This Earthbound Farm Organic Salad Comes With A Free Dirty Glove

Reader Justin claims he discovered this gray glove in a package of Earthbound Farm organic salad. Salads, organic or otherwise, do not typically contain prizes, and Justin’s reaction (“I was mortified”) is understandable. The experience has scarred Justin’s psyche and he is left wondering, “How many times was I one package away from eating glove?” Additional picture inside.

I’m willing to concede that the stray rodent skull or giant metal clamp will occasionally slip past the most vigilant of inspectors, but I would think that even a less-than-diligent employee would notice he just lost a glove. For one thing, his hand would probably get cold. And someone should have noticed a giant gray object in a box of leafy greens. We advised Justin to get in touch with Earthbound Farm and let them know that their salads are not children’s cereal, and should not come with a treat.
salad2.jpg
Organic Glove [justinthecity]

Comments

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  1. dereksea says:

    I’m pretty sure that you would be able to tell if there was a foreign object inside the container when it was purchased. I’ve bought this exact product before and it’s pretty light weight. Also, the greens aren’t so densely packed that something GREY wouldn’t be visible. I doubt the validity of this. Maybe this is encouragement to grow your own little patch of organic lettuce… you’re already one glove closer to making it a reality.

  2. cerbie says:

    That doesn’t look like a Certified Organic glove, either…

    (may as well get that bad joke done with :))

  3. Concerned_Citizen says:

    No, the glove was made without pesticides. That means it must be organic.

  4. @dereksea: Do you lurk around looking to jump all over someone? I’m all for informed reading, but that glove looks like one of the little stretchy ones you can easily purchase at 2 pairs for $5. Those weigh nothing! Many people run into the store to pick up a few dinner ingredients, and might not thoroughly inspect the clear salad box (which is loaded with different colored lettuces anyway, and yes, I know the lettuce is not grey, but it’s often dark), especially if they usually buy that product. Would it be better for the consumer/OP to carefully investigate everything he buys? Of course. Is it likely that most people have time for that every single time they shop? I doubt it.

  5. arachnophilia says:

    …believe it or not, your leafy greens grew in dirt, and were picked by people who wear gloves!

  6. EvilTapioca says:

    @arachnophilia: True but I certainly wouldn’t want to eat a glove. o_O

  7. StevieD says:

    Granted there are legitimate issues of product contamination, but I just gotta wonder how many of these claims are really the work of the employees working for the product’s competitor.

  8. vision4bg says:

    I’m not sure Justin knows what “mortified” means.

  9. vision4bg says:

    Or Alex. Interesting – I did a straw poll of my identical twin and my wife and they both had the same definition as Justin – dictionary.reference.com agrees with me though.

  10. cjpluta says:

    Does one not inspect their salad before buying it? I think a simple lookover of the box before purchase would have revealed a glove.

  11. daelicious says:

    As someone who used to work in the produce department of a grocery store, from firsthand experience, I can tell you that these organic salads typically come to the store in big bags that are then weighed out, priced, into individual containers by the employees at the grocery store. Perhaps it wasn’t Earthbound Farms at fault, but the grocery store where the salad was purchased.

    I’m not excusing anyone, but dereksea’s comment about the weight is valid, since a glove like that would probably double the weight and thus the price of the salad.

  12. jaewon223 says:

    that’s pretty fresh salad!!!

  13. OMG a glove in my salad !

    I once found a plastic glove in my granola … probably fell in on the packaging line from one of the workers …

    My solution : i didnt eat it, called the company, the said sorry and sent me two packages of the same stuff.

    I mean .. stuff like that can happen. And as long as you dont eat it … its fine. (and its hard to miss such a glove)

  14. Optimistic Prime says:

    @arachnophilia: I totally agree. I bet just about everyone who handled the lettuce wore a glove similar to that one. I’m sure the guy lost it at the end of his shift or beginning of a break.

  15. mmbb says:

    Redwraithvienna, please remember that this is The Consumerist, and The Consumerist has no tolerance for any mistakes or accidents.

