Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Organic Grapes - Spider Alert!

Do you purchase organic produce?  Then pay attention!  

I try to buy organic foods whenever possible and  recently bought a bag of Anthony's organic grapes from the grocery store.  Before serving the grapes, I rinsed them and suddenly noticed that something was moving around.  I just about jumped out of my socks when I saw this gangly black spider.  Quickly, I put it in a jar and tried to find out what kind of spider it was by looking at pictures on the web.  Not sure, but it did look a lot like a Black Widow.  What do you think?

Here is an actual Black Widow Spider

I wish I had a better picture

This is the bag of grapes that I purchased

Evidently, it is common to find spiders, especially Black Widow Spiders, in organic produce.  This is the tradeoff when buying organic produce. The spiders eat insect pests that are found in grapes and the presence of spiders doesn't damage or poison the grapes.  Grapes are chilled before transportation.  The chilling causes the spiders to become dormant until they make their way to the grocery stores and then to us consumers.  

***An important safety precaution for everyone to practice is to wash grapes under warm running water.  If a spider falls into the sink, flush it down the drain. Spiders (and their webs) should be treated with caution because they both can be poisonous.  The good news is that despite their potential lethality, no one has actually died from a Black Widow bite since 1960.  

FYI, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), grapes made the "dirty dozen" list as one of the highest produce products contaminated by pesticides.  (See next post)...


  1. That is so obviously a black widow.

    1. And by the way, Anthony's grapes are the best!