How to ensure your fresh produce is free of pesticides and bacteria
By Georgina del Ángel Cabrera Original Print Publication: May, 2007
- Store in the refrigerator in plastic bags, separating by type, in the produce drawer of the fridge.
- Place fruits with a peel in a container, cover with a cloth and store in a fresh place in the kitchen, away from dust.
- Place fruits without a peel (blackberries, strawberries, raspberries) in a container and top with plastic wrap, piercing the plastic in the middle to allow air circulation. Store in the refrigerator, ensuring that the cold air does not hit the fruit directly.
In a country where the food production process is different from what we're used to, it's common to question whether what we put in our shopping cart is free of pathogenic microorganisms.
There are many phases that food passes through before arriving on your plate: sowing and harvesting, storage, transport, and finally washing and preparation.
These concerns can prevent us from enjoying the food in front of us – sometimes rejecting it altogether.
The following guidelines will serve as a reminder that there are always strategies to get around such worries and enjoy what you eat. We'll focus on fruits and vegetables, foods that should predominate our daily diets and that are easily contaminated with pesticides, chemicals and fertilizers.
There are many phases that food passes through before arriving on your plate: sowing and harvesting, storage, transport, and finally washing and preparation. Good hygiene and quality assurance practices at each point along the way will help ensure that the food is freer of pathogenic microorganisms.
You can find several different kinds of fruits and vegetables from diverse food production lines in the supermarket. For example packaged and "organic" products have labels and nutritional information and should ensure that, for instance, organic pesticides and potable water were used by the farmers; conditions during storage and transport were of high quality; and the produce passed through a washing and disinfection process, giving the consumer the confidence to open the bag, take out the fruit or vegetable and eat it directly.
What can you do with produce that is sold loose or in open-air markets where information on the production line is not provided? Do your best to clean and prepare it properly before you eat it. It's a two-step process.
Wash all fruits and vegetables with disinfected water to remove dirt and impurities. Add two drops of bleach (Clorox traditional brand) for every two liters of water and wait 30 minutes before using it to wash your produce.
Next, disinfect your produce to remove bacteria, viruses, mold, germs and parasites. Add 8 drops of microdyn (made from colloidal silver which is easily eliminated by the body with no ill effects) to each liter of water and submerge produce for 10 minutes. Drain, rinse, and enjoy!
Georgina del Ángel is a nutritionist and researcher at the Salvador Zubirán National Institute of Nutrition in Mexico City, specializing in nutrition and the treatment of chronic and degenerative diseases. Any questions? Email email@example.com.