Sunday, August 31, 2008

Strawberries: See the video, then tell me it you think there's any Heter...

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  1. I guess the question is is how small does a bug have to be to be considered "unseeable". Every shot in the video was magnified. On a normal visual inspection, those bugs would be hidden (if that matters at all).

    But if all strawberries are no good, then it is very difficult for me to understand how anyone ever ate them in the past (unless you say the bugs were bigger back then). Do we have to then understand that Hashem is punishing us by infesting our tasty fruits and vegitables so we cannot eat a variety anymore?

  2. Everyone who has seen the thrips "live" will tell you that they are clearly visible to the naked eye.

  3. Just import Australian Strawberries

  4. Australian strawberries have no thrips? Perhaps this phenomenon may help resolve the theological issue raised by Reb Reuven Meir!

  5. Does anyone know how Bodek eliminates the thrip problem?

  6. This problem is not extant in Australia. It would appear to be an American and European phenomenon. Rabbi Voy, an internationally recognised expert on infestation, checked out Australian produce recently and concluded thus.

    I should add that we do have guidelines for cleaning some vegetables ... but that is not new nor is it this problem of 'unremovable' thrips

  7. "But if all strawberries are no good, then it is very difficult for me to understand how anyone ever ate them in the past (unless you say the bugs were bigger back then)"

    ..or that different pesticides are being used than were in the past.

  8. My sister tells me that the OU site says to brucsh them somehow and it fixes the problem. is this good?

  9. Dude,

    I watched the end of the video several times and it showed nothing.

    They placed the toothpick on the strawberry and kept saying see it see it but there was nothing to be seen and like all these things, the water in New York for example, I tried the same stuff, filled up a plastic container with wter - let it sit and then looked at it under light with a dark background and again I saw nothing.

    Shomair Pesoyim Hashem

  10. Sorry, but I'm not impressed.

    All this shows is that when strawbwerries are allowed to sit unrefrigerated for extended lengths of time, then the thrips eggs will hatch.

    Solution: Keep them refrigerated!

    (Not that I'm prepared to eat strawberries based upon my theory, but this demo was rigged to produce the most sensational result. Obviously, they left them sitting overnight covered in saran wrap for a reason.)

  11. to reinforce dsh's point, the life cycle of the thrips is very very short, so an extra day sitting can make a difference.

    and on both the youtube and the Star-K videos, it's very magnified. Commenter Gershon also assured me there were bugs in the water, but since I've never seen one, I'm just as happy to rely on R' Belsky for this. I do keep a large Brita pitcher in the fridge for cold water and for visitors who do worry about filtering.

  12. But if there are eggs, does it not stand to reason that the strawberry was colonized by thrips? So how would you know that all the "adult" thrips are gone and than none of the eggs have hatched?

  13. YGB: Think about it.

    Why did they let the strawberries sit unrefrigerated, wrapped in saran wrap for 24 hours? They said themselves it was to maximize the warmth. Why would they want to do that, if not to accelerate the hatching of the eggs?

    Is this the normal way of handling strawberries destined for consumption?

    In order to run this test properly, there have to be proper controls that match the normal handling of strawberries.

    In other words, buy high quality fruit, keep it refrigerated, wash it, and then test it IMMEDIATELY -- just as you would consume them IMMEDIATELY.

    Presumably, the adult thrips would be washed off at this point and the eggs would still be eggs.

    Here is a quote

    "the thrips life cycle is dependent on temperature, with development occurring between 50 and 90°F. Thrips can survive temperatures below 50°F. However, they do not develop at this temperature. The thrips life cycle vary in length from seven to 14 days at fluctuating temperatures between 68-98°F that are common in most greenhouses. "



  14. Here is a better link:

    Note the section bottom of page one on life cycle and biology.

    Perhaps the videographers thought that they were only causing the thrips to "come out." In fact, what they were doing was hatching the eggs.

    I'm not saying that the anonymous videographer did this intentionally, only that he perhaps misunderstood the effect that the long period under greenhouse conditions would have. I am guessing that he thought it would make them "come out" and I am suggesting that a more satisfactory biological explanation is that it effected the hatching.