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Vegetables, Buy Frozen To Be Safe

All of us shop on a more or less daily bases. We all look for the freshest in the produce we buy…since we all work hard for the wages we earn. These days, with nutrition becoming more and more of a priority, we are looking for the highest nutritional content, especially in fresh vegetable and fruit. Cereals have been fortified it seems since the beginning of time. On the contrary, (fresh)vegetable and fruit produce have not been so altered in this way. The question is…are they really without any blemish, i.e., those we select are without bacterial contamination that has possibly festered since their original packaging immediately after picking ?

The Department of Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture uses every precaution so that there is an absolute minimum of bacterial contamination from the harvesting of any crop by multiple rinsing at the point of packaging to its destination…the consumer. Unfortunately, even with all of the many precautions taken from harvest to consumption, some contamination slips through the system. There is a way to virtually prevent this from ever happening,i.e., freezing and then shipping to market where the vegetables and fruit are then kept in that state until buy. It has been found that if a par boiling and then a freezing process takes place immediately after washing of the produce, fruits and vegetables will last an extremely long period of time, some even many years and then when they are ready to be used, just defrosted and cooked. The whole thought is that any small amount of bacteria present at harvest will become dormant until the user is ready to consume them.

In the news of late (September, 2006) has reported findings that some spinach was found to be contaminated with a strain of salmonella bacteria that has sickened several dozen people nationwide and thus far has been fatal for one individual. At the same time, it has been reported that similar episodes have been reported with lettuce in the recent past and that studies were being conducted in an attempt to lessen future lettuce source outbreaks. Whatever the outcome of the present studies by the U.S. government to find the exact source and to hopefully halt future outbreaks, there must be a safer source of our vegetables. As clarified earlier, at least until this problem is resolved, frozen, packaged vegetables and fruit is a viable alternative solution. Right, frozen vegetables do not possess the pliability of fresh, but most of our fresh vegetables, after being stored and shipped for fantastic distances can loose some of their original potent nutrients, whereas our frozen counterpart looses very small. As far as is known, no one has ever been sickened by frozen vegetables…when properly cooked. Some food for thought.

Author: Lucien Beauley writes articles of diverse human interest along with Energy Conservation and the environment.
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