Are you diligent about washing and safely preparing your food before you eat it? EVERY piece of it? You will be after reading this…
Pathogens on Your Food
Tainted food recalls seem to have become a weekly occurrence and have recently included everything from contaminated cantaloupe, mangoes, and papayas to peanut butter, ground turkey, and tuna. And, if you think it’s happening more often than it used to, you’re right. A report by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group published last month found that the number of foodborne illnesses has increased by a whopping 44% in just the last two years, impacting 48 million people annually.
“Foodborne illness can be much more severe than a simple upset stomach,” says Deirdre Cummings of Massachusetts’ Public Interest Research Group. “It can cause serious chronic health problems and even death. Infection with a certain strand of E. coli bacteria, for example, can cause kidney dysfunction or failure, and certain types of Shigella, Salmonella, and Campylobacter bacteria can trigger the onset of reactive or chronic arthritis. If a pregnant woman is infected with certain types of Listeria monocytogenes, her baby is at risk for developmental delays, paralysis, or blindness.”
Pesticides on Your Food
Unless you’re buying all organic (which most of us can’t afford), there are almost definitely pesticides on and in your food. What’s On My Food? is a searchable database created by the Pesticide Action Network that makes it easy to get a snapshot of what pesticide residues have been found on everything from almonds and asparagus to butter and poultry. Here’s what’s been found on apples (according to the USDA Pesticide Data Program) and the health effects each pesticide has been linked to:
Here’s What You Can Do
1. Buy organic when possible. Look for foods with lower levels of pesticides when you choose conventionally grown foods.
2. Look for produce that’s not bruised or battered.
3. Wash your produce (even organic) right when you bring it home. It’s easiest and most efficient to wash everything at the same time. And then you don’t run the risk of cross-contamination. The US FDA advises skipping soap since fruits and veggies are porous and can absorb soaps or detergents. Honest Fruit & Veggie Wash is an easy option that’s 100% non-toxic and plant-based and effectively removes unwanted:
- toxic pesticide & chemical residues,
- pathogens, waxes, dirt, handling oils, and bacteria surface contaminants (found on both conventional & organically grown produce).
And it doesn’t leave any taste or odor behind. Check out these photos comparing broccoli, grapes, plums, and apples washed in water vs. those sprayed or washed with Honest Fruit & Veggie Wash.
Learn more about Honest Fruit & Veggie Wash and how easy it is to use.
And use the following resources to learn more about choosing and preparing foods safely: