January 14, 2014

Double Check that "Washed" Kale. I Just Ate Bugs. Lots of Em.

So I nearly vommed editing these photos but for those of you out there who trust the "washed" or "triple rinsed" label on your salad greens, here's a nice little wake up call.  I got mine this afternoon.  In the form of what I can only describe as a thoroughly infested bag of Organic Tuscan Kale (fancy, fancy) from my beloved Trader Joe's.  Insert tears here.

Trader Joe's Kale, Bugs in Kale, Bugs in washed lettuce,


I don't believe in brand bashing and I'll be the first to admit that 90% of the food my family consumes comes from this store.  I don't intend to change that.  Stuff happens.  I'm glad I buy food that isn't covered in pesticides.  Of course, in exchange I realize the potential for creepy crawlies to make their way into that food is increased.  But not like this.  'Specially when it's "Cut, Washed and Ready to Use."  Yeah, not so much.

Trader Joe's Kale, Bugs in Kale, Bugs in washed lettuce,


So there I was somewhere between I'm hungry and I guess I should start prepping that kale salad we make almost weekly in our home.  (Yes, I'm totally shaking my head as I write this) I had a container of Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt Chunky Guacamole and nothing to dip in it.  Which is when I thought hey, kale seems dippable.  I'll just dip that.  I cracked open that cut, washed and ready to use bag and totally started chowing down.

Trader Joe's Kale, Bugs in Kale, Bugs in washed lettuce,

After no fewer than 15 pieces and thinking dang, this is SO good, I happened to glance at a very obvious speck of dirt on a piece.  Only, of course it was not dirt.  It was a bug.  And I said, oh this happens.  I mean it's basically lettuce.  And it's organic.  So I put it aside but started looking a little more carefully at my kale.

Trader Joe's Kale, Bugs in Kale, Bugs in washed lettuce,

This little guy had friends.

Trader Joe's Kale, Bugs in Kale, Bugs in washed lettuce,

Actually LOTS of friends.  Like WTF friends.  And I don't really break out the WTF's on this blog, so that means something.

Trader Joe's Kale, Bugs in Kale, Bugs in washed lettuce,

And then it just wasn't funny anymore.  At least every other piece I was pulling out had some form of insect on it.  Not cool :(  Which was precisely the point at which I started googling for a customer service number for Trader Joe's.  Which basically brought me to a place I could email them.  Meh.  I did.  And then I called my local store because my BUG BIG concern was that some other person in my town would be trying to be all healthy and making kale-who-knows-what while ingesting a field of bugs.

While I was on the phone with the very nice and helpful person at the store I happened to find this piece.  And then I really wanted to throw up.  Because it wasn't like hello random bug.  It was hello army of baby bugs breeding or doing God only knows what.

Trader Joe's Kale, Bugs in Kale, Bugs in washed lettuce,

The folks at Trader Joe's were very concerned with refunding my $3 or whatever a bag of organic kale costs, I don't remember.  I could care less about the $3.  The risks of organic produce buying were also explained to me, which I said I fully understood I made a choice for a bug here or there instead of pesticides everywhere.  But this is clearly not a bug here or there.  And then there was something about there being a possibility of things getting into the food between it being washed and bagged.  I totes understand that can happen.  However if that's what happened here then SERIOUSLY, y'all better reinspect that processing plant like ASAP.  Because it's freaking infested.

I said it over and over again.  What I want is for someone to make sure this isn't happening to other people.  Take the bags off the shelf.  Have someone check a few and I pray this is a fluke.  Because wow, today is the day I really truly learned (even though my paranoid father has said it for years) that just because it says it's washed...Yeah.

So, this isn't a don't shop at Trader Joe's or don't buy organic greens post.  I'll still be shopping my Trader Joe's.  I will almost definitely be taking a break from the kale until I work up the guts to inspect another bag.  This is a stop being distracted and listen to your paranoid parents post.  Every once in a blue moon (maybe more) they're right.  And to the folks at Trader Joe's Corporate.  You need to get yourselves a real phone number customers can call. Beacause I'm nearly certain you'll read this before my email from your contact form.
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