Blackberries. Infested with worms? discuss

I love blackberries, I would pay $4 for a tiny carton. I would scratch myself up picking them off bushes. I love berries of all kinds, like a bear in the wild. Now I hear they are full of tiny worms from some kind of fly and you have to soak them to let the worms rise to the surface??? I could puke. Ick! is this true? (yes, I know they are harmless and won’t infest me like tapeworms, but just the thought ruins blackberries for me)

Yes. If it makes you feel better, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, most fresh and ripe berries commonly have worms in them.

Here’s a story from my local NPR station about blackberry worms.

Here is a video someone took of blackberries from Costco. The worms are tiny, like fleas.

There’s a chance there could be dead wasps in the figs you eat, especially if they’re Smyrna-type figs. Beware.

Yeah, no, it does NOT make me feel better to know about worms in most fresh berries, but thanks for sharing…I’ve known about wasps in figs, but they’re incorporated into the fig.

I’m about to make a grocery run and coincidentally my wife put blackberries on the grocery list. I think I will try to emulate the results in the video (I don’t think I will let my wife know what I’m doing though; she would likely never eat a berry again for the rest of her life. Some things are just better not to know).

The world is full of tiny little creatures, some of which you’re swallowing and/or providing habitat for every day. Some of them are beneficial to you, some neutral, a few harmful.

These critters, if present (they may or may not be, in any similar fruit, but often aren’t), are in the middle category. They won’t either hurt or help you – unless thinking about them prevents you from eating fruit, which would harm you.

So I placed a blackberry from a batch I just procured from the grocery store onto a paper towel, left at room temp, for approximately 45 minutes now.

So far, observed in natural light with 2x magnifying lenses, I’ve observed no worm or insect activity whatsoever. I don’t think the video mentions how long it takes for the worm and the bugs on the blackberry to exit though, so I’ll report back again in a couple hours.

They’re not going to be present in all berries; probably not in most berries.

When I lived in the Pacific NW, I seldom found worms in the blackberries that grew there in abundance. OTOH, I never going a salmonberry without one.

Yeah, just wait until OP finds out all the creatures crawling all over their face.

“Going a salmonberry” … is that some sort of obscure PNW expression? :slightly_smiling_face:

Seriously, I’d never heard of salmonberries until I started playing Stardew Valley which has them. The developer hails from Seattle.

OP, I think your best bet is just to firmly tell yourself “Berry worms are tiny and normal and harmless” and do your best to forget about them.

You (and everybody else) already eat something over a pound of insect and other animal parts as legally permitted “food defects” in processed food products every year. There are bits of spider leg and rat hair in your peanut butter and tiny particles of insect poop on your greens (and no, washing doesn’t remove every bit of them), and innumerable other “contaminants” in everything.

You won’t see or taste berry worms or other legal levels of food defects, and they are not harmful to your health. (In fact, some may even be quite helpful in boosting trace mineral amounts or even protein levels.) So remind yourself that you’re a courageous adult at the top of the food chain and you can eat whatever non-harmful foods you damn well want.

It’s like an extra tart raspberry.

Do they flatten out when picked?

I’m aware of this kind of stuff, being older than dirt, but I only heard about berry worms recently and it kind of grossed me out… well, I will just wash them and eat them and tell myself “there! they are all washed away now!” The only real harm would be eating too many berries at a time, which is hard on a fragile digestive system.

It depends on how hard you squeeze them.

These are maggots, not worms.

I only eat cooked things.
Now I am glad of that.