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RE: vegetable washing - a necessity

A Clarification:
NYC has running water (thank God)and we wash root veggies oft times over our
plots, however...with all the diesel exhaust and particulate floating over
the Hudson from New Jersey, we certainly wash our veggies before we eat

Adam Honigman
> -----Original Message-----
> From:	beanman@ix.netcom.com [SMTP:beanman@ix.netcom.com]
> Sent:	Friday, August 27, 1999 8:49 PM
> To:	Adam.Honigman@Bowne.com; cac@inxpress.net;
> community_garden@mallorn.com
> Subject:	RE: [cg] vegetable washing - a necessity
> On 08/25/99 09:41:43 you wrote:
> >
> >If you grow aerated vegetables (tomatos, beans, spinach etc.) rather than
> >root veggies, then it's not a real problem. If you're doing an organic
> >garden instead of using every toxic chemical onder the sun, then a
> washing
> >station is not necessary.
> Be careful of what you say here. "Organic" doesn't mean "pure" and "safe"
> automatically. Whereas 
> a "staion" may not be necessary, washing, I feel, is essential.
> Several points merit washing of organic produce, especially in an urban
> area:
> 1) Produce can carry microbial life that can cause illness, even if it's
> organically grown.
> 2) "Organic" does not mean "unsprayed." There are botanic and biological
> pest controls that are 
> organic that we should not ingest. For example, applying the well-known
> neem oil requires full 
> protective clothing including rubber gloves, a respirator and goggles. No
> contact with the skin 
> should be had. Neem is derived from the neem tree, native to India. It is
> used in certified 
> organic food production, but IS NOT "safe," per se.
> 3) Urban rain and air can carry unhealthy substances to produce. Not
> washing produce from a 
> garden that is subject to the air of urban traffic and industry is not
> wise. Even if a garden is 
> not near concentrations of these pollutions, rain can carry them to the
> garden from elsewhere.
> 4) If the garden program is teaching marketing and/or presentation of
> produce, washing is a 
> must, and is a skill specific to each vegetable, not just a flush of water
> any old way.
> 5) Soil, insects and frass, which are not desirable to ingest, can be
> present in the folds of 
> leaves but not readily visible at a glance. Thus, any person in any
> situation would want to wash 
> their produce.
> I hope this helps to keep a perspective that there a many reasons to take
> certain informed 
> measures and precautions in all aspects of growing and consuming produce,
> including that which 
> is organic. This is not suggesting a paranoid, "the whole world is
> dangerous" mentality, but 
> rather promoting awareness of what one is dealing with, and how to
> appropriately respond.
> Happy Gardening!
> John Edward Verin
> Senior Apprentice
> Ecosystem Farm
> Accokeek, MD
> "The world is not to be put in order; the world is order incarnate.
> It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order."
> - Henry Miller
> Food is power... are you in control of yours?

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