Anyone reading this site knows by now that I have a general catch and release policy when it comes to insects in my house. I just can’t seem to bring myself to kill them if I can help it. So, at this point you may be wondering why the heck would I eat them? In a nutshell, it’s because I can’t avoid it.
My wife and I are pretty ravenous herbivores. We love vegetables and seem to put away our fair share during the average week. We eat organic when possible since we don’t really like the idea of ingesting residual pesticides used on conventionally-grown produce. Remove the risk of consuming residual pesticides, though, and guess what you’re left with? The risk of consuming residual PESTS. Yeah, that’s right… you may not be aware of all the little things hanging out on those leafy greens. Eating organic isn’t a free pass from washing your produce.
For example, take a look at this bunch of organic red kale…
Looks pretty good, right? Maybe it just needs a quick rinse to get rid of leftover dir? WRONG! Let’s go in for a closer look (prepare yourself):
It’s an aphid party and everyone’s invited… living, dead, exoskeletons, whole, pieces – it doesn’t matter, they’re all here. This one is actually the most populated I’ve seen so far, but not too far off from what I’ve seen on the average bunch. That quick rinse doesn’t seem sufficient anymore does it? I’ve found that the only successful means to get rid of most of this is a combination of sloshing the leaves around in a big container of water while also utilizing the high-pressure kitchen sink sprayer. It seems like a lot of work, but I’d really prefer not to eat them. I am aware that rinsing them off kind of goes against my “no kill” stance, but…. what the heck else am I supposed to do? I’m telling myself they are on the way out anyway.
The aphid above fell off with a few others and began walking across the counter top. He’s one of the lucky ones because I relocated him to some nice weeds outside.