If you are like me you are a worrywart. And if you are a veggie, like me, you worry about the condition of the fresh produce that you purchase. Particularly after the E. Coli Fallout in Germany. Most shocking about the fallout, the source came from contaminated bean sprout from an organic farm! And the victims, young otherwise healthy women. Sounds like me!
Naively, at the beginning stages of my transition into veggiehood, I believed that my diet covered me from such catastrophes. In fact, one of the catalyst that propelled me into veggiehood was the abundance of news about E. Coli infested animals. Never in my 4 year lifetime as a vegetarian have I heard of fresh produce being contaminated. Well, at least if it was news I missed it. Now what am I to do? Change my diet yet again?
Well that will not happen. I am a committed veggie. I always say that my diet is the perfect accompaniment to my personality, calm and thoughtful. Though this news is disconcerting, I have faith that I’m making the right choice with my diet.
So consider this: the AARP published “The Raw Truth About E. Coli.” Sandy Cagon, the author, implores “To be clear, it’s not that raw vegetables are more likely to contain E. Coli, a large group of bacteria normally found in the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals. It’s that those vegetables are eaten uncooked, so the bacteria hasn’t been killed by high heat. E. coli has previously sickened people who ate undercooked beef for the same reason.” Read the full article here The Raw Truth About E. Coli.
Health and wellness, regardless of diet is key. And when a person makes conscious healthy choices certain precautions are innately implemented to maintain health. Such as, properly washing and storing your fresh produce. And again, if you are like me you like raw veggies.
The link above, E. Coli Fallout, is an article published in The New York Times. The author Elizabeth Rosenthal suggests that “if you are determined to eat raw, you use the technique I learned during a six-year assignment in China: Soak the produce in diluted dish soap or bleach for 20 minutes before rinsing and eating. (p.s. You don’t taste the soap any more than you taste soap after you wash a glass.)” If soaking in soap is still not enough reassurance for you try the bleach method advised by a contributor of AARP: “Add 1/4 teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water and soak your raw veggies for at least 30 minutes. http://www.doh.wa.gov/phepr/handbook/purify.htm” To me, this seems a little extreme. I personally will stick to a water rinsing, and if necessary soap.
As overwhelming as it may seem, these steps may aid in carefree eating. Just as health conscious meat eaters take the necessary precautions to prepare their meat products, so should we in preparing our veggies.