The human race is bonded by a strong truth. We all gotta’ eat. Which is why we applaud the World Health Organization (WHO) in choosing food safety as the theme for this year’s World Health Day today, April 7th, 2015.
We live and breathe food safety here at Grow Green Industries and for good reason. Clean, safe food is vital for our survival, for the ability to thrive and pursue the path to good health. Yet every year, around the world, millions are affected by food borne illness, tainted food and water, chemicals, microbes and other contaminants that compromise our sustenance.
It begs the question, how can we ensure that from farm to table, the foods and beverages we consume are as safe as possible with our growing world economy and trade? There are regulations that govern cities and counties, states and even countries, but the fact remains, there is always room for improvement. It starts with knowledge, understanding how as decision makers and home chefs, the steps we need to take to mitigate our risk as much as possible.
Remember this…handle your food carefully – Follow the 4 C’s of food safety ritually – Clean, Cook, Chill and Cross Contamination. Wash all of your produce thoroughly, including organic. I co-created Eat Cleaner® with my scientist dad – an all-natural, patented, lab-proven wash that cleans up to 99.9% of the residue water can’t. Cook your foods thoroughly to the proper temperature, chill immediately and prevent cross contamination by washing your hands and cutting surfaces often. Never cut raw foods near uncooked meats, poultry and seafood.
In a perfect world, here’s what I would love to see:
– A global precedent for banning the use of certain chemicals, pesticides and artificial additive, colors, sweeteners and flavors. If it’s banned in one country and not another, what does that say?
– Strict regulation around the use of added antibiotics, hormones and GMO’s. Animal husbandry and wellness should be respected and maintained to the highest degree. The higher on the food chain, the more we should be diligent in upholding the integrity of their health.
– Mandatory culinary education at the grade school level through high school. If proper food handling and preparation can help save a life – and we all have to eat – why is it not a required class, like math and science?
– Enforcing mandatory microbial testing and recalls at all levels of food manufacturing and production. Cottage industries and small scale farms should also be required to uphold high standards of food safety. If you buy it online, at a corner store or at a farmer’s market, shouldn’t it be just as clean as the packaged varieties at your major grocery store?
– And here’s the one that really puts a thorn in my side…education that helps people understand that rinsing your produce with water alone is NOT enough.
The statistics here are staggering. Leafy greens are the number 1 cause of food borne illness and of the top 10 foods, 5 are produce items. About 80% of produce is waxed with a petroleum based coating, trapping pesticide residue and bacteria underneath, so no amount of rinsing will clean them. Yet, government agencies continue to advise rinsing produce under running water. Even Consumer Reports recently got on board and advocated against ‘produce washes.’
Folks, no where in the world do they simply rinse with water. The fact is, most people don’t even drink the water from their tap. So now you’re just going to rinse fertilizers, parasites and manure with it? Enough said.
Did you know? According to WHO:
– Unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances causes more than 200 diseases – ranging from diarrhoea to cancers.
– Foodborne and waterborne diarrhoeal diseases kill an estimated 2 million people annually, including many children. Food safety, nutrition and food security are inextricably linked.
– Unsafe food creates a vicious cycle of disease and malnutrition, particularly affecting infants, young children, elderly and the sick. Foodborne diseases impede socioeconomic development by straining health care systems and harming national economies, tourism and trade.
– Food supply chains now cross multiple national borders. Good collaboration between governments, producers and consumers helps ensure food safety.
Join us in our pursuit of helping to educate others on the very important subject of food safety. It affects all of us. #safefood
Download our EatCleanerPocketGuide2FoodSafety here.
Download this FACT SHEET From The World Health Organization to learn more on how you can keep food safety strong in your family and community: