I am starting to think about fresh greens—no doubt, because this is the month we begin to start seedlings in our greenhouse—but more on farming another time. Today I want to relate the best and most comprehensive article I have ever seen on juicing. I found it on the Food Safety News web site which I follow. Here is the link in case you are interested in the detailed and lengthy article. http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2017/02/juicing-is-healthy-but-easily-contaminated-by-pathogens/#.WKdBUn_CfaI
I want to say right up front that our CSA Members should not expect to get enough vegetables in their CSA Boxes for the type of dedicated juicing described in this article. This being said, I know we have members who juice their greens instead of eating them as salads or side dishes as we intend. And we do have Members who say that juicing is the only way they can keep up with the volume of vegetables they receive every-other week.
I simply want to point out some highlights of the news story. “According to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fruits and vegetables contaminated with harmful bacteria cause 46 percent of food poisonings. However, the agency also points out that much of this contamination comes from the way the produce is handled, which includes packing, storing and preparing it — not from the produce itself.”
Washing produce in running water, scrubbing and peeling and blanching some vegetables is recommended before jucing. NOT recommended is washing fruits and vegetables with soap, detergent, or commercial produce wash. “A tip from JustJuice recommends giving leafy greens a bath. Fill up a thoroughly cleaned basin with cold water and pour in a half a cup of vinegar. Soak the greens in the mixture for 5 to 10 minutes, swirling them around to loosen dirt and insects caught in the leaves. Then put the greens in a colander and rinse under cold water. Make sure the water hits every part of the leaf.” I recommend repeating this step until you see clean water in the sink after removing the greens. They do not recommend batch washing because of cross contamination; but I do it with greens and plan to continue the practice to conserve precious water.
Adding vinegar to the soak water is something I have not tried before. I may try this in the future as there is always something new to learn. We do rinse most all of the vegetables we deliver in our CSA Boxes with potable water, but we do not attempt to remove all of the silt—just the worst of the soil so we can keep as much of our Fairview farm here as possible! On our website I recommend putting on ones favorite music so make the job of washing greens more tolerable. This advice still stands!