We all want our food to be as healthy and safe as it can possibly be. That’s one of the main reasons you choose organic food for your family. It’s certainly one of the main reasons that we grow and produce organic food. But there are other aspects of safe food, too. And just as our commitment to organic is unwavering, so too is our commitment to keeping food safe in all ways.
Just today, Scientific American published an article that highlights one of the many things we’re researching that will help us augment our industry-leading food safety program. I hope you’ll read the article for full details, but we’re excited about how High Power Ultrasound (HPU) might enhance our washing of our salads.
While there’s definitely a whiz-bang kind of coolness about HPU, and we’re eager to see how well it works through our research project with the Institute for Food Safety and Health, it’s most important to be clear: this is not a silver-bullet solution to food safety issues. Wash systems are designed to reduce the risk of pathogens but can't guarantee elimination of pathogens. As the article says: “Employing ultrasound, however, does not guarantee sterile produce, and Earthbound says they will not put forward such a claim.” A top-notch wash system is one of many hurdles that we need to have in place in fresh, ready-to-eat produce, since the only true “kill step” for pathogens is cooking. And if we cooked the salads, they wouldn’t be salads anymore!
What we’ve been doing to heighten food safety in addition to our wash systems, for going on six years now, is testing for pathogens: testing water and other inputs at the farm level, testing greens just after harvest, and then testing the greens again as they’re packaged. We also test our wash water frequently throughout the day to monitor its effectiveness. You can read more about our comprehensive food safety program here. We believe this, in addition to our organic farming, is the best way to keep our greens as safe and healthy as possible.
I look forward to hearing what you think! Please feel free to comment.
Charlie Sweat, CEO