Various stories which appeared on the international food networks in recent time have puzzled Fredo – to the extent that he needs to talk about it a bit more. Let’s see who Fredo can send up and who he can send down?
Fruitnet.com reported that in Britain they are looking for a sponsor for a food educational programme which will shape healthy eating content aimed at children. What a great idea! In another report the same network writes that almost half of Britain’s children refuse to eat vegetables, according to a new study of parents.
The network also reported that shoppers in the UK are buying more and spending more on fresh fruit and vegetables, this is according to an annual report into the nation’s food habits published by the agency Defra.
So more sales on the one side, but children refusing to eat their veggies is something that will turn any parent grey prematurely. Fredo is almost saying – ‘spoilt little brats!’ These youngsters who refuse to eat their veggies, definitely do not know what the concept of being hungry and starving is. Perhaps they should all do a stint in some of Africa’s drought stricken countries to learn what it means to be hungry.
Fredo is sending all those kids who do not want to eat their veggies DOWN!
It is just not on – we hope the British can solve this problem because what happens there will spread around the world tomorrow.
[divider]Most concerning though is that, across the Atlantic in the USA, an organisation called the Environmental Working Group (EWG) issued its latest ‘Dirty Dozen’ list, naming and shaming the top 12 conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables sold in the US with the most pesticide residues. The EWG is a Washington-based non-profit environmental research body, which last week released its annual Shopper’s Guide to Pesticide in Produce.
This year, the EWG said strawberries topped the Dirty List, with spinach moving to second place. After strawberries and spinach, the 2017 Dirty Dozen list included nectarines, apples, peaches, celery, grapes, pears, cherries, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers and potatoes as containing high pesticide residues.
What a lot of nonsense? Fredo calls this constant focus on the bad side of fruit and veggies a ‘full stomach’ debate. Why is this agency not rather working to get more the produce which are being thrown away each year, to the starving masses of the world. The Americans have some of the toughest laws in protecting what chemicals can be used on fruit and veggies – surely the possibility of it being harmful to the extent that you can name and shame the produce of all producers of a specific is simply madness.
The fresh produce industry in the United States, which is probably already rattled by the goings on under Mr Trump in Washington, naturally slammed the EWG. One source said that “If EWG truly cares about public health, it will stop referring to popular produce items that kids love as “dirty” and move towards positive, science-based information that reassures consumers and promotes consumption.” Fredo concurs in full with this wise man.
[divider]The US apple industry was most upset. “Any report that tells people to avoid eating apples is giving harmful advice,” said Jim Bair, US Apple Association president and CEO, in a statement. “Instead, we should be more concerned with increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables.” Fredo says yes. Yes, yes! He wishes the South African government will listen to this too! What are they doing to promote fresh produce and its importance in the lives of our citizens? Very little!
Thankfully, on the positive side the EWG also published a “Clean Fifteen” list which contain produce least likely to contain pesticide residues. This year it included sweet corn, avocados, pineapples, cabbage, onions, frozen sweet peas, papayas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplant, honeydew melon, kiwis, cantaloupe, cauliflower and grapefruit.
For the record the EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, updated every year since 2004, ranks pesticide contamination of 48 popular fruits and vegetables. According to the reports the guide is based on results of more than 35,200 samples of produce tested by the US Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration, the EWG said.
Fredo believes that it is alarmist and plain bad news to put this kind of information out there, without it being properly qualified and explained. The experience shows that the average consumer does not know how to deal with this kind of report and whether you are on the dirty list or not, there is no statement on the perceived risk involved. All these industries are fairly scientific in their approach and can only use materials on their crops which are actually approved by legislation. This kind of legislation is only passed if the risk of using the materials is so low that it does not pose any threat to consumer health.
[divider]Fredo knows that South Africa’s fruit and veggies are now safer than ever before – with a huge swing to environmentally safe production over the past few decades. Well done South Africa’s fruit and vegetable growers!
So, Fredo is sending the EWG down for being very irresponsible. They contribute nothing to the debate about safe products and is simply being sensational and hunting headlines.