Friday, April 22, 2011

Fruit Salad from China...sigh!

     As I read the label, my eyes widened, the heart began to pound, and suddenly my brain liquefied into a slurry of bewilderment and disbelief! If there’s a microcosm of the nutritional complacency extinguishing America’s health equity, it was staring me square in the face; plastic, hermitically sealed, supposed-to-be-good-for-you ‘fresh’ opaque cups of fruit salad in the grocery produce section.
     We’ve descended onto the shadowy sea bed of laziness. Red, white and blue unhealthy Americans are either embarrassingly addicted to convenience or too lazy to lift a knife. So much that Americans are buying carb-heavy Del Monte and Dole fruit cups of fruit salad which were harvested, hopefully washed, peeled, chopped, mechanically packaged and shipped from, yep, China and Thailand who have dissimilar interpretations of sanitation and chemical usage.
     We squawked about the deadly Chinese melamine scare, their toxic pet food, tainted infant formula and fraudulent vitamins shipped to us, but in a hazy stupor of suitability Americans still robotically disregard food labels and, without caution, grab and snarf cups of pre-made fruit salad.
Fruit cheaply harvested 10,000 miles away then shipped for weeks on end aboard a boat is DOA. The idea of an alleged ‘fresh’ fruit salad being delivered from Asia should be upsetting to you. First, your temple doesn’t deserve old, dead food lacking nutrition and second, it stimulates the economy of a politically competitive country on the opposite side of God’s green earth. This cup-o-crapola has sailed the bonny seas for weeks, even months. What part of this is logical? Can’t we take time to make a fresh, colorful fruit salad brimming with the living nourishment the Universe provided or have we become comfortably numb to what is essential to steward the health of our holy temple?
     The best way to store fruit till you use it is with the heavenly wrapping left on, rinds and peelings intact. Once the protective peels or coverings of fruits are cut, the fruits begin to degrade and lose their healing energy. This nutrient loss doesn’t occur immediately because it takes up to five or six days to show any major vitamin loss as long as cut, unpeeled fruits are stowed in the refrigerator, not an undulating transport tanker. After weeks and months, it decomposes into lifeless calories and the protective vitamin C and carotenoids become useless bilge.
     To receive the most disease preventing mojo, pull out the cutting board and a chef’s knife, wash, cut, prepare and then tightly seal your beautiful fresh fruit salad the day of the purchase to insure you’re getting the truest flavors and health restoring nutrition. Savor the moment.
Once prepped, due to oxygen, nutrients begin to flee. After a day or two languishing in the fridge, they’re probably aesthetically unpleasing, especially bananas and strawberries, so prudently prep only as much as your gang eats at one sitting. Be sure you keep it stored in air-tight containers in your refrigerator overnight. If you add blueberries, and I hope you will, use them as the final garnish. As you mix the salad they break up leaving little dark blue, eye-offending bits.
      Having fresh cut fruits ready to eat in your refrigerator makes it easier to make healthy choices at snack attack time. Try a mix of oranges, strawberries, grapes, kiwi, strawberry, and pineapple. To prevent indigestion, melons should always be eaten alone.
Now really? Do you honestly want your loving family to eat fruit cups that say “Made in China or Thailand?” I didn’t think so. Then return to the joyous, blissful act of cooking from scratch and support your local community farmer’s markets and family farms.
Fruit salads from China … sigh. Gimme a break.

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