Every living being needs food in order to survive and we as human beings are just as same. However, in our case we consume a variety of food products which can get easily contaminated by pathogenic bacteria, viruses or other toxic molecules. This is a risk that we all take no matter how careful we are as certain foods come from various sources and although nicely packed they can be hazardous for our health and well-being.
Certain foods are at higher risk when contamination is concerned when compared with other foods. For instance, we should be more careful in the case of raw milk, cheese, raw fruits and vegetables, salmon, minced meat, or cold cuts.
This disease first appeared in the United States which occurred as a result of infected beef with the E. coli. The meat commonly gets affected by this bacterium when it is in the slaughter house, but this is not the only food product that can be infected with this bacterium.
It can happen to milk which can be infected by the feces during milking. Likewise, fruits and vegetables can get infected as a result of certain farming practices. The most obvious example of that was the contaminated romaine lettuce in the states.
Infected Romaine Lettuce in North America
Health authorities of Canada and the United States released a statement that all romaine lettuce from the North American continent needs to be thrown away after a new E. coli outbreak has occurred in this region. FDA – Food and Drug Administration in USA also agreed with this statement, namely Dr. Scott Gottlieb, FDA Commissioner in a statement to CNN stated that the true source of the outbreak had not been still identified; however it was certain that it was related to the romaine lettuce that originated from California.
Health authorities have confirmed that the contaminated romaine lettuce was in “course of treatment” and because of that it should be excluded from your diet. Here is the official statement:
“People who have romaine lettuce at home should not eat it, even if a part has been consumed without anyone getting sick and this advice includes any type of romaine lettuce. If you do not know if it’s romaine lettuce or if a salad mix contains it, do not eat it and discard it immediately. Wash and disinfect the drawers or shelves where the lettuce was stored. “
In case you have eaten the contaminated romaine lettuce the following symptoms of E. coli may include:
Watery or bloody diarrhea
***These symptoms begin 1 hour to 48 hours after you have consumed infected food with E. coli.
Therefore it is always better to consume foods that are free of chemicals, locally grown by well-known manufactures.
Why it is very important to consume local and organic products?
This is very important because this type of food contains all the needed nutrients for the body. It is always better to consume season-grown foods as they have higher nutritional value when they are picked in their right season. For instance, according to a research on the content of vitamin C in season-grown broccoli compared with the imported off-season one showed that the latter contained half of the vitamin content.
Therefore, locally grown foods are with higher vitamin content as they are ripen naturally, which is not the case with the long distances foods that need to travel a lot and because of that often picked before maturity. Moreover, researchers found out that when fruits and vegetables are harvested before maturity, they are artificially “ripened” with ethylene gas. On the other hand, locally grown foods do not use this gas and for sure the local farmers use less pesticide than the big farming industries. Plus, it is most likely that all products on the local market are organic just farmers do not have enough funds to pay for organic certification.
For that reason, opt for the produce presented on the local market as in that case you are directly contacting the producer who will tell you his farming methods.
Note:Make sure to always wash your produce well so that the exposure to pesticides is being reduced. You can include apple cider vinegar in the wash water of your fruits and vegetables and thus remove any residues of pesticides.