Washing your fruits & veggies, WHY & HOW!

Toxic chemicals are on your Produce!

Thanks to improvements in farming, shipping and distribution, shoppers today enjoy a wider selection of fresh produce than ever before. However, pesticide residue on some fruits and vegetables can be a cause for concern. In fact, fruits and vegetables on the ‘highest levels’ list contain 47 to 67 pesticides per serving.

 Most countries monitor residual levels of pesticides in produce, and establish legal limits for the safety of consumers. In some cases, however, these residual levels may be toxic for children, pregnant women and even pets. The US FDA maintains that consuming pesticides in low amounts is harmless, but some studies show an association between pesticides and health problems such as cancer, attention-deficit (hyperactivity) disorder and nervous system disorders and say exposure could weaken immune systems.

 A study by Consumers Union, the publishers of Consumer Reports magazine, examines and rates the residual levels of pesticides on many common fruits and vegetables. A report by the Environmental Working Group, using data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has found that much of the health risks associated with pesticides are concentrated in a relatively small number of fruits and vegetables.

The good news … Wash all of your fruits and vegetables … !!! When asked, most consumers tell me I wash with water.  That isn’t good enough! The simple answer is you must use a detergent based cleaner to cut the chemicals, effectively removing them from the surface of your food. While there are many products on the market I advocate using a natural based dish washing solution. The difference will astound you. Complex issues, simple solutions!

To see how a professional cook and shopper washes her produce watch this short video by Stacy Klone of Kitchen Werks. Good advice from a proven source!

p.s. If you get frustrated reading labels or don’t know where to find high quality, low cost natural based cleaning products, call Gene @ 651.261.0251 to talk about what Paco uses and approves.

Trained dogs find Ash Borer beetle

Emerald ash borers are metallic-green beetles about a half-inch long and are native to eastern Asia. They were first discovered in the United States in Michiganin 2002 and are now confirmed in at least 13 other states, including Wisconsin. Emerald ash borers first showed up in St. Paul in 2009, then in other parts of Ramsey County and Hennepin, Winona and Houston counties.

Since the beetles’ discovery in the state, officials have tried a variety of methods to detect them and stop their spread. “We weren’t even sure if dogs could pick up on the scent of the ash borer or the ash wood, but they did,” she said. “We’re excited it worked.”

The beetle larvae kill trees by tunneling under the bark, disrupting the trees’ food supply. They are known to travel to new areas via firewood, nursery stock and other woody materials.

A team of dogs have been training in Minnesotato to detect this invasive beetle. The dogs were trained much like law enforcement drug-sniffing dogs, but with the focus on finding emerald ash borers and their larvae, which threaten the nearly 1 billion ash trees in Minnesota. The dog training program was a pilot program and has proven effective, Erickson said. Four dogs were trained — two Labradors, a German shepherd and a Belgian Malinois.

“With emerald ash borer, the only way you can find it is by visually finding the signs of it on the tree or in the wood,” Erickson said. “Those signs sometimes don’t appear right away, so sometimes you don’t realize there’s a problem until it’s too late. And with the dogs, because they can smell it, they can find an infestation right away. That’s the kind of efficiency that makes it well worth bringing the dogs in.”