From Biosis 15, March 2007
Play It Safe: Food Safety Tips
Ever since last autumn’s  spinach scare, food contamination has been in the news. It used to be that most food-borne illnesses could be traced to problems in preparation and storage: spoiled foods or uncooked eggs or meat. Now problems are increasingly found in foods we consider “wholesome,” such as raw vegetables. Since corporate agriculture shows no sign of changing its ways, whether we like it or not, we have to take responsibility for doing whatever we can to make the foods we choose safe to eat.
We recommend that you start by choosing organic produce and dairy as much as possible. If you eat meat, go for free-range, grass-fed organics. If you choose fish, avoid farmed and opt for wild. (If the fish isn’t clearly labeled, ask the seafood counter clerk.)
Always opt for organic when choosing produce you eat whole (i.e. with the skin or peel on). This will help reduce your intake of pesticides and other toxins that cling to the outside of food. Also forgo convenience and always opt for unprocessed produce: whole heads of lettuce instead of bagged, mixed greens and whole fruits and veggies instead of pre-cut. It may make for a little more work, but it reduces the contamination risks that can occur when produce from different fields and farms is mixed, as it is in most prepackaged produce.
You should wash all produce before eating it. To ensure the removal of all pesticides, you can use a homeopathic such as Exchem from Apex Energetics. Just add 20 drops per gallon of water and soak the produce for 10 to 15 minutes. We have this product available at the office. Just call for more information or ask us about Exchem at your next visit.
An alternate cleanse is the “Clorox bath” method devised by Hazel R. Parcells, DC, ND, PhD:
Separate the foods to be treated into four groups:
- Leafy vegetables
- Root, heavy-skinned or fibrous vegetables
- Thin-skinned berries and fruits (peaches, apricots, plums, etc.)
- Heavy-skinned fruits (apples, citrus, bananas, etc.)
Use 1/2 teaspoon of Clorox to 1 gallon of water. Use only Clorox brand bleach. Place each group of produce in such a bath. Soak each group of thin-skinned fruits and leafy vegetables for 10 minutes. Soak each remaining group for 15 to 20 minutes. Do not bathe the foods any longer than their given time, as they will begin to oxidize (turn brown).
When you remove each group, place it in a fresh water bath for 10 to 15 minutes. The food may now be further prepared and/or stored.
While we recommend this procedure mainly for produce, you can also use it to clean eggs and meat. Eggs should be washed in the same dilution for 20 to 30 minutes. Unless frozen, meats should be washed for 10 to 15 minutes per 2 to 5 pounds. Ground meats should not be washed. Frozen fowl should soak until thawed.