This important article will demonstrate why I grow my own gotu kola above in the middle of winter in our back room rather than buy it unless I have no choice. Why we went organic certified. The reasons I am growing lettuce and baby greens in our basement right now. In the Spring I will plant a garden once more.
The government shutdown is still on and that is beginning to impact all of us in one way or another. One area that it is now impacting is the food we feed ourselves and our family. This impact only makes the food safety situation worse but..............................................
What you don't realize is your food wasn't safe before the current political shutdown situation.Nationwide, the FDA said that last year it rejected nearly 16,000 food-related shipments out of more than 10 million that arrived in more than 320 ports. This number hits home when it is stated that only 2 percent of our food gets inspected without the shutdown!
2% means 98% of our food did not get inspected.
These rejected shipments were contaminated with filth, pesticides, drug residue or traces of salmonella, according to a News21 analysis of the FDA's database of import refusals. Some of the imports contained unsafe color additives or were mislabeled. And some were even poisonous. I learned that years ago when importing certified organic Moringa leaf powder. That is why I stopped selling Moringa at the time. I was not totally convinced on its safety. Read the articles here. They apply to all food imported into the US and food produced in our own country as well. These are articles published on the issue.
How are our food shipments inspected?
"Which shipments get inspected is increasingly determined by a new computer system called PREDICT, or Predictive Risk-based Evaluation for Dynamic Import Compliance Targeting, that is now used at 70 percent of U.S. import operations at land, sea and air ports. It analyzes information such as a manufacturer’s history with the agency, lab test results and even current weather patterns, assigning a risk-based score to each shipment to direct investigators toward the riskiest ones. "
How many of these shipments get through under the computer radar of these tests?
Some incoming imported food uses inspectors who personally inspect the food visually and by smell. If that fails, they flag it for testing.
"Steve Angold works out of a narrow lab at the FDA’s new $40 million testing facility in Irvine, Calif. He is one of about 25 FDA specialists across the country who rely on their senses of sight, touch, taste and smell to detect decomposition or filth in food products."http://www.nbcnews.com/id/44701433/ns/health-food_safety/t/flood-food-imported-us-only-percent-inspected/
Contamination often is odorless and tasteless until you get sick and begin throwing up. So then realize that a whole lot of bad food passes initial inspections.
What if his sense of smell is off that day or on days his sense of smell is off due to a cold he caught? With 25 inspectors only across the whole US, how much can they really inspect? How much doesn't get caught?
Since inspections only reach 2% of the imported food, how many compromised shipments got through? That is the reality.
The majority of you reading this blog, did not realize, even without the shutdown, our food is at risk every day. I hope this blog is getting you concerned and mad!
Why are greens and produce is especially at such risk every day? Any food going through processing can be compromised from how it is grown, to when it is picked, how it is picked, how and through what process it is sorted, washed, dried, packaged, and stored. All sorts of chemicals to kill weeds and germs are sprayed on produce before it reaches maturity. If they are not cleaned properly, they will still contain those chemicals on the skin of the produce or in the leaves. Any contamination occurring in these steps makes a good food, one that can make you sick. These steps and how they are accomplished determine whether a food still contains valuable nutrients or if it empty and devoid of its nutrition. In a company who processes many thousands of pounds of produce or grain, who employs thousands of workers both permanent and temporary, how often do you think that breaches in system fail in the production of your food? Often and most of it is NOT when the inspectors are there in the room.
Sanitation or lack of it is a HUGE risk factor in how safe our food is everyday!
Workers pick the greens from the field whether it be in the US or in other foreign countries. Workers move from farm to farm depending on the work. Some workers are employed permanently but most move around to where they are needed. They come from many different countries with some being legal and many not. They live in conditions that are dire at times. Housing if provided on the farm is far from the cleanest. Workers come and go with health conditions that are influenced by poverty and working with chemicals sprayed on the plants every day of their lives.
How healthy were the workers who picked your greens?
Here is the US we have cleaner water and better conditions but sanitation is a problem with field workers. Do you really think that all workers are tested to make sure they are healthy? If they don't work, they don't get paid. They work sick or well. They work as long as they can manage to get themselves up to make a wage. How many of the workers who pick our food have TB, hepatitis, or other severe health conditions?
QVC Chocolate and hepatitis infection recall for this week!
For those of you who want an open border without rules and without vetting, these workers will end up working in the fields that pick and process your food. Since they move around from area to area, under the radar, they are working with health problems that affect the safety of the food you are eating including TB, hepatitis, lung conditions, viral infections, and other diseases where you should not be handling food or food products.
In a 5 thousand acre farm, do you think that workers are going to get the bathroom properly to wash their hands as needed. They pee in the field, then go back to work. Even if an outhouse is provided, there is no proper way to wash their hands. That food then has to be taken back to the facility where the produce is cleaned and boxed. Those procedures may or may not be performed correctly at all levels or performed 100 percent of the time. Inspections on the food and facility DO NOT occur every day. Inspections are preformed weekly or monthly except for companies that have been found to be non compliant or who have high risk such as in chicken slaughtering companies. Some companies have their own people inspect the procedures which is dependent on the honesty and integrity of the company and its owners.