    Justin should sue their pants off, or at least urge a boycott or report them to as many regulatory groups as possible.

  16. dude, why are Sears and Comcast “related links” on this post, Chasick???

  17. punkrawka says:

    @defeatism: “Read More” is not the same as “Related.” It just includes other recent posts.

  18. Hoss says:

    From the article: “I must say the feeling I experienced when finding that glove while forking through my dinner was certainly a different feeling than I had ever experienced before.”

    Is he saying he was eating a salad and then noticed a glove?? Justin just started a blog, seems like he wants us to notice it.

  19. EBounding says:

    SOLUTION: Throw away the glove, wash the lettuce, move on. The glove doesn’t even look dirty, and lettuce grows out of dirt.

  20. bohemian says:

    I used to buy this brand of lettuce. It is packed in the containers pretty tight. If the glove was in the middle you would not see it.

    @dereksea: Unless you have an elaborate indoor growing set up with grow lights your not growing your own lettuce during the winter in most northern states. There just isn’t enough light when it is damn near dark all the time.

  21. dookas says:

    God, could this guy use more hyperbole?

  22. nebraskabill says:

    serves the tree huggin “organic” eater right, that is nothing but a word, it’s the same food I buy at the grocery store just twice the price

  23. Kiamat says:

    I think items like this are The Consumerist’s one weak spot. I mean, where is the proof here? A few pix? How difficult would it be to throw a glove in there, snap a few pix, and send it in to The Consumerist hoping some embarrassed exec will offer him a free lifetime’s supply of lettuce?

    Where’s the validation? Where’s the skepticism?

  24. Dobernala says:

    @EBounding: Agreed. The person picking and sorting your lettuce is wearing the same glove.

  25. enascar88 says:

    That glove looks a little to clean also.

  26. thirdbase says:

    Actually I would rather get a glove from Earthbound in my salad than the prize they offered last year. 862 cases of E-Coli.
    They should start calling it salad surprise.

  27. Dobernala says:

    @nebraskabill: Patently false.

  28. enascar88 says:

    @dereksea: The glove also looks a little to clean.

  29. BigElectricCat says:

    @nebraskabill: I don’t think anyone is ‘served right’ by finding a glove in their food, whether it’s a bag of salad, a can of beans or a box of frozen fish sticks. If you don’t care for organic food, then just don’t buy it. OTOH, if you don’t care for people who buy organic food, too bad for you.

  30. chemmy says:

    Yup… One morning I went to a deli and ordered a toasted bagel with cream cheese… Nothing to major, right?

    Well the counter person handed the wrapped bagel to the cashier and I saw what looked like a piece of plastic on it. I went to pull it off but it was stuck. I pulled and then realized he had wrapped his plastic foodservice glove into the middle of the bagel.

    I complained and the cashier opened the bagel (yes with his grubby hands) and proceeded to remove the glove from the cream cheese, wrap it back up and he tried to ring me up.

    He got pissed off when I told him I didn’t want it anymore. He said I ordered it and now I am wasting their money and if I didn’t pay for it he was going to call the cops. Yeah, ok buddy…. And I walked out.

  31. apotheosis says:

    I do not envy Justin the deep psychological trauma he must be facing after this horrible shock. I hope Earthbound Farm will do the right thing by refunding his full purchase price, as well as footing the bill for any future counseling needs.

    For those who might suggest that a relatively benign cloth glove isn’t as terrible as, say, a box of granola that bites you back; consider the likelihood that the glove in question was made in China.

  32. joshthephenom says:

    @nebraskabill:

    People like you make me happy that I left that horrible excuse for a state.

  33. KogeLiz says:

    Well, first of all, I am having a hard time believing this since there aren’t many details (was it sealed? Did he call the grocery store?) and this was said:

    “Justin’s reaction (“I was mortified”) is understandable. The experience has scarred Justin’s psyche and he is left wondering, “How many times was I one package away from eating glove?”

    It sounds like it was an over-dramatic prank on the Consumerist.

  34. EyeHeartPie says:

    It’s a new feature. NEW! High fiber salads!!

