Eggplant Safe if Animal Bit it First?

Asked July 12, 2020, 1:06 PM EDT

Hi - I’ve worked hard to grow a few eggplants and covered then with netting to keep away the chipmunks and squirrels. However, an animal took a few bites last night. Is it safe to cut off the bitten pieces and cook the rest? Thanks in advance!

Jackson County Michigan

2 Responses

Good Morning,

The references I have through University Extension sites recommend discarding anything soiled by animal feces. Also anything gnawed on by animals should be discarded. Minor insect damage can be cut away, and the veggies washed before cooking or eating.

There aren't a lot of articles about eating damaged fruit, but radio gardener Mike McGrath had an answer about insect damage here: https://www.gardensalive.com/product/eating-insect-damaged-crops

When in doubt, throw it out, and try to protect the rest of the fruits.

Here are some other articles that address the issue—-

https://blog.extension.uconn.edu/2014/08/06/should-i-eat-that/

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/

Wildlife Identification and management in gardens—

identifying_critter_damage_in_the_garden_and_landscape

https://ag.umass.edu/sites/ag.umass.edu/files/fact-sheets/pdf/whats_eating_my_vegetables.pdf

Thanks for your question!

Sounds like sensible advice. Thanks so much for your prompt response!