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HELP! My first gross-out experience...

Okay - after two years of doing raw foods, I really thought I had this licked. I've treid three times to be "raw" and this last has seemed to be the easiest... until today. Having the weekend, I thought I would uncook some brussels sprouts in my dehydrator. I made a special marinade of Nama Shoyu and garlic and tossed my fresh brussels sprouts halves in it before letting them sit for a few hours in the dehydrator. Great! Couldn't wait to dive in...

So I am, sitting here with my plate of brussels sprouts, enjoying what seemed to be an easy meal. I love these little green cabbages! After eating one or two, I look down and - what do I see??? It's a tiny gray worm twitching about on the edge of one of these sprouts I am about to pop in my mouth!

I could not believe it! These were fresh from the market and I washed them before cutting them in half. I am oddly a mix of emotions right now. I could not eat any more of them and turned the whole batch out into the garbage can. I know it's only a little worm, and I have probably eaten worse without knowing it (or worse KNOWING it, like the days of chicken McNuggets or ground beef tacos). I am very disappointed with myself, mad at the worm(s) who came between me and what I thought would be a great meal, and just freaked-out by this. I'm not even hungry any more and don't think I want to eat anything for awhile.

Has anyone else ever had something like this happen? How did you move on?


  • My first gross out was when I sprouted for the first time on my own. I saw the little "tails" sprouting on the sunflower seeds and threw them out because I was convinced I couldn't eat them. Anyway, I got over it by researching why there is a need to sprout before I consume and having the knowledge behind the action helped a lot. Personally, I've never had a worm looking up at me from my meal but I'm sure you can find a way rationalize why worms need to eat too and try again. Maybe soaking the brussel sprouts longer and in vinegar would get rid of the worms?

  • well i was about to put a nice raspberry in my mouth, that i thought was organic when i bought it, but when i saw a small caterpiller frozen in time sticking out of it like a stick, i decided i didn't really want the raspberry at all... and it turned out it was not organic so it had either been in very cold storage, or had been irradiated. eeeeuw

  • graceinyafacegraceinyaface Raw Newbie

    mmmm....raw brussel sprouts. I haven't thought of that and it sounds absolutely delicious. The worm....not so much. I probably would have thrown up. Were the brussels organic? b/c if so you can at least delight in the fact that the worm probably was too. haha

    And you should be happy you didn't actually take the time to cook these things because I think that would've been a little more disappointing - if you had patiently watched these cook on the stove and then saw the worm, no good. At least when you uncook things in the D you can walk away and make good use of your time.

    Thanks for the idea though and good luck....maybe that was universe telling you that you need more protein. hahaha j/k

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    I had a kinda opposite situation happen to me... no, the worm did not look at me and get grossed out... but then again... teehee

    I had just come off the trail from a 10 day backpacking trip in buggy season... there were bugs in everything!!! Breath'em. Eat'em, You get the picture. No getting around them. The group stopped at a restaurant to get our first non-freeze dried/packaged/undercooked meal. When the waitress set my plate in front of me, I looked down longingly... what should I see?... a big, black hair laying across my meal as if it was part of the garnish... I politely picked up the hair and handed it to the waitress as that was not what I ordered. She was horrified, profusely apologized, and said she would take back the whole meal. Well... HELL NO!!! (I had a Golum moment and my meal was my Precious.) I was not going to wait another minute for something hot and yummy to eat. I had been eating things a lot worst for the last 10 days. I guess this was a gross out moment for the waitress.

  • leahcelesteleahceleste Raw Newbie

    The only time I was sooo grossed out that I couldn't eat dinner was back pre raw days and my boyfriend and I were making flounder filets that you soak in milk and then roll in flour. While the fish was soaking in the milk I saw these red things in the milk, and the were MOVING!! I took the piece of fish out and there were all these bright red living worms inside the fish, and one had crawled out into the milk, soooooo grosssss!!!! We did not eat that night, ha ha.

    After shopping at a lot of farmers markets I have gotten used to little critters in vegetables. I really try to look carefully when washing etc, because sometimes they are hard to see and yes I have gotten things on the plate before and found a little worm or something. They really don't bother me anymore because I figure that I probably have eaten some not knowing. Honestly at this point I probably would have just thrown that bite away and kept on eating those brussel sprouts.

    I could never eat meat again because of the unknown things that could be in the meat, especially if you eat at restaurants. Like the worms I found in the fish they could just cook it right up and serve it to you with cooked worms and you might never know, shudder.

    Worms and such are OK as long as the vegetables are not infested with them which means you should not eat it. I frequently find a cocoon, with a worm waiting to become a who knows what, on the back of my kale leaves and collard greens. I just simply take it off, wash and keep going.

    Promise you will get over it!

  • Unfortunaly these things happen all the time! Especially organics, where it is harder to control those tiny

    pests! As hard as it is to put the worm situation into the back of your mind, it's better than eating, processed,

    irridated, sprayed and non local! You'll get past it and be a better man for it!

  • This reminds me of that old joke,

    " What is worse than finding a worm in the apple you are eating?"

    Answer: Finding only HALF a worm!

    At least we know that dehydrating does preserve living things , if that worm survived several hours :)

    Sometimes i soak leafy veggies in a bowl of water for a while, not just rinse them. Sand and dirt fall to the bottom of the bowl, and little critters can swim away. This may help if you ever go for the brussel sprouts again.

  • OMG, this is sooo perfect timing!

    I was just about to post a question on how I should get rid of these caterpillars on the organic kale I purchase from farmers market...

    While I do love kale, one biggest obstacle for me now is these small caterpillars I always see on these veges.

    No matter how well I wash - and I do mean really well! - these little things are never NEVER going away!

    I use organic vege wash...soak Kale in it for 30 sec and swish. Then rinse well but still it didn't work.

    A friend of mine told me to use luke warm water instead of cold as these caterpillars tend to stick to these leaves more in cold water but with warm water, they get loosen, therefore easy to be washed away???? Ugh, sounds making sense but it wasn't, really! I tried this but it didn't work either, after rinsed, swished, then rinsed more and left these kale in a colander for a while, I still saw few curling up on the bottom of colander if not on the kale, eww...

    I seriously spent few hours hand-washing kale piece by piece, no joke!

    I'm so caterpillar-phobia, I was almost getting fainted(rather than grossed out) when I saw one...

    I know it sounds silly but I just can't help it. I do understand the theory, that seeing those little worms & bugs means the vege is safe for us(and of course for these bugs) to eat but I still can't get over "the shock"...

  • Hi ABQNick,

    Reminds me of an experience I had with some ears of corn from the farmers' market in NC... here I am, I live in Africa and have over the years got used to just cutting off and throwing away part of a piece of mango or other fruit if there's a small white worm in it, which there often is... but a few months while visiting in NC there were these big squishy caterpillars making a huge feast out of each of 3 ears of corn I was trying to get the husks off of, and I found myself screaming as I saw them twitching around in "my food". We each have our waterloo, but I think generally, you can get used to this type of thing... to some extent.


  • I have read through some of your many experiences with a slight cringe. Honestly, I would much rather have a "live" insect/worm on my food than find out I had bit into the little sucker!! Besides like SweetTooth wrote if it is still alive only means your food is probably nutritious hahahaha

    I am new to the raw lifestyle and like most people eating SAD I ate my share of frozen foods and canned junk. Reality is our lovely FDA allows certain amounts of insect parts i.e. fly wings, spider legs etc... as well as rat/rodent hairs and a plethora of many more disturbing additives to the majority of most processed foods. When I was younger we lived by a Ragu plant. The smell was absolutely repulsive. My cousin happened to get a job there so he decided to take me on a tour. Outside they had these HUGE concrete vat things for cooking the various sauces. I was looking and I saw what I thought was a small dog walking on the edge. I was like "Oh NO!! Look a dog"!!...my cousin matter of factly says "Nooo that's a rat...watch he will probably fall". Sure enough he did right into the sauce!! I was screaming and asking if he was going to go scoop it out. He was like "No way! That's the "meat" in the meat sauce". To this day I have never knowingly eaten Ragu products.

    bon apetite!!


  • I've been meaning to post about this and ask if anyone else gets tiny little bugs (not very cute ones under a magnifying glass, I might add!) on their greens. I use a lot of organic kale in my green smoothies, and sometimes, no matter how well I've washed it in a bowl in the sink, put it in the salad spinner, then rinsed it again with a spray bottle full of distilled water ... when I sit it on paper towels next to the blender, there they are - those tenacious little beasties crawling or falling off it onto the towels! I'm baffled as to how they managed to hold on through all that washing! I've discarded quite a bit of kale that had a lot of bugs, but a couple of times I thought the kale was bug-free, made my green smoothie, drank most of it, only to notice some little "spots" on the paper towels that turned out to be ... yeah, tiny bugs. I told myself that people in other parts of the world eat insects as delicacies, and I knew it wasn't going to hurt me, so I went ahead and finished the smoothie because I couldn't afford to waste all the other organic ingredients I'd put in it, like apples, celery, berries and banana. But still .... EWWWWW!!

  • haha...... my gross out experience was from eating an apple, and that apple happened to have a worm in it, which I didn't notice until I bit into the apple and chewed up half of it, the other half of the worm was wiggling around still stuck in the apple and was it ever sour tasting, I spit out the whole thing...got grossed out and threw away my apple, from that experience I always cut up my apples into slices now.. so no more surprises...lol

  • SuasoriaSuasoria Raw Newbie

    Hey, think of the vitamin B12 we must get from all the little stowaway critters...

    Leahceleste, that has to be one of the grossest food stories evah!

  • waterbaby12347waterbaby12347 Raw Newbie

    You might try adding a tablespoon of salt to your sink full of washing water and allow the veggies to soak 10 minutes before rinsing... This should cause the little critters to let go and possibly die....

  • I like reading these they make me laugh so much. Some friends and I went to a place to eat, ordered salad when it came we chatted as we chomped away,until we saw a very lively worm having,what seemed like, a bit of a dance on our friends plate. The waitress was horrified and changed all of our meals and didn't charge us for any. We never did go back there tho.

    On another note, if you juice would the bugs come out with the pulp???

  • Ummm if you juice I'm pretty sure the bugs are also juiced! Think of them as Beetle Juese just don't say it 3 times!! LOL These stories are hilarious though but I am truly laughing WITH you all coz I've had my own experiences.

    Yeah Sovajo[ hmmm interesting name is it for southern navajo or something??] like waterbaby said...add sea salt and let your veggies SOAK for a bit. I have always done this especially with cauliflower as those little nooks and crannies hold a ton of these little white wormy looking creatures that you never really notice coz they blend in with the head itself.

    What's everyones opinion on food grade hydrogen peroxide? I know some use it to wash their organics and some actually use it straight as an internal item. I know it is used intra-veniously as well for medicinal purposes. Just wondering if anyone has actually done this and what were your experiences?

    Ok well keep them creepy crawlie stories coming...I need to know I'm not alone LOL

    Many blessings and no bite backs


  • I wouldn't be using peroxide for much of anything. You know how at home a lot of people think "oh, I have a cut...peroxide, neosporin and a bandaid" Well, i am a RN and the wound-care specialist nurses NEVER use peroxide because it kills everything, including your good tissue. They do use plain saline to clean, silver embedded dressings as an antimicrobial....I don't want to go on a tangent. I just was pretty surprised to read that people use it IV. What the heck would that do to your cells?

  • Adding salt er? Waterbaby1234, it sounds effective but doesn't it change a flavor of vege?

    Somebody mentioned about adding vinegar into the rinsing water but how much should I add?

    When I made a massaged kale last week, I had to use zip-lock to massage after all I saw these caterpillars on it while washing.

    I know, I sound extremely silly but I just can not shake off that horror of "squashing" them in my hand...(aarrgghhh!).

    Lo and behold! I saw something right after I started massaging - a "bright green dot" at the one edge of zip-lock.

    "The dot" is distinctively brighter color than the rest of kale I was massaging...:(

  • gratefultobegratefultobe Raw Newbie

    This seems to be a common problem w/ kale. I have never had any friendlys in mine tho. I'm wondering how organic mine really is. Uff, no complaints. I'll just believe they got it down to a science at the growers.

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