Archive for April, 2009

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Join the Clean Plate Club

April 8, 2009

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Ready to commit to a cleaner plate?  Sign up now by visiting our website at www.eatcleaner.com.  You’ll get tasty morsels and the daily dish on the food you eat. 

 

Sound mind, sound eating.

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An Über Clean Apple a Day

April 7, 2009

A clean apple a day

 

Give one to your teacher.  Eat one a day to keep that icky doctor away.  As wholesome of a snack as anyone could think of.  But as tempting as from the hand of Eve in that ill-fated garden scene, so may be the apples that you pick up at your favorite market. 

 

 

The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organization that has done extensive pesticide residue testing on our favorite fruit and vegetables, found conventional apples had the second-highest pesticide load among 44 fruits and vegetables evaluated. Apples were behind only peaches, the most highly sprayed fruit, largely attributed to its delicate flesh and soft skin being awfully tempting to insects.  Just under 94% of conventional apples tested had detectable pesticides, at an average of 0.89 parts per million. 

 

 

It may not seem like a lot but there is growing scientific consensus that even very small doses of pesticides can wreak havoc, especially during vulnerable periods of in utero and early childhood development, and with the elderly.  Substances like Azinphos methyl, a dangerous neurotozin banned in Europe, are still commonly used on apples.  Exposure to pesticides is linked to chronic diseases including Parkinson’s Disease, child and adult cancers. 

 

 

The bottom line is many pesticides are water-resistant to help withstand the elements, so rinsing them under water just won’t get the job done.  My daughter, the pretty little girl in this pic, meticulously cleans her apples with our Eat Cleaner™ wipes.  The ingredients are formulated to help strip away the wax and pesticides while thoroughly cleaning dirt and the handprints of everyone who touched it before us.  We carry the travel pack of wipes in my purse so we can grab fruit on the go – a much healthier alternative to the temptations in the checkout aisle.

 

 

We’re taking matters into our own hands.  Now how do ya’ like them apples?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Going nuts over latest food safety scare

April 4, 2009

Another one bites the dust. Or in this case, nuts. Just a few weeks ago, it was an outbreak of salmonella over a tainted batch of peanuts. This week, it’s pistachios. It’s being termed ‘Nutgate.’ You may laugh, but dare I say this was a devastating financial blow to manufacturers – peanuts in the realm of over $1B, not to mention the people who got sick and will eventually litigate over it. The fallout from pistachios, not yet quantified. Kraft got the burden of this one.

A Kraft spokeswoman reportedly claimed that it did “not know until recently that pistachios were the cause of salmonella contamination in a trail mix and promptly informed their nut supplier, Setton…. [The] spokeswoman said their manufacturer Georgia Nut Co. first found the bacteria in its Kraft Back to Nature Nantucket Blend trail mix in September, but it took more than six months of careful ingredient testing to determine what caused the contamination.”

Six months of tainted trail mix on the market? Unacceptable.

Even the USDA is scratching their heads over what to do on the subject of food safety. It’s a classic case of ‘who’s on first,’ with a power struggle between 15 agencies trying to figure our how to legislate and enforce regulations across growers, producers and manufacturers of our nation’s edible resources. In a Reuters wire article, the USDA chief cites problems in our food safety system. A revelation, indeed, but accountability is the first step in acceptance.

“The U.S. food safety system is divided by competing philosophies and a lack of accountability that make it harder to protect consumers, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Tuesday as the country.””When you have 15 separate agencies in the federal government responsible for some part (of food safety), you’ve got way too many,” said Vilsack, who supports a single food agency. Who do “you hold accountable when there is a problem?”

President Barack Obama announced a White House panel this month to improve food safety. He assigned Vilsack to head the group along with former Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius, his nominee for Health and Human Services secretary.

While everyone tries to get things sorted out, and it will not be overnight as you might suspect, it’s important to report incidents of foodborne illness. The FDA and CDC among other agencies track consumer foodborne sickness. But for every reported illness, they estimate 36 others have not been reported. Write your congressperson, log your issue on one of the 15 government agency sites, send a letter to your local newspaper, or twitter to your group of friends – whatever it takes. Just let it be known. With enough critical mass, we may be able to make a difference.

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What’s lurking in your bagged salad? Gag me a with a tadpole.

April 1, 2009

The next time you peruse the bagged lettuce aisle in search of convenience, you may want to keep wandering towards the out-of the ground varieties. While the boom of ‘triple-washed’ bagged salads helped yield the industry some serious green -upwards of $2.6 Billion – what’s lurking inside may surprise you. Look closely. For some adventurists who may think the image above is a French nouvelle take on the gourmet salad craze – you know, a Frog Legs and Baby Lettuce concoction – bon appetit. But for most of us who are looking to achieve somewhere near 5-10 a day without a trace of tadpole, you definitely got more than you could stomach.

This may be the exception to the rule but recall, it was less than three years ago that the U.S. reeled from a frightening outbreak of E.coli from contaminated bagged spinach, leading to one death and hundreds of illness, some hospitalized. There are many factors that have been cited as contributing to the problem – from farming practices using tainted animal manure to improper food handling. However, all of the issues surrounding that particular outbreak were linked to only the bagged type – not the unpackaged greens. Scientists know that Salmonella and E. coli O157 can cause serious sickness in humans and can spread to produce, especially leafy greens, if they are fertilized with contaminated manure, irrigatedwith contaminated water, or if they come into contact with fecal matter during the cutting, washing, packing and preparation processes. Potent pathogens have the ability to fester in a sealed environment, such as a plastic bag. If not handled or dried properly, micoorganisms can get out of control.
Now, before you get totally turned off of the idea of eating another salad again, know the benefits greatly outweigh the potential risks. Fruit and vegetables are the basis of a healthy diet and with a dose of safe food handling knowledge, you can take matters into your own hands. Pick up a plethora of unwashed varieties – from butter lettuce to arugula, romaine to radicchio – and save yourself some serious green ($3.50 for average bagged salad vs. $1.60 for head lettuce) while getting your food Über clean.
Here’s a few tips to keep your edible delights from turning toxic:
— But be sure you wash your hands before handling lettuce or any raw produce…especially if you have been in contact with any raw meat.

— Separate each leaf of lettuce and give them a good spray with EAT CLEANER™. Allow the lettuce to soak for up to 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly in the Wash and Dryer until the water runs clear through the strainer. Drain water and give it a spin dry. Blot with a paper towl and serve. EAT CLEANER™ will help to keep your produce fresher, longer.

— If you insist on bag salads, experts say it doesn’t hurt to wash it again. EAT CLEANER™ can take care of business. Also, check the expiration date before you eat it. Even if the lettuce looks good, you should know E.coli can grow quickly in greens that are deteriorating.

— Clean your cutting boards and prep areas with EAT CLEANER™ to avoid cross-contamination.
— Keep that salad chillin’ to help deter spoilage.
— If you like to wash your greens in advance, make sure you dry them thoroughly. Damp veggies can culture mold and bacteria in the fridge otherwise. Our advice: Wash just before you eat to help ensure freshness.

Check out the video link below for an in-depth look.

Here’s to good, clean eating, from The EAT CLEANER™. Clean Plate Club.

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