If You See Red Stuff on Your Lettuce, This Is What It Is

Have you discovered red stuff on your lettuce? Here's what it is and why it's there in the first place.

Summer is a season where people often grab cold food to eat. Some love a good cucumber soup or pasta salad, whereas others reach for watermelon pizza. If you’re short on time, one of the easiest cold meals to whip up is a good salad. It’s best to make your salad with fresh ingredients, so what happens when you reach into the refrigerator and find that you have red stuff on your lettuce? Don’t chuck out the whole head! Just romaine calm, because it’s an easy problem to fix. Something else you also shouldn’t throw away: spotted or bumpy eggs.

What is that red stuff on lettuce?

It’s a fairly simple explanation, really. The reddish-brown stuff that appears on your lettuce, often near the root, is what most professional chefs refer to as “rust.” It’s a pretty apt name once you think about it. Your case of “rusty lettuce” is due to an excess of moisture during the storage process—good to know when assessing how long your fresh produce will really last.

Is rusty lettuce safe to eat?

Yes, the lettuce is still good, so there’s no need to waste it. It may look unappetizing (kind of like that stringy white stuff in eggs), but the situation is easily salvageable. All you need to do is slice off the rusty red spots with a chef’s knife. Remember to hold the lettuce steady and cut away from your body with a sharp knife. You’ll have fresh-looking lettuce in no time at all!

Next, find out what that white stuff on your baby carrots is—and what’s causing it in the first place.

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