So Just How Clean Is Your Organic Girl Lettuce?

I’ve never been a big fan of lettuce in a bag–especially those cellophane bags of sad, brown iceberg lettuce with a few shavings of carrot thrown in for good measure. You could practically see the germs floating around in the scummy brown water that always seemed to accumulate in the bottom of the bag.

I remember being at more than one gathering when the hostess pulled a similar bag out of the fridge, opened it and poured it right into a salad bowl.

No thank you.

But recently, I’ve been lured in by the Organic Girl brand sold at Whole Foods.

50/50! - 50% spring mix & 50% baby spinachThe products are touted as being triple-washed. And, as their website states:

Fabulous–you’ve found organicgirl! these are no ordinary greens. these are organicgirl® good clean greens. introducing the next generation of organic produce, grown in harmony with the earth usda certified organic and cultivated with a keen eye for superior quality. each leaf is nourished with love from mother earth, and packed in a 100% recycled plastic clamshell 100% Plastic Packaging . we have it on good authority that mother nature is an organicgirl, and we’re confident that you’ll agree – mother always knows best.

Old habits die hard, and the first time I bought these greens I put them in my trusted salad spinner/washer. What washed out was pure dirt–almost enough to make mud pies from.

Now don’t get me wrong–I know full well that lettuce grows in the dirt. When I buy greens from my local farmer’s market, there’s always dirt attached. No biggie.

But when something purports to be clean, there shouldn’t be that much dirt attached. If their triple-washing leaves this much dirt behind, it makes you wonder about the rest of their process.

Nevertheless, I tried again with a different mixture–a lettuce/spinach blend. Once again I washed it myself. Only this time, instead of dirt, there were soap suds in the bottom of my washing bowl.

Frankly, I’d rather see dirt than suds of an unknown origin.

After two or three rinses, the suds went away.

But not before I learned a lesson–no more “prewashed” greens.

I’ll save the money and wash my lettuce myself.


Filed under Food/Cooking

32 responses to “So Just How Clean Is Your Organic Girl Lettuce?

  1. Bag salad is a staple from my bachelor days. You can’t destroy it for me. There are too many fond memories attached. There’s a place for the bag salad eaters of the world.

  2. I know you’re right, but I haven’t got a spinner and drying the damn leaves after washing drives me crazy. Please go ahead and tell me: “Go out and buy yourself a spinner!” x

  3. UB–I’m impressed–a salad-eating bachelor!
    Ellie–Go out and buy yourself a spinner. And a bottle of wine.

  4. I’ll grow my own lettuce, then I know what’s in the dirt at least.

  5. Does anyone know what company owns Organic Girl.

  6. Lesley

    Owner of Organic Girl = NewStar Fresh Foods LLC, Salinas, Calif.

  7. Cindy Bishop

    I have been eating Organic Girl greens since they hit Savemart and have never seen dirt on them, or tasted grit. The only problem I have had with them is once or twice the leaves were wet and kind of slimy. Took them back to the store for a refund. I will be washing them next time in my spinner just to be sure.

  8. J.S. Walker

    Just tried organic girl 50/50 for the first time. It’s a winner. Finally greens
    that last more than i day. I am hooked and will be buying more. Thanks

  9. Cindy Bishop

    I will buy more organic girl too. Its mostly always good and I have had maybe one or two times in a year that I need to take it back to the store. Savemart offers it on sale 2 for the price of 1 quite often which is good. Actually I have had more funky greens in the competitor, Earthbound Organic Greens, than the Organic Girl. I always check the date and look at the bottom of the plastic box before I buy it anyway. I grow my own in the winter here in California also. If you have not tried to grow lettuce, try it, its super easy and rewarding.

  10. Bekki Booth

    I love my Organic Girl Greens. They disappeared from Arizona for a while when Sprouts purchased all of the Sunflower Stores. We now have them back at all of the Bashas & Whole Foods Stores. I fought hard to get them back because like Cindy said I can buy boxes on Saturday and if there is any left the following Saturday it is still fresh. No brown! I also have not found dirt in mine. Love the I Love Kale and the Super Greens.

  11. Tim Rodemann

    I just bought some Organic Girl brand Baby Spinach and a mixed salad combo w/romaine, kale, etc. and although I didn’t wash them, because I naively believed they’re washed and rinsed well – and they may well be – because I found no dirt or grit whatsoever… and although I didn’t inspect every single leaf, I did paw through both containers, and I’m half way through both clam-shell containers (quite convenient) and have absolutely NO COMPLAINTS whatsoever.

  12. Tammy Coleman

    I bought Organic Girl Romaine lettuce leaves. They are now in the trash! Even after washing and drying in my salad spinner I can smell and taste the preserative on this supposedly chemical free lettuce! Disgusting!!

  13. Kyle

    I only buy Earthbound Farm & very happy it’s at Sprouts

  14. Christine

    Quit being fooled by advertising. Always wash your food. When there are inaccuracies in the advertisement you should know it’s a marketing tool and no value behind the statement. Washed^3 for washed 3 times…. x^3 does not equal 3x.

