I’ll take bugs, please. What’s on your produce?
When a friend of a friend moved to Colorado, my friend was telling me about the organic food situation there. People talk to me about food a lot. Go figure.
It seems that the gal could only find organic produce in the stores; that was the norm in her new neck of the woods. She was complaining to my friend about finding bugs in her lettuce, which sent her over the edge. She wailed, “Give me pesticides any day! I don’t want bugs in my lettuce! I need a normal supermarket!”
I can’t say I love bugs. But I do think of that gal every time I find a little (teensy, tiny) bug in my organic lettuce. They’re actually in there quite often. My first reaction is “Ew! Bugs!” and my second, as I recall the Colorado girl’s reaction, is, “Give me bugs any day! I don’t want chemicals on my lettuce!” The bug makes me happy. I am thankful to see the evidence of a chemical free salad. The bug washes right off. I can see it go away. The pesticides…not so easy to see and dispose of.
In our culture, we’ve grown pretty used to perfect looking produce. Round, red tomatoes. Huge, firm strawberries. Shiny golden apples. We hardly know what a real patch of vegetables or farm looks like. We’re not used to imperfections in appearance. Unfortunately, we trade aesthetics for taste and nutrient value much of the time. And pesticides.
The over-fertilized supermarket fruit for which my friend’s friend so yearned is largely devoid of vitamins, minerals and juiciness. You can’t be juicy and travel across country to a supermarket near you, still looking like you just came out of the field.
We have to think about what we’re trading away for all those chemicals that will ensure (sort of) a bugless salad.
I did have a “big fish story” experience lately that begs to be shared. I ordered a big 5-lb. bag of Celtic sea salt along with a friend, not quite knowing what to expect other than that it would last me about 5 years.
My husband was reading the bag about the harvesting right from the sea and asked, “How do they make sure there’s not dirt in there?” I assured him that there must be some way of cleaning the salt, maybe by filtering the water before or cleaning the salt afterward.
I couldn’t help but hear his voice in my head the next day as I poured the first bit of salt out into a glass jar.
I saw something much darker and larger than salt. It turned out to be this: Yes, that does have 6 legs.
Yes, it’s quite a beautiful shade of iridescence.
No, it doesn’t have a head. See? Riddle: What’s worse than a large bug in your bag of salt?
Answer: A large bug in your bag of salt missing its head! Because you have to ask: “Where’s the head?”
The Celtic Sea Salt company assured me this had never, ever happened before, and they promptly sent me a replacement bag.
I was left wondering, in my frugal, good steward manner, what do I do with 5 lbs. of, besides a little bug touching, perfectly good, expensive sea salt?
Here’s hoping my husband doesn’t choose this to be the first post he’s read in weeks…because I just might have used some of it, after careful inspection for anything dark-colored, in some soups this week. Ahem. Please don’t tell.
What would you do with a bug in your salt?
Let a bug make your day today. Buy a head of organic Romaine.
Photo from lasuprema
**This is my entry in the Spring Cleaning Carnival at Heavenly Homemakers.**