Protecting the public health and the environment from the dangers of food contaminants is of utmost importance. The use and misuse of pesticides is an ongoing and urgent problem that needs to be constantly under surveillance and regulated. If you want to be part of the solution in your fruit sales, read on to these four steps to safe produce handling and delivery.
Formerly the National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides, Beyond Pesticides is a nonprofit membership organization with its headquarters in Washington, D.C. The national network works along with allies to lead transition to a world that is free of toxic pesticides, reduces unnecessary pesticide use, and encourage safe non-chemical and less toxic alternatives. They provide hands-on services and information and promote giving people a voice in the decisions and programs that affect them.
Keep Fruit Covered to Protect From Pests
Climbing deterrents are needed to keep determined animals away from the fruit on the trees. Some of the suggestions include the following:
* Netting can be effective for some animals, but squirrels and rodents are often able to gnaw through the netting, and birds can peck through openings.
* Umbrella shaped baffles can be installed just below the first tree branches. The animals may be able to climb the tree, but they won’t be able to get around the baffles to access the fruit.
* Metal flashing can be loosely wrapped around the trunks, extending about four feet above the ground. It has to be tight enough to keep the animals from getting in from the bottom and squeezing between the trunk and the flashing, but it has to be loose enough that the tree has room to grow.
* PC pipes can be used to build structures over the trees that can then be covered with netting or wire mesh.
Wash Down Fruit Before Shipping
Find a safe way to remove grime, dirt, bacteria, toxic residues, and other contaminants. Not only is it what has been sprayed on but also the number of times the produce was handled and if it has been coated in waxes and emollients after harvesting to withstand the long journey to market. What is needed is an odorless and tasteless plant-based wash that will safely emulsify and disperse the additives, lift wax and dirt, and make it easy on the consumer to wash away any remaining contaminants. That type of wash will leave the produce fresh, clean, and ready to eat.
Hire Refrigerated Transport
A professional refrigerated transport company is an expert on the reliable and expedited distribution of fruits and vegetables from the farm to its final grocer. Produce goes from depots with cold storage facilities into efficient and reliable temperature-controlled refrigerated vehicles.
Those who work with fruit and vegetables need to protect that healthy food as well as our air, land, and water and use refrigerated transport. All the above is recommended and necessary for ourselves and for future generations.