  15. Aloysius

    My recent purchase of a plastic clam-shell of triple-washed “Organic Girl” lettuce revealed a plastic bottle cap midway through the greens, so the rest of the contents went to the compost pile. My only consolation is that perhaps the bottle cap was “washed 3 times!”, as stated on the package. I wonder if they ever change the water during the wash cycle.

  16. Rachel Cabral

    Just today was ready to sit down with my “Organic Girl” spinach for lunch, and found a bug in it….a BUG! A pretty decent size green bug with lots of legs antennas….ick! Triple washed so you don’t have to? Yeah right.

  17. I just found your post after finding a HUGE bug in my Organic Girl spinach, just like the person above!! I took a photo and will be contacting them about it. Agreed that lettuce grows in the dirt, so bound to be bugs, but if it’s “triple washed,” wouldn’t that at least get the giant bugs out?? Gross.

  18. Angie

    I have had the same experience as the two posted above. Just found a nasty bug (still alive – which grossed me out even more). If it was washed three times how did the bug survive?

  19. Babyzoo

    I bought Organic Girl romaine last night…opened it up this afternoon to have a nice salad for lunch and found a worm…yes, I said a WORM! It was alive, and healthy and gross and it was living inside the “fresh” bag of “washed” lettuce. I immediately called my grocery store and even they were grossed out! They are letting me bring it back for a full refund but I will never, ever buy Organic Girl again.

  20. Pashta

    Found a cute little light green bug today in my Organic Girl 50/50 mix… It’s nice to know they really don’t use chemicals but sad that they can’t keep the bugs out!

  21. Steven

    Wow I had no idea there was so much of an issue. I also had a big green bug in the super greens mix. This is insane.

  22. Cindy

    They don’t even carry Organic Girl in my grocery store any longer. Talk to you produce man about switching brands. I have never had a problem with other organic bag or tub salads, including Walmart’s new “line” of organic produce.

  23. Donna Schnaath

    Hate to hear this I’ve been buying Organic Girl for sometime now! Never noticed it to taste dirty or look dirty. Will have to wash now. Was just reading that organic lettuce and other greens have higher rocket fuel percholates in them from the all pervasive contaminated water sources used to irrigate these crops. Though I don’t understand why, organic greens are supposed to have higher levels than conventional. UGH, what the heck?? How do we escape the madness of unsafe food in a country such as this??? Incredibly discouraging.

  24. Cindy

    Yes it is extremely discouraging to think you are doing a healthy thing by eating leafy greens only to find out they were watered with contaminated water. But when you look at the alternative, fast food, processed foods, you are doing the best you can do for the world we live in now. If you grow a garden of lettuces that’s even better. And store- bought organic greens are the next best thing. Even conventional greens are better than no greens at all. I wouldn’t even worry about it and go on eating Organic Girl salads, or whatever your store is carrying now.

  25. ElLele

    I have never found a bug or dirt in any OG greens. If I did I would not throw out the greens! I pick bugs off my own greens in the garden. The fact some of you reported live bugs only shows there are pesticides used on the plants. Besides, most garden bugs are harmless if ingested, except for those foul smelling squash bugs and stink bugs.
    Everyone has eaten bugs without knowing it, and small amounts of bug parts exist in cereal, chocolate, corn chips and other processed foods. So might as well stop eating and wear a mask to prevent bugs that fly in your mouth. All you want to stay away from besides stinkbugs are bees, wasps, flies that hatch in poop, mosquitoes, and poisonous spiders. The rest are just protein. I would worry more about the mosquito you might inhale that could have some disease than an innocent garden beetle or worm, which are just protein. 🙂

  26. ElLele

    RE: my post was supposed to say
    “The fact some of you reported live bugs only shows there are NO pesticides used on the plants.”

  27. Ana

    I also found a huge mosquito inside my Organic Girl baby arugula box. I didn’t know they still had dirt in them even after washed 3 times. I’ll wash my own from now on.

  28. Rebecca

    It is not uncommon at all to find bugs in organic produce. Even after we’ve washed things like cauliflower or broccoli thoroughly, we still find bugs. It is what it is. You either get bugs or pesticides. I’d rather pick off bugs any day than ingest pesticides.

  29. Rebecca

    Oh and I’ve never had an issue with Organic Girl. I’ve bought the romaine and spinach several times and never saw or tasted dirt. Also never saw bugs.

  30. Concerned Consumer

    Every time I eat Organic Girl Butter Lettuce or Butter Plus Lettuce my interstitial cystitis flares up. I thought it was all in my mind at first, but I stopped eating it for awhile…no problems. Started again, pain back. Tested this theory three times and each time the same result. WHAT are they using to “clean” the lettuce during the 3x wash?

  31. Marion

    Oh my goodness! I am totally with you on purchasing pre-washed products, but sometimes it is convenient to have them readily available for lunch as I am limited of what I can prepare at the office. Today I purchased the Organic Girl, no kale. not sorry. product consisting of baby bok choy leavves. Half way through my salad I noticed on the back of one of the leaves that it had a nest of mites, yes you are reading correctly, MITES!
    I am once and for all cured from buying prepackaged salad of any kind.

  32. DC Kakaro

    Pre-wshed, 3X or not, I still triple wash my greens in a spinner.
    If the green leaves are larger, I would literally rub each leaf in the water. Quite often they feel soapy.

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