HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


What have you found in your organic greens?

I bought some organic kale today and when I pulled a couple of leaves out of the bag to wash it, a dead snail plopped on my kitchen floor (a bit ironic) Eeps. Now I'm afraid to wash the rest. :D What have you found in your fresh greens?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. A little worm and some sort of small flying insect. Luckily, if you do get something, it's usually just the one and not a handful.

    If you're afraid, put all of the kale in your sink and fill it with cool water. Let it all sit for several minutes, swishing the kale occasionally. When it's finished, you can pull out the newly cleaned kale to dry and dispose of whatever mystery gunk is left. And now you've cleaned it all without doing much of anything!

    1 Reply
    1. re: SuccotashImpact

      I do hope it was the only one. I usually wash them as you've described using a big bowl, but occasionally, I'll wash few leaves at a time. I'm kind of glad I did today since I'd have had to fish the snail out. I'm feeling a bit wimpy tonight.

    2. I felt so bad...a poor little ladybug got picked, packed, refrigerated, washed, spun dry and refrigerated again before I saw her. Amazingly, she survived and was released to go about her aphid-eating way.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Jeri L

        That is incredibly cool. I would so want to high-five that ladybug.

        1. re: Jeri L

          Those L'll suckers are tough as nails!

          1. re: Jeri L

            I recently found a lady bug that made all the way into the salad that I brought to work. She was almost drowned in the salad dressing before I spotted her.
            I took her all the way out of the building and she flew away. I was pretty amazed. My coworkers all got a good laugh.

            I think it is fine to find living creatures in my greens. To me it means that the greens weren't drenched in pesticides and washed in some fake chemical wash.

            1. Last week, I purchased some organic kale. When I went home to re-hydrate the entire bunch, I found over 100+ small aphids (or whatever) attached to the inner leaves. Ended up throwing the entire bunch out. Didn't want the extra protein! ;)

              1. Used to be able to have a nice sized garden here in NJ... BC... before CRITTERES took over. Grew tomatoes, green beans, cukes, eggplant, broccoli. First time I grew broccoli, neighbor advised me NOT to try to get a big head like in market... would go to flower before then. Cut center head and many more branches started growing. Just rinsed under water and cooked/ate. When I picked second batch, tossed iin sink with decent amount of water... and found 5-6 LITTLE blue-green worms... exact same color as the broccoli! Wondered how many I probably ATE on first picking!?!

                1. In general, I'd much prefer to eat critters than pesticides.

                  1. The occasional bug(s) aside, I often find my leafy/green organic produce from the supermarket to be dirtier than the non-organic.

                    Is there a reason why they are washed less in the processing than the non-organic? I can guess why smaller producers who sell at farmers markets might not process as thoroughly, but not so much with the larger organic producers.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: inaplasticcup

                      I've noticed that too. Only thing I can think of is they want the organic produce to appear less "processed" and give that freshly "dug up" feel (?)

                    2. I often find aphids on organic kale (especially lacinato), chard and broccoli. I shop at a farmer's market, and I find that some farms seem to do a better job managing the pest situation than others. It helps to shop around. It doesn't help, in my experience, to just dunk/soak in sink full of water. I have to pick out by hand or spray with water (this method needs so much water, that I try not to have to do it.) Sometimes, I choose not to look too closely.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: sweetTooth

                        Really, this. Finding critters in your organic produce is kind of the point.

                      2. Isn't one purpose of eating organic produce to minimize pesticide use? Therefore wouldn't one expect to find more critters in their veggies? Yes, there are organic pesticides, but to farm organically is to farm being more in harmony with nature. Killing all bugs or critters that might be found on produce kind of goes against that.

                        1. Spiders in my packaged poultry blend fresh herbs.

                          1. I have found small worms and bugs in lettuce and other vegetables that I get at farms and farmer’s markets but I figure that’s to be expected.
                            Not expected...the time I was served a salad in a restaurant that had a dead grasshopper in it, glistening, in raspberry vinaigrette.

                            1. I once pulled a feather out of a bag of organic kale.

                              Also, not greens, but on two occasions about a year apart, I found a honeybee tucked inside the hole of an organic raspberry.