Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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I never imagined it would be edible.

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Relaxo-Steam

Vegetable Safety
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"None for me darling" said MrsIvan II, unable to tear her eyes away from the once green sludge drooling its way over the dish .
We had just acquired, on her insistence, a vegetable steamer which I was finding un peau difficile to operate. The steamer is "good" (she insists) because it retains the nutritional content of the resident veggies. It does however consist of a good half dozen stacking items of very close tolerance, read here imperceptible difference.
She likes, after a hard day, to perch on the kitchen work surface and watch me perform my customary kitchen atrocities from the comfort of a half pint of a good poilly fume. Tonights culinary entertainment had included the repetitive tipping of food from one transparent plastic container to another seemingly identical item in an attempt to construct a technically viable steaming arrangement. To her credit there were no words, just a small anxiety headache and a deepening crease between the eyes that I happily managed to ignore.

Now my beloved is, amongst other things, a nutritionist. I am a microbiologist, at least I was trained that way. What troubles me is that not only the vitamins are retained, so are the pesticides, herbicides and pathogens. If you boil the shit out of your vegetables in a large volume of water, as instructed by my dear Mother, they might be a trifle gooey, but you will have lost a lot of nasties. Pathogens! I hear you say, but if you knew what the Kenyans sprayed on their fine beans then you would would not query me.

The Relaxo-Steam is a top fed appliance that you drop your veggies into, no stacking nonsense just one big container, closing the lid you dial in the number of your ancestors and the machine applies that many rinses before the built in HPLC assays the waste water for carcinogenic spray rsidues. If it fails then more rinses are applied before a retest. Upon failure the top opens and a message invites you to dump the filth, otherwise the rinse effluent is then tested by Ig conjugated assays for human pathogens. Again failure is notified, otherwise the streaming process begins and you can empty the result onto your porcelain in total safety and enjoyment.
Now you can truly rely on your Nation's farmers not to be killing you slowly.



Notes
HPLC = High Pressure Liquid Chromatography, just type it into your browser.
Ig-conjugated assay = Immunoglobulincombined with a fluorescent molecule, it binds tightly to a pathogen protein that it recognises and the presence of the pathogen can than be detected.

IvanIdea, Jun 27 2002

(?) perhaps banana skins are a good thing after all... http://www.pmac.net/worry.htm
[po, Jun 28 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

[link]






       <Obligatory> I thought this was going to be about some type of sauna </Obligatory>   

       So I guess microwaving them is out?   

       Could I talk you into putting a link to the idea at the beginning of the post?
phoenix, Jun 28 2002
  

       Buy organic. No pesticides, no herbicides, no anything ending in 'cides'. Good for you. Tastes of what it's supposed to taste of.
angel, Jun 28 2002
  

       you'd be right about the 'cides in organic food [angel] but the pathogen problem remains, particularly from "third world" countries.

[phoenix] You are quite right, there is an awful lot of unnecessary prose here,I enjoy writing it and I aim to entertain, but I will take care to trim it before posting in future.
I need an editor badly.
IvanIdea, Jun 28 2002
  

       So you would rather die of malnutrition/scurvy than poisoning?
pottedstu, Jun 28 2002
  

       [potted] No, I just want to be sure that I am not ingesting high levels of pesticides etc along with the nutrition. The idea is that the appliance thoroughly washes the product and tests for nasties before cooking.
[Bliss] err.thanks,I think.........
IvanIdea, Jun 28 2002
  

       i do like the idea of testing food for "nasties" before ingesting it. but i'd like this seperate to the cooking method, as i'd like to test the potatos that i bake & veggies i cook in pies. I do mostly buy organic food, but its not always possible & i do sometimes wonder if all of it is truely organic.

call me cynical, but i can imagine a situation where the food is truthfully labelled "organically grown". but should also have a label for "inorganically transported", ie some sneaky bugger has sprayed it at some stage of transportation, to minimise their wastage.
mymus, Jun 28 2002
  

       Ivan, my dear. are you saying here that this contraption washes your food? is washing enough? do the pesticides or whatever not penetrate inside the food in some way? just asking. and by the way, overboiling your vegetables destroys the vitamin content I believe.
po, Jun 28 2002
  

       The contraption does wash your food, but more importantly it tests the rinsewater for significant levels of toxins. You are right to say that it penetrates inside the food, but the presence of high levels of nasty chemicals in the wash off would be a sure indicator that this has occurred and warn you against consumption of contaminated foodstuff.
As for boiling vegetables, Its a very vexed question [po].
Over boiling does drastically reduce the level of some vitamins, but it does break down the cell walls of the veggies so the body can access much more of the contents. Steaming is nutritionally efficient but I worry about the levels of 'cides that remain. I personally believe that the steadily increasing levels of cancer in the western world are directly attributable to lack of exercise generally and the toxins we pour onto our food.
IvanIdea, Jun 28 2002
  

       My brilliant and gorgeous friend April (they're all brilliant, and they're all gorgeous, but she is particularly blessed in both respects) is quite knowledgeable on the subject of pesticides. She says that they are nearly impossible to avoid, and will end up in your food one way or another. However:   

       "If you buy nothing else that's organic, make sure your raisins are organic," she advises. Apparently, the drying process that turns grapes to raisins normally retains all pesticides that have been used on them. The effect is ultimately one of a concentrated pesticide coating on every raisin in that box of Sun-Maid you've got in the cupboard.   

       Not be alarmist, or anything. Just passing along the bad news.   

       Keep posting, Ivan. Or write us all a short story, at the very least - something involving the charismatic Mrs. I, perhaps?
1percent, Jun 28 2002
  

       cell walls of veggies - chew your food, Ivan, chew your food. <g>
po, Jun 29 2002
  

       Precisely, the drying process which doesn't involve thorough washing leads to retention of pesticides, as does steaming.
I am now going to indulge myself with a massive and time consuming Sulk with a capital S, I havn't got the energy for a tantrum.
IvanIdea, Jun 29 2002
  

       bitch bitch bitch
po, Jun 29 2002
  

       [Po] That is no way to talk about Blissy
IvanIdea, Jun 30 2002
  
      
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