interview with other_primary
Apparently, If You Put Strawberries Into Salt Water, Tiny Bugs Come Out Of Them (Interview With Other_primary)
Wash your strawberries! That’s the message that people on TikTok are sending their followers.
Apparently, If You Put Strawberries Into Salt Water, Tiny Bugs Come Out Of Them (Interview With Other_primary)
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Wash your strawberries! That’s the message that people on TikTok are sending their followers. More and more people on the platform have been sharing videos about how to properly wash berries. You plonk them into water mixed with salt to get rid of the dirt and tiny bugs that might be inside. Obviously, you let the salt dissolve first. Some people are even suggesting that you add a bit of vinegar, too.

Spring and summer are all about enjoying fresh fruits and berries, so this advice will hopefully be very handy for some of us. I mean, we all probably wash our strawberries. But do we usually wash ‘em that well? Rinsing them isn’t enough, apparently. Nobody wants to ruin strawberries for you, but we’ve all probably been eating teeny critters without knowing about them for years.

The advice on how long you should keep your strawberries in the salt water varies from person to person. Some say that 5 minutes are enough while others say that you should soak your delish berries for up to half an hour. Don’t forget to rinse them afterward, otherwise, you’ll be snacking on saltberries instead of strawberries! Scroll down for Bored Panda's interview with Thatnatchats, one of the people who went viral on TikTok for their video about strawberries.

"I always ask my fan base for suggestions about what I should look at next and I’ve been getting a lot of comments about strawberries," Thatnatchats told Bored Panda. "I believed they wanted to see the seeds up close so I was very surprised to find bugs when looking at strawberries under a stereomicroscope. I didn’t learn about how to properly wash the strawberries until my comment section became very fearful and asked how to wash them. Other people replied and I’ve heard salt water, vinegar, and many different methods I have never heard of before."

She said that she already had an audience of around 40k people from her past videos. However, Thatnatchats' video about strawberries reached 2 million people on the very first day. "I was astonished that I had so many people seeing what I have seen. My family was taken back as well. When I went to school the next day, I had a couple of people approach me and say that they had no idea I was so popular on Tiktok. My fans jumped from 40k to 300k. It was crazy, to say the least, but everyone around me was very happy and proud that my passion for science and microscopes was being recognized."

Thatnatchats explained to Bored Panda that she completely understands the fear behind eating strawberries after finding out about the 'truth,' however, she also knows that it's a natural thing. "These strawberries we eat grow out of the dirt and we shouldn’t avoid them. After all, I love strawberries! I do plan to try out all the methods of washing strawberries that TikTok has recommended."

She added: "Nothing makes me happier to see a community such as Tiktok, coming together and sharing information. It’s like a family to me, really."

Some internet users suggest that you use cold water while others say that you should go for warm water for your berry-cleansing ‘ritual.’ Warm water makes more sense because salt will dissolve faster inside of it.

It’s not just bugs and dirt that we should be worried about. If the strawberries you bought aren’t organic but grown using pesticides, you’ll want to add some white vinegar to the water. That way, you’ll minimize the amount of chemicals you swallow.

At the end of the day, we’ve all been eating bugs for years and years—we just don’t think about it. You’ll find tiny pieces of insects everywhere, including in canned fruits and veggies.

Layla Eplett writes on the Scientific American Guest Blog that people on average ingest about “one to two pounds of flies, maggots, and other bugs each year without even knowing it.” While it’s unpleasant to think about, it’s harmless. After all, we’re still here, aren’t we? Just in case, though, wash your strawberries! Wash ‘em well.

