I purchased a container of cipollini onions from the grocery store the other day. They weren't labeled as organic, but they were right next to all the other organic produce I also purchased: brown onions, boiler onions and yellow onions. I brought home my recent produce purchase, and promptly placed all the onions in my pantry with a plethora of other temperature-tempermentle, long storing veggies (tons of garlic, potatoes, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, squash, squash, and more squash) which were harvested from the garden earlier this year. Also in the pantry is what seems like hundreds of herbs, quirky serving dishes, emergency backups, oils & vinegars, dry goods like rice and flour, and every other essential ingredient for baking one might ever need. The list does not even stop there. Why am I telling you the contents of my pantry, you might wonder? I am trying to give you an idea of how well stocked, and totally vulnerable my pantry is.
Back to the onions I purchased: I grabbed the lot of cipollinis to add to my short ribs and root vegetable stew and headed to the chopping block to prep them along with the rest of the ingredients I had gathered. I was about to open the package and dig in when I noticed a whole bunch of dark specs. I didn't have my glasses on so I lifted the package right to my nose and GASPED IN HORROR! It wasn't dirt (which I had assumed/hoped), it was hundreds and hundreds of tiny black bugs! YUCKO!!!!!! I threw the container and it's contents into the sink and ran back to my pantry in a panic. The light in the pantry recently went out, and me being as pregnant as I am, couldn't manage to stretch enough to fix it without a ladder. No ladder for this pregnant lady! I am so klutzy right now; that'd be like asking someone to just push me forcefully on the ground and get it over with. So: the light is out and I am moving loose, huge onions around on the shelves with my fingers crossed. I don't see any bugs yet, but then again, I still don't have my glasses on, and they looked like dirt particles in the light of our bright kitchen. There's no way I am going to be able to tell if the little fuckers have infiltrated my garlic stash or not without a full blown clear out of the whole damn pantry!
I'm totally pissed at this point, and I call the grocers where I had purchased the vile cipollinis which had now ruined my afternoon plans of painting my VERY-soon-to-be-expected unborn child's crib with the smallest paintbrush known to man kind, making homemade butter, and then finishing dinner before my husband gets home. The produce manager gets on the line and proceeds to inform me that in the store they spray a "non-toxic" spray on and around these veggies which contains nicotine, in order to keep any of these little bugs under control, should they be present. WHAT!? You are spraying what on my produce and all over the display?! There should be a sign posted about this! Here's a definition of nicotine:
"a colorless, oily, water-soluble, highly toxic, liquid alkaloid, C 1 0H 1 4 N 2 , found in tobacco and valued as an insecticide."
WATER-SOLUBLE. HIGHLY TOXIC.
When you wash your precious veggies off when you get home, you are not only transferring the nicotine from the damn plant to yourself via your skin to absorb by using water, you are most likely pushing the toxin further into the pores of your water based food source as well.
What part about a "non-toxic" spray would include nicotine!? So, who cares that I don't smoke... I shop at the grocery store and ingest nicotine all the time anyway. I should just give up trying to be good to my body all together if unknown, invisible danger is hiding behind every fucking corner! What else are they doing? Do I have to meet with the manager of every department which I shop in and ask them exactly what is done to each section?! F^&%$$#@@!!!!!!!!
In shock from both finding the bugs, freaking out about my assumingly violated abundant winter food supply, and now being told that the veggie department is sprayed with carcinogens, I listen as this dude continues to inform me that I need to empty out my pantry and give it a really, really good cleaning, because these fuckers invade quickly and without remorse or finicky eating/nesting patterns. He then tells me to throw away the infected onions, and they will gladly replace them for me.... Come on in. Right. Like I want cancerous veggies from your store... Again. NO THANK YOU.
Great. Insert insecurities and worries about ever really being able to live sustainably and organically in suburbia here. If only we lived out in the sticks with more than a few acres to work, then I wouldn't have to deal with this shit anymore! I hate suburbia, and it's naive veil, which covers your face and you don't even know it. Can I cry for myself, the rest of humanity, and my unborn child now?
What a great way to spend an afternoon... I mean evening. That's how long this is going to take me... at least.
6 hours ago