The issues concern "dirt." We all know that most produce grows in fields of dirt. The farmers wash the produce before selling it, and the consumer washes it again at home before using. Our bodies *need* a certain amount of "dirt" to maintain a healthy balance of intestinal bacteria.
But Big Agriculture wants to sanitize produce and other foods, disinfecting it, irradiating it, and bagging or wrapping it in airtight plastic. If you follow the news, you know that harmful bacterial infections develop *not* in the naturally grown and washed foods that small farmers sell, but in those supposedly sanitized, sealed bags of veggies that you find at supermarkets, chain stores like Trader Joe's, and so forth. Here's a story about the recent cyclospora outbreak found in sealed packages of produce that sickened more than 500 people: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2013/08/12/farm-stops-salad-production-over-cyclospora-stomach-bug-outbreak/.
|Credit: Nati Harnik/AP Photo (source)|
To read Brian Snyder's repost of the brilliant discussion by two farmers about these issues, please see Brian's blog, "Write to Farm": http://writetofarm.com/2013/08/15/strawberries-raspberries-and-bagged-salads/. It's a very good read indeed.