Comments (175)
Steve Barnett
I just eat the bloody things.
Take an actual microscope and prepare to never eat anything anymore. Or accept it never was a problem anyway.
I grow strawberries, and this is just herecy ☺️ strawberries are spunges, so putting them in Salt water or vinegar ? is just a sure way to ruin any natural sweet taste... What a waste and disrespect to the grower! of course - first take all natural taste away and fill them with water, then add a few pounds of sugar to try and taste anything ...
I mainly see the hairs from the strawberries on the left over water. That's not dirt, that's part of the fruit. Yes, you should clean your fruit with water, but this is silly.
Stomach acid will dissolve the bugs. Pampered people problems.
Yana Makarevitch
You know, I rather eat strawberries with those tiny bugs than strawberries soaked in vinegar and salt.
Foxxy (The Original)
Meh, no big deal. Question though wouldn’t the salt and the vinegar change the taste of the strawberry?
Hello it Smee
I wish I hadn't seen this, ignorance was bliss.
Luna Lovebug
It's just some extra protein. But we've been eating bugs our entire life without realising it. For instance take chocolate: The FDA, whose official guidelines state that chocolate can legally contain up to 60 insect fragments per 100 grams. Some food colouring actually comes from bugs, like Carmine. Which is made from crushed beetles.
Night Owl
Meh, no big deal *shrug* Untreated (without pesticides etc.) strawberries straight from the field (or backyard, or a plant pot) are the best. Of course there are going to be bugs in there! Duh! (same thing with apples etc. - the best tasting ones and the healthiest are the ones with bugs because the bugs are smart and choosy -ask your entomologist- , you just have to cut the bugs out before eating if they are big and if they bother you)
Monika Soffronow
You say bug. I say protein. Why the hell bother? Disinfect everything and die a nervous wreck!
I do actually leave blackberries I picked in the wild to soak for 30-60 mins in a bowl of plain cold tap water. Lots of little worms come out. I heard that they can be harmful, especially since when you pick low hanging blackberries, those could contain bugs from foxes and they could make you sick. So 1. I leave the low hanging blackberries alone but 2. soak them all the same. And eat some off the plant anyway ;-) But strawberries in salt & vinegar water??? Yikes.
Phil Underwood
I'm pretty sure those "worms" are just the strawberry seeds.
And I bet many of these people love their pink glazed donuts and their red velvet cakes. Colored with crushed bugs...
Nathan Jones
Strawberries technically aren't even berries, but bananas are. Isn't life a mindfuck?
I'm not a vegetarian, so no need to get rid of the meat ?
Growing Robin
If only you knew how many creatures live in your bed alone... Insects and bacteria aren't usually poison. They all have their part in nature. Just like you. Humans have to stop freaking out over things that are smaller than them... ?
So what? They clearly aren't harmful! Besides, I eat bugs every day, my lizards don't eat them unless I eat one first. More protein!!
Pacifico Fernandez
What is worse than finding a worm in your apple? - Finding a half worm ..
Dear germ freaks, please let us eat our food in peace!
Clove Kentwell
As I’m reading this my grandma is baking a strawberry pie.
Marcellus II
In other news, there's over 5lb of bacteria in your gut.
Carissa Unger
Those are spotted wing drosophila larvae, not worms. SWD is an invasive fruit fly that didn't exist in the US 10 years ago. The fruit flies we're used to eat ripe or overripe fruit, but this one targets unripe fruit, which is a horrible problem. Bad news: they like all fruit, not just strawberries. Good news: 99% of fruit you buy in the store won't have this problem, since farmers (even organic farmers) can manage this pest.
omg so gross
S. S.
Are y'all FUCKING DUMB AS SHIT? Those aren't Bugs, but the SEEDS
Samantha Lomb
Those things in the first video are hairs not worm and they are a normal part of strawberries.
חוה קופר תכנון אדריכלי
in (Orthodox) Judaism eating bugs is a big no-no, and there are loads of ppl that don't eat strawberries at all. even saw a recipe in a magazine that had a strawberry next to the dish in the recipe and there was a note saying: "the strawberry is for decoration only"
Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
Id row
Ignorance really is bliss sometimes. Now I'm going to think about this whenever I see a strawberry. Plus I have about 6 pounds of them in the freezer already.
Jen Wold
What a load of bs. Great way to destroy strawberries. Most of the 'worms' are fucking stamens, you know the flower part. What we call the seeds are actually the fruit, and what we call the fruit is part of the stem (some botany info). Wait until they hear about figs :D
Leo Domitrix
