Thursday, March 29, 2007

There were worms on my Baby Bok Choy!

Last night I had my taste buds all prepared for a nice side dish of stir-fried baby bok choy. I could taste the sesame garlic bok choy already as I started to open my bags and clean it. I was quite surprised to find that I had unexpected guests in my baby bok choy who were quite happily indulging themselves in a fine feast. All of the inside leaves were covered with worm droppings and had quite a few holes nicely carved out. What’s a mom to do when faced with worms in her next side dish? Well, I have to admit that I was in too much of a hurry last night to face the daunting task of de-worming my baby bok choy; too concerned that my eight year old would happen into the kitchen and discover that we are not the only creatures of God who devour leafy greens; and too overwhelmed by the sheer number of tiny, happy, munching green worms. So, I tossed the bok choy, opened my freezer, grabbed the nearest green vegetable I could find and went back to finishing my dinner preparations.

What would you do if faced with worms on your fresh produce? Would you toss the produce or use it? Normally I just smile, feel blessed that my produce is not too drenched with pesticides to support life, quickly remove the worms, wash thoroughly and quietly use the vegetable. (I say quietly, because if my darling daughter who has an enormous aversion to worms ever found out that she has eaten a dish of raspberries that had once hosted a large green worm, she would never eat fruits or vegetables again!) Perhaps it seems a little odd to use food that once hosted other life forms, but it’s really quite natural and should be reassuring. Living food which is grown in living soil should not be devoid of insects and we shouldn’t be discouraged from using it. I have seen my share of insects and worms from having handled literally tons of produce every month when we owned a large produce business. What really bothers me is when I examine some really nice produce and find it completely devoid of any evidence of living creatures. Saturating a field with pesticides, fungicides and other chemicals may create a beautiful looking harvest, but is it really healthy? Perhaps a little worm isn’t a bad thing after all!

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