bean weevils lay their eggs in developing bean pods and then seal their entry point. The bean weevil larvae develop inside of the bean pod, feeding on the inside of the bean but leaving the husk untouched. The larvae pupate, and adult bean weevils pierce through the bean husk to emerge.
Bean weevil larvae are usually white and hairy, but the ones our reader found might have darkened and lost hair while cooking with the beans. We don’t think these larvae are parasitic or dangerous, so if our reader decides to eat the beans despite their presence, we think she will be fine!
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To wrap up, a reader found some worm-like organisms in a batch of black beans she was making. We think the specimens might be bean weevil larvae!