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“Slithering green pincer-headed little monsters” or a culinary delight? This photograph from Man Eating Bugs by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio (Ten Speed Press, 1998) shows zaza-mushi, larvae of aquatic caddis flies, retrieved from Japan’s Tenryu River. Cooked in soy sauce and sugar, zaza-mushi is a delicacy in some rural Japanese towns. Meanwhile, back in the United States, we have our own epicuriosities:

Total retail dollar sales of potato chips in 1997: $5.2 billion

Percent of calories that Americans get from fat: 34

Pounds of chocolate consumed per capita, per year: 11.7

Average number of insect fragments the FDA allows to be present in a 100-gram sample of chocolate: 90

Average number of insect fragments the FDA allows to be present in a 100-gram sample of peanut butter: 30

Percent of adult Americans who always or usually use mayonnaise or mayonnaise-type salad dressing on their sandwiches: 57

Percent of analyzed fruit and vegetable samples (fresh and processed together) found to contain at least one pesticide residue per sample: 71.8

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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