By blog team member, Kiran. To learn more about Kiran, check out our team page!
Many people get overwhelmed by the idea of cutting out processed food. I like to tell them it’s not something that happens overnight but over time. I personally started adopting the real food initiative a few years ago but recently, thanks to bugs in my organic food, I became aware of a shortfall on my part.
While I’m lucky to have a few farmers markets nearby, the closest one to me is about nine miles away. Even closer is a farm that Lisa has used and mentioned in the past – an all-organic farm that has been in operation for 20 years. Three years ago, I participated in a partial-share CSA over the summer with this farm. At the time, I was thrilled with the idea of hand-picked local produce, but I was also confused about what a garlic scape was or what to do with certain foods. The radishes and beets I received in my boxes sadly sat unused and found their way to the trash can when I failed to learn how to put them to use. (I’ve since learned to love beets – okay, maybe love is a strong word! And radishes can now be found in some of our meals!)
This year, I didn’t sign up for the CSA share but instead vowed to frequent the farm’s market stand instead. My first visit was this past Saturday. Breaking some of the golden rules, I showed up at 11:30 a.m. and, unsurprisingly, the pickings were slim. Still, I managed to get my hands on some arugula, green leaf lettuce, and a dozen eggs. I headed home knowing what was ahead: the dreaded cleaning.
I sprayed the greens with Branch Basics and washed. I rinsed them out, and three little friends (aka worms) came out. Eeeek! I washed again. And then again. Finally, when I thought I had washed all of the little buggers out, I got out my knife and got set to cut. I started chopping when it happened. A little slug slithered on my leaf lettuce. Horror of all horrors! I almost threw up a little in my mouth. I know that some of you are thinking, “Come on you pansy,” and are probably ready to leave a comment as such below. But it is what it is. I have no problem stumbling upon a snake on a trail, but I don’t do bugs. Much less like to eat them! What can I say; maybe I am a wuss.
The rest of the night I was paranoid. What if I ate one? What if I had missed one and it ended up on my fork? My next meal was met with extreme caution and a close examination of each bite. One of my kids saw two little “things” in her greens and wouldn’t eat the rest. In all honesty, I was only able to eat two-thirds of my salad.
The next day, when looking into a local strawberry farm, I saw a post on Facebook about this topic:
The pesticide-free sweet corn experiment is a complete failure. It is proving to be impossible to sell an ear of corn with a live worm in the tip so we are having to shuck and clean up every single ear of corn in order to sell it. The consumer demands “organic” but is not willing to accept the inevitable imperfect produce; we will have to manage earworm pressure conventionally in plantings 3-8. Such is the reality of farming.
It was then that I realized I needed to “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” You see, we all vote with our dollars, and we talk about supporting with the choices we make. And trust me when I tell you as Sales Manager for this blog, I work with lots of brands who I will always support. But if I’m gonna talk the talk, I gotta walk the walk. I need to suck it up and not be fearful of those little buggers who are a part of nature – the ones that so gleefully make it to the veggies that I don’t want to be sprayed with pesticides.
I’ll leave you with this little bit of information that I found upon an internet search.
Tips for removing bugs from your veggies
- Soak in salt water to kill worms and other insects
- Plunge in a deep cold bath
- Put a little white vinegar in your soaking liquid
- Cut veggies into bite-sized pieces and soak in water for about 30 minutes; you may need to repeat.
I encourage you to visit your local farm. Don’t shut them out for fear of a few bugs. If we are pushing for organic, we need to adopt what comes with the territory. This includes me! I’d love to hear your comments on this topic below, even if you are calling me a wimp :).