    Although I’m sure that Earthbound Farms is taking this seriously.

  35. katylostherart says:

    mortified? i hope the company mails him an oed.

    also it’s a glove, just remove it and let the company know because apparently palm and fingers are packaged separately. it’s not a human finger. christ what a whiner.

  36. apotheosis says:

    @KogeLiz:

    It sounds like it was an over-dramatic prank on the Consumerist.

    Oh sure you SAY that, but deep in the back of your mind you’ll never feel truly safe from the perils of prepackaged salads again.

    You’ll walk down the produce aisle nervously eying each and every box, thinking to yourself, “is that the one?”

    You’ll have to trust instinct, fate, and watch the girl at the checkout for a fleeting smile of smug satisfaction. If at any moment she seems inordinately pleased to be selling you that particular salad, for the love of god, demand to see her gloves.

  37. He was “mortified?” Is that really what he wants to say, or is that just the longest word he knows?

    And did he Smell the Glove?

  38. ajessica says:

    If Justin’s very psyche was scarred by this, then perhaps he has more pressing matters to worry about than a glove in his salad.

  39. EyeHeartPie says:

    Did the glove fit?

  40. Crrusherr says:

    looks like it was planted to me

  41. sschristie says:

    As a member of the fresh-cut produce industry, I have to question the validity of this post. For one, this type of glove would never be used in the production plant or the field (and could not make it through from the field through package anyway).

    Second, that packaged salad is probably five or more days old by the time it was purchased, yet the glove appears to be dry. It should have soaked up all the moisture in the package, which would have dried out the lettuce leaves.

    Foreign material does slip through during production, but it’s rare and there are safeguards. E. coli, listeria or salmonella are another story. I’d be more worried about those than a random glove.

  42. jfischer says:

    At least the glove did not contain
    a severed hand.

    Could it be that some Foxglove was
    growing near the crop, and was
    inadvertently harvested?

  43. Suaveydavey says:

    The same thing happened to me yesterday, when I opened my Shotz beer.

  44. witeowl says:

    I, for one, welcome this salad packaged by the people who bring us Cracker Jack.

    Seriously, it’s a glove. It’s not a body part (human or rodent), and it’s big enough to be discovered before ingesting anything.

    Bring it back to the store for a replacement.

    Unless, of course, you’d rather drive attention to your new blog.

  45. Balisong says:

    Oh Jesus Christ, who cares!! Even if this isn’t a prank, it’s a glove! Imagine how many gloves touched that salad before it was brought to you! Lettuce isn’t grown in a sanitized lab. Shut up, wash it off, and eat it. Shame on you for posting this, Consumerist.

  46. Juliekins says:

    I can’t get too worked up about this type of thing. In fact, if this happened to me, I’d probably be excited. Think of all the coupons for free salad! Sure, it’s kind of gross, but it’s not like it’s a dead animal or pre-processed soylent green. I’d be far more upset about e. coli, really. That is a little tougher to see when you open the box.

    I’m a pretty big fan of Earthbound Farms salads and this isn’t going to dissuade me from buying their stuff. It’s so much better than the bagged salads I can’t even get over it. Yes, I *should* buy heads of lettuce and process them myself, but it’s just as likely I will forget to do that and then wind up throwing out whole heads of lettuce. Which is pretty lame.

  47. zentex says:

    @Redwraithvienna: Excellent use of common sense!

    Now if only the rest of the world would learn how to use it.

  48. Munsoned says:

    Gloves in your food processing industry? It’s more common than you think! Action plan: Call the company, get a coupon, chuck this box, (profit?), move on with life.

  49. Munsoned says:

    @Suaveydavey: WIN.

  50. Blueskylaw says:

    I once found a boxcutter under my cheese slices at a high quality, well run, family owned store. When I came in they looked at it, were very apologetic (apparently it was the brand of cutter they buy)replaced my cheese, gave me a gift certificate and sent me away with a smile. But what bothered me was that they did not want to take my name down when I offered it, as if they wanted there to be no record of what happened.

