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I want to write about the bug in my salad.

It was ‘boxed’ lettuce, advertised as organic, double-washed and ready to eat. So I opened it up, sliced it into thin shreds, adding tomatoes, cucumbers, dressing, and a bit of chicken salad. Oh my, it would be delicious. I was ready to take my first bite when I saw it: an ever-so-tiny bug came quickly crawling out from under a piece of lettuce, and furtively ran across the bowl. I sat there, not knowing what to do. 

After a moment, necessity got the better of me. I decided that I had really NOT seen it, that it had not really happened. I took a bite, and then another.

But the whole time I was eating it, I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I kept imaginging crunching into another bug, or possibly seeing another one crawl out of the bowl. By the end, I was positively nauseated and barely able to swallow.  Not exactly a stellar meal.

In retrospect, I wonder if I should have re-washed the salad. It would have required separating out the vegetables, removing the chicken salad from the rest of the greens, abandoning the small part of salad that already had dressing on it, and then re-rinsing and spinning dry the remaining greens. The resulting salad would have been a sorry site. Would I have felt better about it if I had done that? Would it have made a difference, really?

This late 20th century taboo against eating bugs is ridiculous. But I have it; its under my skin. I’m a product of the sanitary generation, the sparkling kitchen and Mr Clean.

What would you have done?


{ 3 } Comments

  1. stacy | July 21, 2006 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    I would have done the same as you or thrown the whole thing out. It’s happened to me before. Recently, I cooked up some kale. Sauted with garlic and lemon juice (mmmm!). As I was cooking it, I noticed an inch worm. Who knows? It could have landed in the pot from my kitchen. Then, another. I picked both out and tried to pretend I never saw them. Kale served with dinner. I notice another one, and pick it out but am careful not to tell spouse. I carefully eat the rest of my dinner and quietly throw out the leftovers. I have not bought leafy greens since.

    It’s a shame really. I’m sure a couple of bugs is much more healthy than the chemical residues from pesticides we injest every day!

  2. Mary | July 24, 2006 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    And hubby wonders why I wash every-single-leaf-individually when I make a salad! I think if I saw one whilst I was washing, I’d be okay but when I was actually eating??? I’m not so sure!

    Do you really have a letttuce spinner??? Do they still make those???

  3. yishai boasson | August 2, 2006 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    we eat bugs all the time. what’s a lobster if not a huge cockroach?
    in any case, there are worse things you could find, like HALF a bug, or this: