Good vegetable commodities are fresh, not wilted, no cuts, no bruises, no rots and no damage of any form including caterpillar bites. Hmmm.. Seeing a caterpillar crawling on pechay and cabbage is a yucking scenario. Any buyer will avoid those including me.
My impression about caterpillars on veggies changed when I met our professor in horticulture. That was during our college days. Every time he go to market to shop for some vegetables, he always look for items with worm bites. A not so nice looking veggies. There are lots of good looking vegetables and yet he is looking for the uglier.
We asked him politely why. The first instinct would be to choose commodities with best appearance.
If the little caterpillar was able to eat some vegetable leaves to the extent it managed to survived. It means the piece of agricultural produce is safe to eat. The farmer who grew it used little or no pesticides at all. That small creature serves as indicator of safety.
Good looking veggies are doubtful. Maybe those are sprayed with strong chemicals to keep pest away. Like the old saying,”Do not judge the book by its cover”. Good looking veggies might not always be good.
Spraying pesticides on agricultural plants is really dangerous. Some of the bad effects are:
1) Those chemicals are intended to kill small pests but might harm human as well. Some commodities absorb these substances. A single those is not enough to harm anyone but continuous consumption have a long term effects. Organophosphate pesticides are known cause low IQ in children.
2) It might be absorbed by skin or inhaled. Again prolonged exposure is dangerous. You gonna wear gas mask and other protective equipment. What about the other people near the area? Are they not your concern?
3) It causes species imbalance by killing predator insects other animals and development of resistant insect species.
4) Some pesticides are very stable. They are able to accumulate in environment for years without degradation. Like DDT.
Stop using pesticides! Lets go organic.
Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.