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Monday, June 19, 2006

The Who Needs Chicken Caesar Salad

I was cutting some romaine lettuce for a salad this evening and just missed slicing this stowed-away ladybird beetle in two. After just a minute or so, it started wiggling just the tarsus of its front left leg, then the whole leg, then the head started moving up and down. Before I knew it, the beetle was crawling clumsily over and through the folds of the lettuce. Once it found its way off my future salad, it seemed distinctly reluctant to go near it again. So I obliged and took it outside to the big show. Good luck, lucky ladybug.

It's actually not weird this beetle should be in such good condition. The recommended storage temperature and condition for
commercially shipped ladybirds is 35-45 degrees F, preferably in an older, non-frost free
refrigerator. The safe-food thermometer on the butter shelf in my fridge reads "43 degrees, Too Warm". And it is definitely an older, more experienced unit. Since it was quite warm in the house when I took the lettuce out (high 70s) it obviously didn't take long for the beetle to warm up enough to get moving.


boots said...

Wow, awesome. Do you have any idea where the lettuce originated?

vanessa cardui said...

This organically grown romaine lettuce hails from San Juan Bautista, CA.

Cindy said...

I was expecting you to say that when you got further into the lettuce, you found aphids.

vanessa cardui said...

Ha. No, aphids at all in this lettce. I buy the same brand of lettuce usually. The package before this one was full of aphids. Yum. They aren't too bad when slathered in Italian dressing; better than ladybugs.