Korifaeus Magazine

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When Salads sweat Bacteria

The easy Kitchen
By Korifaeus

As a kid, spending time in different countries abroad, i often went gathering mushrooms in the forest along with my brothers, or kids from the neighborhood. We kids were taught early on which mushrooms are eatable, what to look for, how to recognize poisonous mushrooms, etc. Thus during mushroom season we’d go looking for mushrooms, and my father prepared the mushrooms, pan frying them, or other, as a side dish for dinner, or such.

When learning about mushrooms as a child, we kids also learned where and how to exactly store them; taught that it was best to place them into a basket – an open basket – which was what women most often took along when buying produce at the market; they’d carry a basket, and place the fresh produce into their open basket.

One was taught to NEVER place mushrooms into a “plastic bag”, since mushrooms “breathe” after they’re cut off the stem, and develop “toxins” ( become toxic) when placed into a closed plastic bag in which they can’t breathe.

Though usually i go to my regular neighborhood supermarket – not being much of a health food, or organic food consumer – i occasionally go to Wholefood market for specific items. The other day, going to Wholefoods, i noticed the apparently new produce section filled with plastic containers galore with all sorts of greens, see photo below. You can click on it to enlarge it.

Produce

It’s nothing new – it’s been a fad for some time now; pre-washed greens from salads to spinach, etc. inside plastic bags or containers, created for folks who’re in a rush even when it comes to food. The WORST thing i’ve ever seen – apropos quickly putting food on the table – was an opened plastic bag filled with pre-washed baby carrots on the “breakfast table” for “children”. This person, who so happens to be a forensic Psychiatrist, a divorced father of 3 little kids sharing custody with his wife, didn’t even take the time to take the pre-washed carrots out of the bag and into a little bowl – or on a dish. No, he placed the opened bag in the center of the breakfast table, for the kids to help themselves.

One sees a lot visiting folks, and some of what one sees, in particular inside homes of folks who SHOULD be ” Medical Professionals”, makes ye wonder, to say the least. Mind you, a Psychiatrist is an M.D., a Medical Doctor ( not a Psychologist, or Therapist), thus he studied bio chemistry in pre-med to be able to take his Mcat to go to Medical School. And having done so should know that all and ever organisms 1. breathe, and 2. are not to be stored inside plastic, and 3. should be washed with in water and some Heinz vinegar to get rid of toxins/bacteria/fungi possibly having developed while inside the closed plastic bag.

I understand it makes life easier to just open a bag of veggies or greens, and i also understand that most folks aren’t told produce should not be stored in plastic bags or containers. It’s the produce departments in supermarkets that should know better.

Mushrooms, all sorts of mushrooms, can often be found in closed plastic containers. And one can see them “sweat” – the little water drops on the inside of the plastic is what’s called “sweat” in bio-chemistry, though actually ” breath” since it’s from the “breathing” of produce – from which little organisms can develop, some of which are bacteria, fungi, etc.

Years ago there were at least some ” breathing holes” in plastic produce bags, for example when cauliflower was wrapped in plastic, the wraps had holes. Now, however, there are not even holes in the plastic for the produce to breathe.

But it’s a free country – everyone may do as they please – no one is forced to buy produce or greens wrapped in plastic. Nor ready-salads in a plastic container. The market follows what people want. People want to have it as easy as possible, thus the demand for pre-washed and ready-salads inside plastic seems to be huge.

It’s astonishing these little know-hows of life and food, in particular, are no longer taught in school, as in produce that does not belong in plastic, etc. so folks can make educated decisions when feeding their family, or themselves.
It’s not the people’s fault. It’s not the Super market’s, produce department’s, nor the farmer’s fault. It’s our education system’s fault.

Remember when women used to go shopping carrying their baskets ? That’s when people were ” coincidentally” healthier, too. 😉

Shopping basket

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