black widowI always wash my grapes before eating them. At least I think I do? Well anyway, I definitely will wash them every time from now on. A Connecticut woman named Norma Weiss found a black widow spider in her grapes -- and it was still alive! Eek!

You may be relieved to learn that Norma was not about to pop that spider in her mouth. She discovered it when she pulled the grapes out of their package to wash before eating. Still ... I'd hate to think of what would happen if that spider had managed to crawl onto her hand and bite her for invading its home. The grapes were organic, of course -- pesticides probably would have killed off the spider. But despite her creepy brush with the black widow, Norma says she'll keep choosing organic.

Well yeah! I'm with her there. If there's anything I find more scary than spiders in my grapes, it's pesticides on my fruit. Grapes are on the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen list. They've been found to have high levels of pesticide residue. You can rinse off a spider, but you can't rinse off all those chemicals. (Also, black widow bites can cause all kinds of awful symptoms but are very rarely fatal.)

I've found plenty of little critters in my organic produce over the years. Caterpillars, slugs, ladybugs. I'm not exactly pleased to see them, but I also find them sort of reassuring. If that little snail thought my lettuce was so delicious, that must mean there's nothing too toxic in there -- and that means it's safe for me, too. And then I rinse that lettuce really well and wave goodbye as the snail washes down the drain!

Does the sight of bugs in your produce turn you off to organic food or make you like it more?

 

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