Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
Ponder the following.
Suppose you take......
And combine them with.....
Is that good or bad?
Now don't think too hastily. Again, you've got....
And you toss in some of these...
The conventional practice for growing table grapes for quite some time has been to utilize spiders as an alternative to risky pesticides to ward off many other intrusive insects and mites.
Can you guess where this is headed? You got it…..arachnophobia in the supermarket.
If that sounds like some myth that would be debunked on snopes.com, it’s not. The threat is very real and has been discovered in America and elsewhere.
As the demand by consumers for organic fruits and vegetables has increased, so has the use of spiders in vineyards to prey on creepy crawlers that might kill crops.
There seems to be agreement among industry experts that the combination of grapes and spiders works. But it’s not foolproof.
Most vineyard predators are spiders, but an increasing number of those spiders are the black widow variety. That’s black widow as in dangerous, even fatal. What’s more, as powerful as black widow spiders are, they do little, if anything to protect grapes.
As Gourmet Magazine points out, one Internet grocer actually cautions would-be purchasers that their grapes might have cobwebs. The yucky factor is starting to impact the California grape trade.
The grape industry claims it’s been spending millions and trying to cope with the black widow dilemma since the 1990’s. For now, there are few answers except that greater care is needed during packaging. Inspectors can’t catch them all, so spiders in grapes at the supermarket isn’t some phony scare. And if there’s a cutback on pesticides, we’ll be told other bugs will turn up.
What does that mean to you, the consumer? As Gourmet Magazine writes:
“As organic produce becomes more prevalent and the amount of chemical pesticides and insecticides on farms is reduced, it’s almost certain that more insects will show up on food—both in the fields and on the shelves.”
I think I’ll just pass on the grapes in a bag and stick to jam on my morning toast.
CULINARY NO-NO BONUS
What’s definitely out this Easter when it comes to candy? The Journal Sentinel this weekend reports, “Retro flavors such as horehound, anise, peppermint, sassafras and black licorice.” Also, “exotic chocolate flavors such as jalapeño, chipotle and curry, and sugar-free candies.”