Wow. People freak out over the dumbest stuff sometimes. So there's itty-bitty tiny bugs. Rinse the berries in water, and if you never noticed the bugs before... Why care now? Sheesh.
I never want to eat strawberries again. Which is fine because I didn’t like them much to begin with
Rachel Ashwell
Apparently the tiny whitish worms are actually the maggots of a fly, commonly known as spotted wing drosophila (SWD) - an invasive species from East Asia that infests berry crops and has been in the USA since 2008. Unlike typical fruit flies, who lay their eggs on soft or rotting fruit, the SWD lays its eggs inside the ripe undamaged berry. Eww.
Donna Bo
Strawberries aren't vegan!
Dima Kozharskiy
Ken Murray
Have only rinsed strawberries - now I'll add the salt regiment - raspberries too - once when I was a kid picking raspberries - you know two for me and five for the bucket - I was just sick when my grandmother washed them and little green worms came out of the hole in almost every one. I still can't eat raspberries today. Maybe I'll feel the same about strawberries when I see what comes out of them.
Alan Green
Lets not forget every Fig has a decomposed wasp inside. Without the wasp the fig wouldn't mature into a sweet "Fruit"
Actually, I'd be interested in knowing how many of those who freak out over this regularly go down on there partners without going EEEWWW!
I actually think I can't eat any strawberry ever again...
Anna Kalita
Actually, salt water and vinegar ruin most of strawberry value. Plus, strawberries can carry viruses too! So to be safe, prepare strawberries as follows: Rinse thoroughly with plenty of lukewarm water. Remove the stems! Stems carry A LOT of nasty stuff! Put strawberries in clean glass jar. Cover them with sugar - about 1 glass sugar per 1 pound strawberries. Leave overnight in open jar - may cover it with clean cloth. Next morning, it's disinfection time. Pour 2 glasses of 70%-96% alcohol on strawberries and tightly close the jar. To be safe, leave strawberries in for a week. Then, just pour the alcohol off strawberries. You might filter it through a coffee filter. Pour into bottles and leave in a dark place for a few weeks. Now you can safely consume all of this strawberry flavor with none of those pesky bugs or germs!
Ilir Ajdini
What's seen... How do you think we can eat strawberries after this ?
This is the second time today I've seen someone say something about eating peanut butter.....what's up with peanut butter? ....I'm scared, lol...but please tell me
Extra Protein - for free
Hahaha...Vegans. :)
My grandma has been washing them with just vinegar and water for years but they don't turn out sour just a bit tart but if you put salt then i'd imagine it'd ruin the taste so even tho it might seem gross i say just eat 'em it does no harm but if you're really self conscience about it then just make strawberry puree or just eat strawberry ice cream the intense temperatures will not only make them sweeter but it should kill any bacteria and or "pests".. you're welcome for good recipes and solutions to this issue. if you'd like more recipes and solutions just hit me up i'm plannin' on making a account anyway Xp
Yeah, so go console yourself with a bar of chocolate, which by the way has more insect parts per billion that your single pint of strawberries. In fact, most people who say they are allergic to chocolate are not allergic to the chocolate itself but to the cockroach parts found in the cocoa powder.
Mimi M
Meh. X-tra protein.
Washing them with a bit of vinegar (a bit!) can kill any mold on the outside, so they keep longer. That is good advice. Don't soak with salt.. idiots... And meh, yum, bugs, whatever.
Wolfblood Fanatic
W-what? Ive been EATING THOSE!
Grace Peterson
You can't let them touch the ground. Because that will happen. I grow strawberries and I put plastic sheet under them so the water doesn't dry out and so the bugs don't get into them.
Grace Peterson
You can"t let the strawberries touch the ground. Because that will happen. I have a strawberry farm and I put plastic under to lock the water so it doesn't dry out and the bugs don't eat them.
Ella Blackwood
I'm never going to eat anything ever again.
Surya Amriza
I think people would prefer to get common thin & tiny bugs than common thin & tiny layers of pesticide on their fruit or veggies.
RES 1972
Bugs give you added protein
RES 1972
Bugs give you added protein...:)
Keith Berry
I just wasted 3 minutes of my life reading this.
Ah yes, the portal to hell.
There are bugs living in your lashes. And it‘s okay, they belong there.
Ildiko Okido
I think those "worms" are just the seeds starting to grow into new strawberries.
Craig Morley
Bugs are good protein!
Lisa Hallman
Quick someone give her a microscope, so she can see the thousands bacterial colonies living on her skin. Some bugs you can see, some you can't.
Leah Harris
Dang I would eat them without rinsing either. Wow
Joanne Hudson