  51. apotheosis says:

    Well, who wants the TSA to start outlawing cheese?

  52. vladthepaler says:

    It’s the end of the world! Lettuce-packers are wearing gloves! It was so much healthier when they used their bare hands.. No, wait, that can’t be right. What was the problem again?

  53. flipx says:

    Slugs or plant aphids? Should check out how many are allowed per serving yum, kind of take the thrill of a glove to a who cares level. Have a happy!

  54. dugn says:

    Get thicker skin.

    Tipping off media outlets and posting on Consumerist and your blog at the same time you reach out to the manufacturer is just bad form. Too many litigious, ‘I’m so offended’ people here. Make a call to Tom’s earlier Sears folks before you get so offended.

    Stuff happens. At least it wasn’t a dead animal.

    Anyone scarred for life from this needs a good spanking.

  55. Shutaro says:

    @defeatism: Because clearly Comcast is to blame for this, somehow…

  56. Hanke says:

    @sschristie: Yeah, that was the same thought I had, the glove looks clean and dry, to clean and too dry to have been in that salad for very long at all. I want DNA evidence!

  57. boss_lady says:

    @Kiamat: I think the point is protecting the consumer, not holding a trial as to whether or not one consumer would go to the trouble of making up a story and planting false evidence. Just sayin’.

  58. I didn’t ask for apparel to be included with my salad, nor did I plant it there. I certainly didn’t ask for the consumerist to link my blog, if I wanted you to know about my blog you would have known about it already. My aspirations are much more grand than to garner your readership, and those aspirations don’t involve this blog. I contacted the consumerist because I truly thought you might appreciate the heads up. Of course I am not naive, I expected detractors. What I didn’t expect was so many Sherlock Holmes’ on the case. Some of your reasoning and logic is downright pathetic. I also assure you mortified was the word I intended to use. Fork through your dinner some night and find a tiny grey wool glove after a long day in an exhausting city. My one moment to unwind and enjoy a scant dinner after a day of commuting and walking and move making. I realize most of you couldn’t begin to understand the logistics of living (and eating) in the city, its easy to plop your overgrown asses into your cars and order a #1 at McDonalds. I actually expended effort and energy into obtaining said salad, I expected to be rewarded for that expenditure. Try putting yourself in my shoes; or jeans for that matter, and let me know if you don’t feel a bit mortified (humiliation, wounded pride) when your dinner is someone’s dirty glove. Making sure people don’t feel this way is the whole point of The Consumerist, people who work hard and expect quality products that they can consume via their earned dollar bill. I’d love to hate on you as much as you hated on me in your comments but I resist and I am done, and awash with apathy.

  59. apotheosis says:

    Hamburger Helper guy? NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  60. pmathews says:

    @apotheosis

    So you’re saying it’s possible the glove was tainted with lead…I hear ya.

    @EyeHeartPie

    Then you must acquit?

  61. mgy says:

    @joshthephenom: Check out his past comments. He’s used the word ‘tree huggin’ in the last two consecutive posts, and all the ones before that take some cheap jab at ‘rich a holes’ and such. I’m guessing he HAS to be a highly-motivated troll.

  62. apotheosis says:

    The last mass market packaged product with a single glove was michael jackson, and he has very little organic content.

  63. pmathews says:

    @apotheosis

    ***insert little boy joke here***

  64. CharlieInSeattle says:

    “I have no appetite since finding the glove..”

    OMG this guy is either the worlds biggest drama queen, or New Yorks biggest pussy.

  65. Ghede says:

    “How many times was I one package away from eating glove?”

    It is a ridiculous concern. The guy is clearly fishing for compensation for “Mental damages.” Nobody should be that freaked out over a damn GLOVE. If he found a hand inside… then he should be freaked out.

    I don’t usually blame the victim, but when it is something as… non-threatening as a glove, then you already have serious problems if that causes permanant psychological damage. The proper reaction should be: “Ok, that is weird. I’m not eating that. I’d like my money back, and maybe a couple of bucks for my trouble.”