Lets look at food that is imported from countries like Mexico, China and India. Their water, soil, and air is severely polluted in these countries. These countries have workers who are working for pennies just to make a few dollars every month. Many of these farms have polluted water and very little sanitation facilities available period. The Ganges river in India is one of the most polluted rivers in the world with dead bodies of both humans and animals found in it every day. The people wash in the river, wash their clothes in the river, drink the water, and it feeds the crops you are eating. Crops are raised with this water and the people who pick them are using this river to live.
India's holy Ganges River is devastatingly polluted, yet provides drinking water for over 400 million people — here's what it looks like
" These study results showed that meat sold in typical Mexican grocery stores had equivalent or higher levels of salmonella contamination than was found in local animal intestine fecal samples. Detailed analyses of the salmonella genotypes pointed to butchering practices as the most likely source of the contamination."
Past NIH tests of fecal coliform contamination of commercial fruits and veg, in Mexico City consistently found high levels of salmonella in almost all samples, due to the use of “organic” (fecal) fertilizers and contaminated irrigation water. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17061512
Many of our fruits and vegetables found in all our supermarkets come from Mexico! Remember only 2 percent of the food gets inspected of the billions of pounds of food that flows into our country.
Chemical Contamination on our foods grown in the US and other countries is being stuffed down our throats without our knowledge. We are being lied to about the safety of these chemicals, the main one being roundup or glyphosate.
Glyphosate or roundup contamination which is used both to kill weeds and also used on almost every grain crop to dry out the grains before harvest. Spraying the grain with glyphosate allows it to be processed for market more quickly. Spraying rhe grain with roundup allows them to market two crops each season rather than one. This process is used on most grains other than organic.
Does that chemical end up in the end product? YES
"Aug. 15, 2018 -- Lab tests of cereals and snack bars made with oats found that many are tainted with the weedkiller glyphosate. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the widely used herbicide Roundup, which has been linked to cancer.
The tests were commissioned by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group after internal FDA emails surfaced last year showing chemists at the agency were testing wheat, corn, and oat foods for glyphosate and had found “a fair amount in all of them,” but had not yet released those results to the public. The emails were obtained by investigative journalists working for the nonprofit U.S. Right to Know.
When food has been tested by independent, unbiased labs on fruits and vegetables such as apples, celery, peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, and grapes, it has been found that 80 percent of it contains residues of roundup and glyphosate on the produce. Some samples have the residue of as many as 10 different chemicals still on the produce. If it comes from a foreign country, as much of it does, that percentage is worse.
Again, this is so important that even without the shutdown where 41% of their inspectors have been sent home, only 2 percent of our food gets inspected because of a shortage of FDA inspectors to the amount of food being imported. How often if you read labels do you see manufactured in the USA.
The majority of our fish comes from China where they feed the fish chicken poop and yes they do. That is why we buy very little fish even though it should be good for you. The way it is raised in China is stomach sickening. Here are some facts that are mind boggling.
Just in Los Angeles, there are 24 ports of entry into the US food chain from countries such as Cambodia, China, the Philippines, fish from many different countries, Mexico and Honduras. Most of our food is not from the US but from the world.
Even if the food is grown and packaged in the US, there is a lack of proper oversight due to a lack of inspectors and at times the job they do being so stressed for time. There have been countless recalls on ice cream, lettuce, greens of all kinds, and even cereal.
Make sure this one fact sticks after reading this blog. That one fact is that only a small percentage of our food including meat, fish, eggs, everything in your salad, and so much more are subject to inspections as they flow in from China, Mexico, and other countries.
Glutten Free and GMO free does not do it folks! Its just a start.
So to those of you who are concerned about the shutdown, you should be angered at the state of our food safety under normal conditions. You should look at your food and be concerned every day. That is why you need to buy organic, not just GMO free. Glutten free is nearly not as serious as the contamination and adulteration of your food you eat every day. Eating glutten free does not save you from glyphosate or from the contamination of our food supply.
What can you do? Eat local and organic, ask questions to your local grower, scrub them with baking soda which will clean off 96% of the toxic chemicals found on your produce and fruits. This one question above would take several blogs in itself so I will end this blog for today.
Grow your own greens in pots if you live in an apartment. You can grow greens no matter where you live with some creativity such as a patio or spare room. You just need to be motivated. Growing your own is cheaper than buying organic certified and you know you washed your hands. You know you are well and free of disease. You know you did not use human fecal fertilizer. It is up to you to stop burying your heads in the sand and realize what you need to do personally to have better quality food in your life.
During this shutdown, it is advised that you avoid buying fresh greens, hamburger, fresh fish and other foods that have high rates of contamination during processing. In this case, canned may be the best idea or frozen. Use up the food in your freezer and in your pantry. Get creative at this point until the shutdown ends.
Investigate the links in this blog and research this subject for yourself. The information you discover will keep you up at night and make you sick. Realize you are being brain washed by the system and the companies who sell products covered in glyphosate and chemicals.
Kate Freer, the Herbladyisin