At least no pesticides. I'm old but as a toddler I picked strawberries from grandpa's garden and ate them and I survived so I just don't think about them if I can't see them moving. Actually maybe those little bugs ate all the flavor they used to have.
Bill Cornelius
This comment has been deleted.
Mike Rodrick
Supposedly, the same happens when you pour coke over pork. Ugh! Obviously, when they're prepared, the cooking gets rid of them.
Robert Jarvis
Good grief... These folk freaking out have probably been been eating fruit and veg all their lives without any problems. Now they see a tiny, tiny creepy crawly and they freak out. I was often told as a kid "Eat a peck of dirt before you die."
M. Emre Yayman
they are not bugs, they are proteins :)))
Richard Lummiss
Organic strawberries are not pesticide free. There are lists of pesticides that are approved for use on certified organic produce.
Frances Emanuel
I'm not sure what we're supposed to seeing in these photos, but those little brown "hairs" are called sporangiophores, at the tip of each one is a little grey pinhead called a sporangium. Those pinheads are filled with fungal spores, each one looking for its own strawberry to fertilize. The little seeds are actually the strawberry's ovaries, each seed is technically a separate fruit. So you're not really eating worms, you're eating sperm and eggs I guess. Not sure which is worse, lol.
Rachel Ashwell
I decided to try this myself. I got no 'worms', just ruined strawberries.
You mean the seeds? :D I can't see any critters/worms there..
Micah Pettit
Been eating raw strawberries fresh out of the garden for decades. So what if there's little bugs in them, hasn't killed me so far.
Norman Sherfield
bugs are everywhere, extra protein, I have eaten fresh off the vines and otherwise for my life, nothing on a strawberry has killed me yet, lots of other things to worry about besides bugs on my strawberries, besides if you knew what lives on your body day to day you might not worry about the bugs on strawberries, it is all natural, and better to eat bugs than pesticide
Epsilon Silver
In 100 years 1/2 of humans will live on insects.
Csaba Horvath
If someone posts something like thi, forget shitty phone photos and get a proper extreme macro gear, or microscope. And yes, louses are living on every fruits. What you have laearned in the school...
Joy likes bacon
TikTok users are getting credit for this? My Chinese grandmother taught me to do this a decade ago... -_-
Jesus people are neurotic. It's a microscopic insect, who cares? People are so grossed out by any tiny hint of the natural world that isn't perfectly curated these days, it's sad.
Sounds like a waste of time and a waste of perfectly good protein, especially since our own bodies contain more bugs than strawberries do. And they are mostly beneficial. As for strawberry bugs, I'd bet that digestive fluids can handle them just fine.
Stomach acid will kill the insects.
Grace Skerp
Anyone who can eat ham and eggs for breakfast has no business coming unglued about strawberry seeds. That's pig butt and chicken ova, children. Strawberries are the only fruit that bears its seeds on the outside.
Lynda Wilson
Anyone seen the mites y'all swallow when you eat cheese? Yum!
John Doe
Its protein, open your mouth and swallow.
OMG! IF people realized how many bugs and bug parts we consumed they would be shocked. For the most part, eating bugs won't hurt you. There are cultures where it is a common practice. So many people made excellent comments here - "just eat the bloody things" and "accept it never was a problem anyway".
Tiny Dancer
Read a book called "The Life That Lives on Man" by Michael Andrews back in the '70s and have never forgotten it. It came with groovy microscopic pictures of all the bugs we share our bodies and lives with. I'd never heard of bed bugs at the time, or dust mites, or the little guys that live on your eyelashes, it just goes on and on. Lots of fun, enjoy!
Buddhabrot xiii
who cares??? no one dies or gets sick
Heather Reynolds Atwood
Just more protein!!!
Richard Pickman
Human stupidity has no limits.
Mewton’s Third Paw
These chicks keep cutting the videos off right when they say “look!” Uh okay whatever. In your “almost 25” years of life you didn’t know this. Well in my almost 35 years of life the bugs never bothered me. So I’m fine with this. I’m not wasting salt and I don’t want salty berries.
Having been raised on a strawberry farm and picked them for over 10 yrs, I truly never knew this. Also living on a farm, I'm sure I ended up eating more bugs than just these. Raspberry bugs are the worst. They are huge and they hide inside the hollow part of the berry. - lol - Not to many things freak me out and , no, I will not soak my fruit in vinegar and salt. Just the smell of vinegar turns my stomach.
don't these people have anything better to do? who can even think of such nonsense? sorry - i dont want to see any more of this.
Lou Fuentez
I just go ahead and eat bugs anyway... cut out the middle man!
