What’s in your salad?

by Julie Gibbons on April 29, 2010

organic mixed salad leaves

Do you want to eat chlorine washed, nitrogen packed, pesticide laced lettuce? Nope? Me neither.

Here’s the deal – unless you’re buying your bag direct from your organic shop/farm, the chances are that you are doing just that!

Bags of salad leaves are fairly ubiquitous these days, right? I was really thrilled to find the first of the season in our fruit and veg box delivery, and it wasn’t until I read the following statement on our bag that I was inclined to do a bit of digging on the subject;

salad statement

So I’ve gone online and  it appears that the bag of salad you may be eating can contain leaves which may have been washed in chlorine at up to 20 times the concentration found in swimming pools to get rid of the dirt and bugs. That puffy bag isn’t full of air – oh, no – it’s full of nitrogen to help preserve the life of the leaves, which have also been subject to a barrage of pesticides. Or so some articles like this one will tell you.

It seems I missed the press coverage at the time the book Not on the Label: What Really Goes into the Food on Your Plate came out – or dismissed it because we don’t buy salad packs from the supermarket anyway …

Not as high up in the search rankings (but still on page one) was this PDF presentation download from the Fresh Prepared Salad Producers Group put together to try and refute such negative evidence.

A lot of time and money going into that campaign, huh? Pretty amazing that there needs to be a campaign to encourage anyone to eat salad in the first place. But a campaign which also prepares to “use beautiful photography to show the naturalness of the product” – well, they’re just having a laugh, no? Chlorine and pesticides ain’t natural folks…. no matter how beautiful the photography.

I don’t know about you out there, but I’m happy with my bag picked and bagged straight from the field – Soil Association Certified, delivered by Grow Wild. Otherwise, I’ll be interested to see what’s on offer when we go house swapping. What about you?

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