A Red-Back Broccoli Tale

Broccoli is a vegetable that many have a love or hate relationship with. I like to say I am mutual but I would be lying – I side with the hate side of the long war. But now, even those that love this vegetable are avoiding it. Some may have read it about it last night, but Woolworths is recalling a batch of their broccoli after consumers found some red back spiders lurking in the branches of the broccoli!

For any non-Aussie readers amongst us, redback spiders are a common venomous spider around the country – but just because it is normal to see these spiders does not make it OK to be in our food! Since discovering this incident, Woolworths has withdrawn a batch of broccoli from three suppliers. These withdrawals have affected stores in Queensland and a small proportion of stores in New South Wales.

What might have caused this? Many growers have reduced the use of heavy pesticides to build up beneficial bug populations that eat pests. It just so happens that spiders are one of the beneficial bugs that help keep the use of pesticides down, the supplier said, adding that customers”can rest assured that not a lot of pesticides went into that product”.

Do you need to carefully watch the broccoli you bought from Woolworths? Are you relieved or disgusted by this fact? I am somewhat happy with this – after the concern of pesticides, it seems like consumers are truly heard!
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