Road to Raw Food(s), Episode 4
After the usual task of cleaning newly purchased fruits (which are unbelievably still firm and hard to the touch) and amazing crisp vegetables in our futile attempt at removing or wiping out whatever harmful preservative agent sprayed on it (see related video-article here How I clean & wash my fruits and vegetables ) I store them in the ref. Few days after, the peaches were disappointingly not fit for consumpton. What the sensation missed the eyes fully uncovered!
Fruits and vegetable get a good doze of spray of pesticides while on the ground and maybe days before the actual harvest. And yet again, another batch of harmful chemicals and preservatives are infused into the produce to make them survive the packing process, shipping and storing until they eventually debut on the fruit stands. Some of the produce make it to the market months after the harvest. They were engineered to make more profit and returns to the big time producers and marketers at the expense of the consuming public. Now, do not wonder why off season fruits are always available on the market.
Grapes may be imported from the US (packed with sulphur dioxide to prevent mold growth), while asparagus can come from Peru. That is why quality is extremely compromised when fruit is picked before it’s fully ripe to make it easier to store and transport over time and long distances.
Produce is chilled as soon as possible after harvest, it deteriorates much more slowly. Controlled-atmosphere storage and packaging (with lower levels of oxygen and higher levels of carbon dioxide than normal air) can further slow down deterioration.
One can tell the difference in flavor and taste later.
For one, 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) is increasingly being used to extend the storage life of some fruits and vegetables even more. This chemical blocks some of the biochemical changes that occur as fruit ripens and matures. Unfortunately, tests show the fruit remains hard and 1-MCP also prevents production of chemical compounds that contribute to flavor. Nonetheless, it’s already used extensively for apples, and increasingly for other fruit, such as avocados and melons. Fruit is often sprayed with fungicides to prevent mold; imported fruit and vegetables may be fumigated with methyl bromide to comply with quarantine regulations.
The American Environmental Working Group in April 2014 released its yearly update advisory on produce that are highly lazed with pesticides that are harmful for human consumption: 1 Apple 2 Strawberries 3 Grapes 4 Celery 5 Peaches 6 Spinach 7 Sweet bell peppers 8 Nectarines 9 Cucumbers 10 Cherry Tomatoes 11 Snap Peas 12 Potatoes 13 Hot peppers 14 Blue Berries 15 Lettuce 16 Kale/Collar greens 17 Plums 18 Cherries 19 Nectarines 20 Pears 21 Tangerines 22 Carrots 23 Blueberries 24 Green Beans 25 Winter Squash
26 Summer Squash 27 Raspberries 28 Broccoli 29 Snap Peas 30 Green Onions 31 Oranges 32 Bananas 33 Tomatoes 34 Watermelon 35 Honeydew melons 36 Mushrooms 37 Sweet potatoes 38 Cauliflower 39 Cantaloupe 40 Grapefruit 41 Eggplant 42 Kiwi 43 Papayas 44 Mangoes 45 Asparagus 46 Onions 47 Sweet Peas 48 Cabbage 49 Pineapples 50 Sweetcorn 51 Avocados. Top listed produce has the most pesticide in its content and the least is Avocados.
In the Philippines, do we have this “mechanism”?
But wait. While some of the produce are listed in the bottom, meaning they contain less of pesticides, majority of these are also GMOs (genetically modified organisms) already. There is no way for consumers from getting away from GMO products when GMO companies has a very strong financial resources to pursue a convincing, intimidating, lobby and clout of enormous power on government officials, including the Philippines. They spend enough largesse (millions of US dollars) for the purpose. Don’t ask us why some government agencies and their heads here are hell bent at planting GMO eggplant and rice now. Your answer is as good as mine.
In the meantime, it is more beneficial buying and consuming organic produce (fruits and vegetables) than those fully armored with preservative chemicals, pesticides, herbecides and fertilizers available on the market or palengke. Better still, start planting vegetables on available lawns, backyards or front yard.