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Spinach: How to Check for Bugs

Spinach: Fresh

Fresh spinach is frequently Infested with insects. Must be checked.

Look for thrips, aphids, mites or leaf-miner worms.

Notes: Curly leaf spinach should not be used. Baby spinach is preferable to other types of spinach for three reasons: It is less likely to be infested; its flat wax surface aids in washing off the insects; leaf miner trails are easily noticed.

How to check spinach for bugs

1. Remove the leaves from the stem.

2. Soak the leaves in a solution of vegetable wash and water. Enough vegetable wash should be used to make the solution feel slippery and sudsy. The solution should be in a vessel that is large enough to fit the product to be checked, and to allow an individual to vigorously agitate the product.

3. Agitate the product in the solution.

4. Remove the product from the solution. Direct a stream of water at each leaf, on both sides, and rub the leaves with your fingers during the process.

5. Fill a second vessel with clear water (without the vegetable wash). Place all of the product in it and allow it to soak for five minutes.
Note: If all of the product does not fit in the vessel at one time, keep repeating steps five-seven (fill with water, place product in, soak for five minutes, agitate, remove, pour, place over light box and check…), until all of the product has been soaked and checked.

6. Agitate the product in the solution. Remove the product from the water.

7. Pour some of the water into a glass vessel, such as a Pyrex vessel.

8. Place the glass vessel over a light box or in window light and check for infestation*.

9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 two more times—i.e., pour some water into a glass vessel and check it, then pour more water into a glass vessel and check it.

10. If any insects are found in any of the checkings—repeat steps 2-8.

11. If no insects are found, check three handfuls of the product for leaf-miners.

12. If no insects are found all of the product can be eaten without further checking.

* The method of checking which is advised here is based upon the fact that the infestation is not easily visible when it is on the leaves but is visible in the water.

Spinach: Frozen

Frozen Spinach

If leaves are full or even cut―they should not be used. There is no known method of separating the insects from the leaves (due to the freezing process). If leaves are ground small―they may be used