Gwen McTaggart

Is Commercial Organic Produce Safe?

In my inbox yesterday I saw an article by Dr. Mercola that warned against buying some produce even if it is organic.  What?!  Why do we buy organic if it's not safe and clean?  Because we just like to spend more money?  Now, I know there are a lot of differing opinions about Dr. Mercola and I don't agree with everything he says, but I'm not one to throw the baby out with the bath water.  Watch this video and see what you think.

Some are saying that's a natural coating because of growing conditions, which it may be.  However, it could be something called Modified Atmospheric Packaging.  I copied this from the article on Mercola's website.  You can read the full article here.

Modified Atmospheric Packaging

While I normally do not feature blog posts, this instance is a rare exception, as I thought this Reality Blog report contained quite a bit of worth-while details. In response to one of the videos above, this blogger dug up information about so-called 'modified atmosphere packaging' that could offer one potential explanation for the bizarre plastic-like coating found on lettuce:

"... [M]odified atmosphere packaging (MAP) ... involves either actively or passively controlling or modifying the atmosphere surrounding the product within a package made of various types and/or combinations of films ... Edible films may consist of four basic materials: lipids, resins, polysaccharides and proteins ...  The most common plasticizer used to cast edible films is food-grade polyethylene glycol, which is used to reduce film brittleness ... Gelatin is ... extracted from the boiled crushed bones, connective tissues, organs and some intestines of animals such as domesticated cattle, chicken, and pigs."

So, could that rubbery peel be a form of sprayed-on MAP, designed to prolong shelf life of fresh produce? As detailed by Reality Blog, this certainly seems like one reasonable conclusion.

I honestly don't know what it is, whether natural or nasty, but I do know one sure way of avoiding it - buy local.  We have no need of preservative coatings because the produce we sell is picked shortly before you receive it.  It's that whole know your farmer thing - know where your food comes from and about its journey from our soil to your table.

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