  66. CharlieInSeattle says:

    @vladthepaler:

    Totally agree with you, rather have found a glove than some e-coli. Besides who doesn’t wash your salad before eating it?

  67. Peeved Guy says:

    Two words sprung to mind while I was perusing that site: self parody.

    I have learned, however, that the phrase “forking through my dinner” makes me chuckle like a 10th grader, though.

  68. frankadelic says:

    Justin has very nice countertops!

  69. pmathews says:

    @frankadelic

    They look like the slabs from Marble Slab (the ice cream shop for those who don’t know).

  70. avenger339 says:

    I’m not gonna say anything about his “psychological” issues, but it amazes me that people here would wash the lettuce and eat it anyway. I think the point he’s trying to make is that “If a glove snuck through somehow, what else am I eating that I don’t know about?”

  71. The Bambino says:

    Having to pick up your drunken father from his 23rd job after he was fired for harassment again=mortified.

    Finding a glove in a bag of salad and being “mortified”=grounds for a severe beating

  72. beat me bambino..

  73. @frankadelic: thanks frankadelic. i got the table at the salvation army at 3rd and 12th in manhattan.

  74. whatevs.

    my biggest problem with EB Farms and other brands of “spring mix” is it often goes rotten well before the “sell by” date, and it’s expensive. I bitched about it on EB Farms “we care! write us!” email address. no reply, of course. so I usually jut buy the store brand now which in many cases IS grown by EB Farms anyway.

  75. @geeniusatwrok: exactly!! this is one of many of this companies problems. its disgusting! they need to right the wrongs.

  76. ChuckECheese says:

    @Optimistic Prime: You know, it’s probably even okay if you do eat it.

  77. ChuckECheese says:

    A friend of mine who works for a large food distributor says if you saw how they prepare these packaged salad mixes, you’d never eat them.

  78. Alex Chasick says:

    The main reason I posted this story was because it reminded me of this:

  79. @Alex Chasick: one person saw the humor and the self parody in this story..and i appreciate it. people seem to be more angry at me than they are earthbound. i love it. sorry for trying to bring it to your attention.

  80. boss_lady says:

    @geeniusatwrok: Mine’s gone bad a couple of times before the ‘best before’ date, too. It is pricier than regular bag ‘o salad, so I still pick the good pieces of lettuce leaves out and use them. Whenever it starts going slimy, though, I just think about how, in a month, the local farmer’s market will have fresh, locally-grown lettuce!

  81. Landru says:

    I wonder how many he’ll have to buy in order to find the mate.

  82. @generalhousewifery: Same can be asked about you lurking around for him. Anyways I think he had a somewhat valid point. I buy that exact brand and looking at the case it’s clear all around it’s pretty obvious to tell if there’s a gray glove in a bunch green/purple “lettuce”.

  83. jeff303 says:

    This just in: in even the most sophisticated, computerized, automated, industrialized process some percent error still occurs. Later: we discuss a radical new idea economists are calling “the law of diminishing returns.”

  84. trujunglist says:

    Rodent skull, soiled glove. Rodent skull, soiled glove. Hmm… I’ll take door number 3.

  85. Ghede says:

    @ChuckECheese: Unless they drag them through piles of fertilizer and pesticide to ensure the leaves are still leafy when they get to the store, I’m fine with it.

  86. thalia says:

    “How many times was I one package away from eating glove?”

    It’s an epidemic, people! We’re all just one salad away from accidentally eating an entire glove! We’re all doomed!!!

    Also, that glove looks pretty dang unsoiled to me. My vote? The guy threw the glove in after opening the packaging to get his three seconds of internet fame.

  87. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

    Bah. This is nothing. My bf found LIVE ants in a sealed package of Post breakfast cereal a few months back. Calls to Post lead to apologies, and coupons for free Post products. The store where he purchased it also gave him a free box (which thankfully was ant-free.)

  88. @nursethalia: what an amazing way to attain three seconds of internet fame. genius..

  89. mmbb says:

    Everybody who eats salad daily consumes an average of 1.2 gloves per year, as well as 6.2 pounds of dirt, 4.7 pounds of insects, 4.3 pounds of insecticides, and .1 pound of extraterrestrial alien fecal matter.

  90. mariospants says:

    All the comments about e.coli remind me of how much I dislike the organic food movement. Yeah, there’s the good such as issues of sustainability, reducing pesticide runoff etc. (which are practices all farming should adopt) but what irks me is that the organic food industry has turned food from a necessity to a commodity. When I was a kid, $0.99 worth of Tang would buy you all of the Vitamin C and orangey sweet fluid goodness you’d ever need. Nowadays, you can’t find Tang anywhere because it has “preservatives” and instead you find $8 hand-squeezed organic orange presse.

    When I was a kid, you never heard of anybody dying from eating carrots, spinach or any number of the feces-spiced organic produce we’re buying nowadays. Given the amount of change we see in the diet advice industry, I wouldn’t be surprised to read that someday they’ll discover that eating preservative-laced foods will prolong your lifespan…

    and frankly, I’d rather die a few hours earlier than I naturally would due to eating processed foods compared to 48 hours of intestinal agony before succumbing at a youthful age to bacterial poisoning.

  91. nardo218 says:

    He was deeply embarrassed?

  92. youbastid says:

    @mariospants: Don’t know where you’re from, but I’ve been all over the country and you can still get Tang anywhere. The reason it’s not on the front shelves any more is because it’s God awful, but it’s still widely available.

    And the “feces-spiced” (spiked?) produce that you speak of had nothing to do with it being organic. They were also never able to connect fecal matter to the spinach, since the e.coli was found in the roots and not on the surface. In any case, there have been FAR more recalls of non-organic food industrywide.

  93. @The Marionette: Umm, how was I “lurking around for him”? I came across his post and was shocked at how quickly someone had jumped down the OP’s throat. I don’t know dereksea from Adam, and in fact, the only reason I was up at that hour was because I’m in college and have a really skewed schedule.

  94. @nardo218: embarrassed for the company and that i was a dirty consumer of disgusting products.

  95. failurate says:

    Justin fails as a victim.
    Trying to turn an odd and almost humorous inconvenience into a reason to be “mortified” has been played out and is just not funny.
    More interesting than the glove in the salad is Justin’s personality. Which from his posts, seems quite obnoxious.

  96. @failurate: I’m not trying to be a victim as much as I am trying to bring to your attention a gross company which I thought was the point of this whole blog?! Its not all about gloves its about negligence in general which they have proven to be in much more serious ways in the past. One person above got it right when he referred to my posts as self parody.

  97. ChuckECheese says:

    @failurate: A person with countertops like those, not to mention a penchant for organic baby lettuces, is no doubt quite easily wrought.
    @sschristie: I thought the same thing as you about the glove absorbing moisture from the box. The only exception to this is if the glove is made of acrylic, which it might be. Acrylic doesn’t absorb much water. Who knows what kinda gloves the workers are wearing.

  98. smythdav says:

    I once got some filthy cardboard knockouts in one of these salad containers. I sent it into EB via mail and asked for a refund, since we threw the salad away. There was ZERO response from EB. They really could care less in my view.

    The anti-Justin comments here are surprising. Have none of you read Upton Sinclair? … Fast Food Nation? The point is not whether or not Justin is overly sensitive — the point is pure food and drugs. I guess this is the reason that people die from tainted cough syrup from china. We have a surprising people willing to excuse negligent behavior, because “it’s not that big of a deal”. Why even read a web site entitled the consumerist – just send your campaign contribution into you favorite special interest representing legislator and be doen with it.

  99. gman16k says:

    Take another look at the picture with the glove. Have you ever tried to
    cut a piece of multi-layered thick material with a pair of hand
    scissors? It produces a jigsaw tooth pattern cut because of the way the
    scissors bind on the material as they close. Notice the length of the
    pattern is about the same stroke you would get out of a pair of hand
    scissors. I’m a betting man and I’d put my money that this glove was
    cut with a common pair of hand scissors.