Costco(l), Woman talking(c), Broccoli in bag(r)

Andriy Blokhin/Shutterstock @natashasimona/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘I would never trust these companies’: Costco shopper issues warning about ‘triple-washed’ broccoli after noticing something unusual in her bag

'You guys, please be careful.'


Stacy Fernandez


Posted on Apr 16, 2024   Updated on Apr 16, 2024, 8:34 am CDT

Have you ever found teeny bugs burrowed in the crevices of your veggies? *shudders* While seeing bugs in your food might give you the creeps, it’s a common issue if you tend to buy organic.

Unfortunately, you can’t have it both ways. If you buy organic, some creepy crawlers may latch on to your vegetables, and if you want to be bug-free, you’ll have to deal with pesticides.

In a viral video with more than 1.5 million views, a woman was appalled to find small bugs all up in her organic broccoli, especially because the bag claims that the produce was washed, not once, not twice, but three times.

After three washes, you’d think there’s be no grime or pests left.

In the TikTok, Natasha Simona (@natashasimona) explained that she had picked up the big bag of Earthbound Farm organic broccoli at Costco the day before.

Based on the pasta dish visible on the stovetop next to her, Natasha seems to have started cooking with the green but suddenly stopped. Something was off about them, or more accurately, something was on them.

Upon closer inspection, Natasha saw small greyish-brown specks all over and inside the broccoli stalk and a few visible bugs. On one side, about a dozen of the specks were nestled together. If you have trypophobia, you may want to look away.

“It says triple-washed. You guys, please be careful. Wash your vegetables,” Natasha said.

The pesky creatures Natasha saw are likely aphids, small pests that tend to infect and weaken plants. The dozens of specks that Natasha saw, yeah, those are likely a whole bunch of aphid eggs. Aphids are asexual and can reproduce really quickly.

However, they aren’t dangerous to eat, and small amounts of them and other bugs are considered “unavoidable” in produce, according to the United States Food and Drug Administration.

And while you can try to remove them with hot water, vinegar, or salt water soaks, the little buggers are great at holding on to their chosen vegetable and can be especially hard to deal with on broccoli since the stalk structure gives them so many hiding places to nestle in.

If you can’t get the pests off your food, you either have to live with it or toss the vegetable for a new one (which can be annoying if you not only have to pay for more produce but also have to take the added inconvenience of going back to the grocery store).

“My skin is crawling, this is so nasty,” Natasha said. “How disgusting.”

Natasha ended up getting a refund for the infested broccoli and promptly threw the bag in the trash.

@natashasimona OMG! WASH YOUR VEGGIES EVEN IF THE BAG SAYS “TRIPLE WASHED” This is so gross! The brand is Earthbound Farm and I purchased this from Costco! YUCK! @Costco Wholesale ♬ original sound – Natasha Simona

And commenters had plenty to say about the situation, some more helpful than others.

“Bugs are actually a good sign that your veggies are not covered in pesticides…” a top comment read.

“I had a whole frog in my earthbound farms spinach,” a person claimed.

“Eh roast em up, you’ll never know they’re there extra protein,” another wrote.

The Daily Dot reached out to Natasha for comment via Instagram direct message and to Earthbound Farm (the broccoli brand) via email.

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*First Published: Apr 16, 2024, 4:00 pm CDT