Really REALLY organic raspberries (hey, I found all the bees!)

by Lisa Barnard

I try to be a good, responsible human being. Some examples: I recycle. I support local and used book stores. I try to buy my fruit at a farmer’s market, but when I do go to a grocery store, I always pick out the organic fruit.

It’s this last point I’d like to discuss.

It would be easy for anyone to create a quick, common sense list of things you’d think I probably wouldn’t want to find in my fruit, or really in any of my food, ever. Let’s try.

1) Mold
2) Pesticides
3) Bugs of any kind

Pretty simple, pretty standard, pretty predictable. Not asking for much here.

Now let me show you how it’s gone the last few times I’ve bought organic raspberries.

Every. Damn. Time.

I mean I guess that’s a bit of a dramatization — the bee is actually *frozen* inside the raspberry, not angrily flying out into my face. But either way, I think it’s clear that the real point here is that there is always a BEE inside my raspberry. Always.

I have never found a bee inside a non-organic raspberry. I’m sure because of all the pesticides. And I appreciate that this must mean there really are no pesticides in the organic raspberries.

But why is there ALWAYS a bee? I’m not even kidding you, in every single box I buy there is one bee tucked inside a raspberry. I love you, nature, and I want my food to be organic – but all these dead bees are getting to be a bit much. Can’t the raspberry companies put up a fan to shoo all the bees away from the boxes or something? Or how about luring them away from the fruit with a trojan horse made of pollen? I can keep going here, I’ve got a lot of great ideas that don’t end with a bee floating in my cereal.

Anyway, I remember a few years ago, everyone was freaking out, like, “where have all the bees gone,” and it was this big national tragedy about the disappearing bees, and it was going to have all these unforeseen consequences and end up killing us all. They thought the bees were going extinct because of cell phone towers I think, or avian flu, or Justin Bieber? I don’t know.

But guess what haters? You were all wrong. Apparently I’ve singlehandedly figured out what happened to all the fricking bees. I swear to the gods, there is a bee in my raspberry. Every. Damn. Time. And I cannot be the only person in the world buying organic raspberries.

So there you go guys, mystery solved. The bees are in the raspberries. Wow, I feel like Columbo… if Columbo had eaten a bee this morning.

I’m never buying raspberries again.

3 replies »

  1. Technically, the bees could only get inside the raspberry after it was picked…which may only suggest that the packing area isn’t very clean and/or the berries sat around in the warm a while before being packaged. (Releasing the sugary goodness and attracting the bees.)

    Pesticides could theoretically have been used earlier in the growing process without affecting bees that arrive on the fruit after harvest. …though i don’t know why you would since it’s nearly impossible to kill raspberries anyhow.

    Otherwise, yeah the joys of fresh/local/organic produce. If the bug is still alive when you get to it, smoosh it and carry on preparing the meal. The joys of growing organic produce for others include spending hours picking Japanese beetles off of eggplants and smooshing them by the hundreds/thousands. (or similar)

  2. We have a raspberry and strawberry patch on the side of our house that we barely tend to. No sprays, fertilizers or other shit, we just make sure it gets water. Over the years the patch has filled out the garden and it looks cool and we get a bunch of tasty berries with plenty left for bunnies to nibble on. In the front of our house is a beautiful crabapple tree that is filled with honeybees and bumblebees in the spring, it’s amazing to watch, and I spice the apples in the fall. I guess my point is, grow your own, if you can. Mother Nature rocks.

  3. Thanks to both of you! I’m hoping I can start growing my own stuff once I move out of the city this summer. 🙂