My “food hero,” Michael Pollan gives a compelling speech about the dangers of cooking and the processing of food. Pesticides, GMOs, and processing methods of prepared foods are contributing to the increase in disease.
It boils down to eating food as close to its natural state, and cooking the food yourself.
And he provides a realistic way to make it happen.
It may not occur to you to wash your produce, but think about it: It comes from the field and may be commercially washed BEFORE it is handled by packers, is transported in dirty trucks, then handled by market workers and shoppers testing for ripeness. Maybe even sneezed on. UGH!
A Tennessee State University study found that the home vegetable bin is the dirtiest part of the refrigerator! There may be up to 2 million bacteria per gram, yeast, mold and other germs on a head of lettuce! What to do?
Wash with tap water to cut bacteria up to 98%.
Fruits and vegetables with edible skin should be washed under running water for 30-60 seconds according to Brendan Niemira, P.hD., a scientist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service. Use fingers or a soft vegetable brush and the water will carry away any bacteria.
If there is an inedible peel, use a sturdier brush and wash for the same length of time. Even though you won’t be eating the skin, piercing it to cut it up will introduce whatever is on the outside, onto the edible portion.
Since much of the terminology used in food advertising is not regulated, manufacturers are able to make very misleading claims. To understand better some of the definitions and limitations to the truth about these claims, see this article:
While organic food is defined with a little more integrity, it is not cut and dried. Also, organic is more expensive, so save your dollars for when it really counts. Eating your fruits and vegetables is important to your health – and usually overshadows the risks posed by pesticides. For the most part, fruits and vegetables with a thick skin or rind that will be peeled can be safely consumed. In any case, always wash the surface before breaking the skin or you risk getting bacteria from the outside on the part you will consume.
Each year, a list of the cleanest and dirtiest (referring to pesticides) is published. Here is a link to the recent list: