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blackberry worms? grubs?

I just brought home a half pint of delicious-looking blackberries from our local farmer's market. I got half-way through a bowl of berries before I noticed a dark wormy/grubby looking fellow creeping around on one of the berries. I'm now a little...unnerved. Growing up on the East Coast, I never had very much contact with fresh picked blackberries, so I'm not sure what to make of it.

Questions:

1. Are these worms/grubs/whatevers common in fresh organic blackberries? Do they have a name? Are they harmful if eaten (worst case, are they parasitic to humans?) or should I not worry about it?

2. How should I clean the rest of my berries to make sure I don't get any more worms/grubs/whatevers in my bowl? I rinsed them off in a colander with cool water when I got home, but that clearly wasn't enough to remove the bugs...

3. Does anyone have a good, very small-scale recipe for jam? I'm not entirely confident that I'll be able to finish off this batch of berries (unless I can prove to myself that there's a de-bugging method that really works), but I don't want them to go to waste...I'm thinking maybe de-bugging, and then cooking them down for good measure might just be the way to go with these.

Thanks very much in advance :)

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
ashosaurus
Aug. 26th, 2011 03:06 am (UTC)
I found a little inchworm dude in my blackberries a while back. I got paranoid too, so I re-washed them, then cut them all in half before I finished eating them. No worries after I cut them in half and didn't find another one.
tofuowl
Aug. 26th, 2011 03:55 am (UTC)
haha I guess at least you know any worms are incapacitated if you slice and dice them up first.
ashosaurus
Aug. 26th, 2011 04:28 am (UTC)
Well, the one I found crawled out of the middle of a berry I picked up, so I figured if I looked in the middle I'd find one, hahaha.
stainedfeathers
Aug. 26th, 2011 05:24 am (UTC)
Unless it's a worm like the Planaria *snerk* Then you just get more.
tofuowl
Aug. 26th, 2011 05:53 am (UTC)
O.O; .....eep.
cindyanne1
Aug. 26th, 2011 09:58 am (UTC)
lol those things are awesome. I remember I got one in a little container when I went to COSI with the girl scouts. We fed it egg yolk and I cut it so it grew two heads and two tails. O_o
flightopheonix
Aug. 26th, 2011 03:13 am (UTC)
Creepy crawlies are going to be on lots of organic/natural fruits and veggies. Most of the time, picking them off and washing before eating will take care of it.

Some people suggest soaking your fresh berries in salt water to eliminate and or drive out any bugs/larvae that may be there. Since I am rather obsessive about avoiding added protein in insect form, this is probably the approach I would take with fresh berries.
tofuowl
Aug. 26th, 2011 03:53 am (UTC)
Thanks! That seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to be obsessive about to me :)

Do you have any idea what concentration of salt I should shoot for, or how long I should soak them? Do the bugs/larvae tend to float, or do you end up fishing the berries out of the buggy soup at the end?
flightopheonix
Aug. 26th, 2011 02:49 pm (UTC)
Just a couple T of salt in cold water (you don't want the berries to get smooshy) left for 15 minutes or so. Most critters will float to the top, then you can rinse the berries in cool fresh water again so they aren't salted.
grace_om
Aug. 26th, 2011 04:06 am (UTC)
I think little green worms are pretty common on blackberries. AFAIK, they won't hurt you -- I'm sure I've eaten a few without realizing =8-O. What I usually do is dump them all into a bowl of cold water for a few minutes then pick through to make sure any worms have floated to the surface.
synapsepi
Aug. 26th, 2011 04:58 am (UTC)
I grew up picking blackberries in the summer, we always washed them before eating them *shrug* I probably ate a worm or two. My grandmother who's parents lost their farm during the depression still at fruit and veggies bugs had gotten into, she just cut out the bad thing. Yeah, it's kind if creepy, but sometimes i think this feeling is more generational than not. It would bug(har har) me too.
cindyanne1
Aug. 26th, 2011 09:56 am (UTC)
Yep, I wouldn't worry about it. We've all probably eaten way more bugs than we think we have, especially with the organic fruits and veggies since they are supposed to be raised without pesticides.

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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