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Lisa Hirsch

It would depend on my mood at the moment.


Yeah, ants are relatively clean, they don't live in shit. One ant on a cookie -- big deal.


One ant? Sure.

I think if there were more than 10 or so I would consider it a sign that the ants deserved it more than me, and crumble it up for them.


I suppose it all depends on how much I want the cookie. It does squick me out some that ants leave a little trail of (something I cannot remember) for their pals to follow. Empty dinner plate -- I'd wipe it off with a dishtowel and then be fine. Probably, though, the dishtowel is just as dirty as the ant feet.

John, on the other hand, is a vegetarian but will happily eat ants and other bugs dipped in chocolate or suspended inside bizarre lollipops.


I'd brush off an ant to get to a delicious chocolate chip cookie because I don't let much stand between me and a chocolate chip cookie. If there were signs of tunnels or other indication of possibly hidden quantities of ants lurking inside, I would not eat it. I don't have much concern for consuming ant cooties, just actual ants.

one ant on a plate would not bother me - remove the ant and I'm good to go. more than one ant loitering on a plate would make me think there's some sort of ant-attracting goo on the plate that I might not want to eat, so I'd wash the plate.


One ant on cookie-- fine.
Two ants-- maybe. Depends how long they were on there, and if anyone was looking.
More than two-- hmm. Probably not.
Ant (1) on a plate--no problem.

RW's take on the same question: "It depends on the size of the ant."

Madeline F

elswhere's husband has a good point. Little black ants: A few, sure. Maybe up to about 8. If it's a well-laid trail of ants, though, probably not... Ant trails often go to and from garbage and smell really bad.

Ant on a plate: I'd probably wash the plate. I dunno, I guess I just assume cookies are less pure than plates already.

Big strange ant: one on a cookie, but no more; wash the plate.

Spinning Liz

Wait, what KIND of ants? Fire ants? Carpenter ants? Soldier ants? Mutant radioactive serial killer ants? Around here, we've got them all.

The other night I was eating a plate of cookies while absorbed in a book. At one point I absentmindedly reached over and picked up what I thought was a crumb and popped it in my mouth, then instantly spit it out on the floor. "Holy fucking shit, I just bit into a goddamned lady bug," I exclaimed in my genteel way.

My friend asked me how I knew it was actually a lady bug (we found it on the floor later, and indeed it was), and the thing is, hell if I knew. Had I ever eaten a lady bug before? I don't remember, but I guess I must have. How else could I recognize the taste so instantly?

Anyway, I didn't die, even though I BIT the damn thing. But then again, it was only ONE lady bug. And not a mutant serial killer ant. So maybe it's totally irrelevant. Oh well. Hi.


One ant, no problem. Once you get past 2-3 ants, I'd probably look around and see if there were more coming.

Same thing with the plate.

Linda B

If there were more cookies, I'd want a new one,
If this is my ONLY cookie an ant or two could be tolerated.
If it was crawling with ants I think I would pass.
Of course, this answer is from someone who has the pleasure of having plenty to eat at any given time.
I think if I was starving, I may eat the ants also!

Liz Ditz

Our local ants? I'd brush off a bunch

Hey I can't remember if you are doing school stuff here or at the BMama blog, but here's a bunch of links


takes you to everything edweek has had to say about NCLB


The Paradigm Trap
Getting beyond No Child Left Behind will mean changing our 19th-century, closed-system mind-set.
By William Spady

If you don’t like the federal No Child Left Behind Act, don’t blame President Bush, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Rep. George Miller, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, or her predecessor, Rod Paige. Well, not entirely anyway. And if you’re a supporter of the legislation, which the president signed into law five years ago this week, this is an opportunity to rethink your assumptions about its nature, purpose, and potential impact. As the nation’s premier education law heads toward its scheduled reauthorization this year, here are some thoughts on its history and impact to consider.


No ant left behind!

I'd look to see where the ants were coming from, but then I'd probably roll a one, forget how, and attack the dinner plates.

Lori S.

I'd flick off an ant, tiny or big, and eat the cookie and/or use the plate.

An ant trail, I'd wash the plate and probably toss the cookie. (ha ha.)

Anywhere in between is a judgement call.

Size and type of ant do not matter. There is no "critical mass" of ants that trips my trigger every time. No hard and fast guidelines, sorry! I am an ad hoc kind of being.



If it was just one, two or three ants, I would probably eat the cookie, assuming they were just going across the cookie, and not eating it. If they were eating it, then I would not. Dinner plate - same idea. If there was just a couple of ants travelling across it, then yes, I'd eat off of it. However, if they were paying the plate a visit rather than just using it to walk across, then no.


One or two ants at any one time would be flicked and forgotten. If three or more managed to get on the cookie at once, it would be theirs.

Prentiss Riddle

Interesting that three is the breaking point for many people. (Badger, I assume you'll be running a statistical analysis and sharing the results, no?)

For me, I think I might give up if there were so many ants that I couldn't be sure I'd gotten them all off (which would depend on the size, color and texture of ants and cookie), or if in getting rid of the ants I managed to smoosh some and therefore had ant guts on my cookie.

Then there's the question of under what circumstances one might break the cookie and eat the ant-free part. Does this discussion assume the intrinsic unity of the cookie?


Personally for the ant thing...I'd say under five would totally be ok. One would be ok for sure. Over five and I'd wonder how often they'd been coming back and what had been left on there. Bleah. Although, if I was pretty hungry, I probably wouldn't care...just brush them off and be done with it.


If there were too many ants to count I wouldn't eat the cookie but if they were discrete in their identity, off they go and in it goes. In The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, a character claims ants taste like sour pickles, and a second character eats one to see if it's true. I didn't believe they'd actually done that so I ate a black one and it was indeed true. It's the formic acid that makes them pickly.

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