Lou Fuentez
I just go ahead and catch bugs and eat them.. cut out the middle man
Little Shrek
Did no one teach you in school that the presence of other forms of life on fruits and vegetables indicate that they are actually healthy and haven't been treated with chemicals?
Mavi Hava
I don't know what kind of strawberries these people are eating, but the strawberries I buy 100% bug-free as far as I'm concerned. My mom's a chef so I trust that she cleans them well! ??
John Baker
A "solution" for something that was never a problem.
D Leh
How long have people been eating strawberries?!!! These bugs have never been problems before. No need to make them be now. WE HAVE MORE THAN ENOUGH PROBLEMS ALREADY!
Kira K.
i'm thoroughly traumatized, even though i knew there were bugs on them. watch me and my irrational self never eat a strawberry again
Yuck, but salty sour strawberries are grosser. Plus, the worms picture is bs, those are hairs from the fruits
Gerry Higgins
it's protein. You've been eating them without knowing it all these years. Get over it.
Dave P
1) this is not new, this is very old. 2) there are many guides online for years about this. 3) Salt is only 50% effective , Vinegar is 90% effective, vegetable wash is 99.99% effective. 4) you never soak for more than a few seconds with agitation before rinsing them off. 5) you should do this with many types of fruit and veg, especially organic. I use an organic veg wash at home. Here is a great video from a resource considered one of the best on the topic. This is the one for berries, but they have many other videos on bug cleaning for different types of herbs and produce.
I'm sure these people who freak out over this stuff unknowingly consume much more disturbing things. Insects creep people out, but the vast majority of them are perfectly edible.
F. H.
This is probably what some people understand as "clean eating". They could opt for the alternative and only eat stuff that was completely taken apart and reassembled before serving. Gummi sweets for example, or Spam. It might not be healthy, but if you are bothered that much that you might find a worm in it, this is definitely for you.
F. H.
Protip: If you make friends with someone working in a fertility clinic you might be able to use their manipulator microscope to scrape out all the nasty bacteria out of your food.
Who cares?! Hasn't hurt me yet.
If you look at your food to close, you're gonna start bathing everything in chlorine ! :D
Linda Keesee
All I saw in the pictures were seeds and sand. Strawberries grow best in sandy soil.
How many live swimming sperms in cum? You still swallow?...
nice try, tiktok
Jo Choto
Why did I need to know that!
Tomasz Klaus
jezus, those are strawberies seeds
Vivi Da Poo
tbh Idc i just rather unsee this
Renee Marie
Dumb, she either left them on the counter in room temperature or bought them old at a dirty store. I did this and hot little dirt, zero worms. Bought them organic at Natural Grocers
Doesn't the FDA allow a certain percentage of insect and rodent matter into foods, especially cereals and grains? Worms in strawberries are the least of this woman's problems.
Denise Mclean
That is really gross, but I'm happy to provide a solution. Go to and buy the Truly Free Fruit and Veggie Wash. He sells Non-Toxic Everything and I love the Fruit and Veggie Wash. Here is a link to get an incredible deal right now. I have all of their products. Everything is Totally Transparent - Ingredients, nothing Toxic and safe ever around kids. Check out his videos buy all means and the reviews and you will soon be a part of the mygreensfill family; I guarentee it, but don't take my word for it. Go there now...... Boy I'm glad I saw this. It is Gross, but they don't call them the dirty dozen for nothing. No they won't kill us, but they are gross. Just eat the Bloody things as Steve said. We have ! Buy this cleaner!
Sue MacFarlane
Well, we wash our fruit in vinegar because it keeps better, but in honesty it’s really not a huge deal. They’re just a bunch of tiny mites trying to live their life. The fact all these people hadn’t noticed them until they were shown and aren’t dead from some kind of strawberry mite disease is kinda indicative of that.
John Bell
I didnt see any bugs. Just seeds
We've lasted this long not knowing about this or cleaning them so vigorously, and we are still (presumably) fine. No chance I am leaving a punnet of strawberries for 30 min- it takes me half that time to eat them, worms and all. Just rinse them.
Élyse Ménard
Such a nice article to read when you have a phobia of insects! Thanks!
Mateusz Trzaskowski
Does she know people have acid in their stomachs?
Bart Mommens
Extra proteins for free... Bugs > salted strawberries
Tiny worms that are full of strawberry, if I don't see it straight up with naked eye, I don't give a fuck.
Trick Question You're welcome.
Daniel Lewis
She needs to wash her face.
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