The Hayes Zoo

Our Purpose

- to know God and use our entire lives in service to Him.

- to stand in the gap through prayer, giving and service to viable ministries in Latin America.

- to be transparent helpers of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, using our resources and skills that through the Holy Spirit, we might encourage and equip those who have less.

- to share a living perspective from Latin America to our churches, friends and family in the states and beyond.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Foodie Friday...

This is a cleaning lesson - with food. So it counts for Foodie Friday. :)

Thank you GratefulforGrace for the idea. I keep forgetting to wander around with my camera so I didn't have anything stashed in my back pocket for this week. You saved me!

So - we've all heard and maybe you've even experienced the horror stories of food from Mexico and the bacteria and such that makes you sicker than a dog, if not worse.

Well....we live here and for the past 4 1/2 years (Honduras too) getting 'imported' food that is completely, 100% USDA approved was just not possible so our options were and are: live and eat it, or starve. So - we've learned to manage what we can, and pray over all the rest.

Enter a new mentality and disinfectant. We assume everything has something. This is working pretty well for us. The general rule for eating outside US borders is if you can peel it - it's okay to eat raw. (Talking fruits and veggies here) Otherwise, cook it lots or disinfect it. So we always do the soak method before it goes into the fridge.

Okay so really it's more like 95% of the time - everyone has been known to snitch stuff before it gets into the cleaning vats; this is where the prayer comes in. Everyone assumes that once it's in the fridge or put in it's proper place it's free game. I set this up in years past, so it's a 'known' fact.

The only things I do NOT soak are the onions. They get g.r.o.s.s. if you soak them. Slimy from the inside out...blech. But not one single person in THIS house is going to eat a raw onion, so I figure we're good. I also wait 'till the meal we're using it for to soak lettuce and cabbage - but again - these items are not high on the 'grab a bite' menu so...

You can use bleach - but gag. It's nasty. Effective, but nasty - not to mention toxic.

THESE are our products of choice.

The pure vinegar is an effective disinfectant although I will be adding Hydrogen Peroxide to boost it after reading a few more articles.

• Use vinegar as a produce wash. Susan Sumner, PhD, a food-safety scientist at Virginia Tech, has researched the effectiveness of vinegar since the late ’90s. She found in one study, published in the 1997 issue of the journal Food Microbiology that spraying vinegar and then spraying hydrogen peroxide on produce killed a majority of E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella, and Listeria bacteria. You can also mix it up, using hydrogen peroxide first, just as long as you don't mix the two together (they're less effective that way). Let the produce dry before you eat it.

Bactericida - It's a fruit, veggie, water and general sterilizer for decontaminating. Here's a page on it - ready to practice your Spanish??

So - honestly, we eat pretty much anything and so far, gracias a Dios, we've been healthy. I'm POSITIVE this is not related entirely to my cleaning methods either, so keep up the prayers.



Anonymous said...

You are so brave. Becaause 1) - you've set up your blog to allow me to post, and 2) - you've publicly stated you've never been sick. Watch oouuuttt! :)

TexasHeather said... soak for how long? and then just rinse and refrigerate?

I should SO start doing this....I think our stuff is a teensy bit "cleaner" than yours where we are, but it would be a good habit to get into, just in case....

The Hayes Zoo said...

Yikes - Heather, I knew I was leaving out something.

15-20 minutes soak time. Dry then put away...I don't rinse - because the water is part of the problem. :)

It IS a good habit - and one I'm pretty sure I'll keep no matter where we live.

MikeandCharlsie said...

That is so fascinating about the vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. I wish I had known that before...thanks for sharing!

TexasHeather said...

thanks, Faith! I think I'll institute this process soon. Glad to have the particulars!

Grateful for Grace said...

Very cool! I wonder if I could do this just to our produce that I can't afford to buy organic. THANKS!!

The Hayes Zoo said...

GFG - I WOULD!!! :)

Grateful for Grace said...

Faith-Done. Thanks. I'd only heart of bleach (which I won't use on our food) or really expensive stuff. Vinegar? Can do.

The Lowen family said...

Glad I found your site. We have been here in Mexico for 1 1/2 years, and have experienced some sickness but not of the intensity that my fellow missionaries have lived through. Currently, I do wash everything in bleach then rinse with clean drinking water. So far so good, but I was looking for some thing not so toxic! Thanks for the advice.