Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Washing Vegetables Properly

I am in Central Europe and I am afraid to eat vegetables.  On the plate of chicken stuffed with goat cheese and roasted potatoes sits a cucumber, some lettuce and a tomato.  Normally my mother would tell me to 'eat my vegetables' however a quick facebook message said, 'don't even touch them.'  Why? 

Over 2,300 people sick and 23 deaths have been linked to eating raw vegetables.  An unusual lethal superbug strain of  E.Coli O104 strain was uncovered.  I am not an E.Coli expert but apparrtently O104 strains are almost never (normally) resistant to antibiotics.  This outbreak is said to originate from vegetables in Almeria, Spain has caused such widespread panic around Europe resulting in 200 millions of euros per week of lost revenue for Spanish and other European producers.  It has also caused me some indigestion from the lack of needed fiber.

E.Coli is not the only nasty stuff on the surface coming off the cucumber.  Plants are grown in vast fields surrounded by a lot of bugs and other pests.  Crop control means that herbicides, fungacides and pesticides are used to control for these pests.  These chemicals control weeds, fungus and pests from eating some expensive cash crops before you do.  Monsato, Dow and other companies make these chemicals to spray in the fields.  These chemicals have sprayed with proper concentrations determined by the surface tension of the chemicals so the drop size is the correct size for proper coating of the vegetetables.  Like these new deadly strains of E.Coli you would not want to eat these chemicals.  So how do you get them off?  You need to wash them!!! 

Companies that produce the vegetables need to wash the vegetables thoroughly.  This may be something that is amiss with the vegetables affected by E.Coli.  Good quality control is not in place.  However, some companies to control for the pesticides, herbicides and fungacides have started using a surface tension device.  They wash their fruit and vegetables then test the effluent water for these pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.  Once they are below a particular surface tension then they are free to go to the stores where you can buy them.  Maybe soon I can munch on some vegetables.  Hopefully, without having to ingest E.coli, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides with my meal.  Learn here how to wash your vegetables properly.