Do You Know What You’re Eating?

plums There is something to be said about turning a blind eye and staying naïve to keep a positive attitude.   I have just one problem with that… I’m too inquisitive!

So I’m walking along the produce isles, taking in the beautiful array of colors in front of me.  But then my curiosity and slight OCD take over and I start thinking about how many other hands have touched the same apple and cucumber that I just picked up.  That’s where it all starts…

Here’s some thought provoking information about the produce you buy.

Did you know that most of the produce that you buy at a grocery store could have been harvested weeks and months if not almost a year ago?

It is a common practice for most produce to be harvested early and finished with a chemical spray called ethylene gaswhile in transit.  Yes, produce does emit ethylene naturally while ripening.  But, chemists have taken this natural gas and turned it into a liquid form to spray on early harvested produce.  It is in this form that it’s harmful to us.

Did you know that even some organic apples have a wax coating on them?

This is where it gets tricky.  Many would say that wax has no place being on food.  But consider that some produce naturally has a coating or “wax” on it to help protect it and keep it moist.  The most common types of wax are actually a derivative of animals, minerals or vegetables.  So now it becomes a matter of choice.

Or, how about the fact that produce is handled by many sets of hands that may or may not have been washed after their last trip to the bathroom.

Enough said.

Needless to say, by thinking that buying organic will solve all of the chemical and bacterial issues that consumers need to be aware of is just not going to cut it.  Best bet, by local and in season.  Then, when you get your produce home and begin to prepare it, follow these guidelines to prevent as much chemical and bacterial contamination as much as possible.

  • Soak produce in a 5:1 water to white vinegar ratio for about two minutes
  • For denser produce, scrub the outsides with your hands or a clean cloth
  • Drain and rinse for a good 30 seconds to a minute in clean, running water
  • Store in a clean container different than the one it came home in

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