Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fruits & Vegetables being Irrigated with Sewage Water?

Or so reports Al Masry

Thousands of farmland acres producing essential crops comprising Egyptians food basket are irrigated with untreated sewage water. Shocking as it is for consumers, small farmers deal with it in a relaxed way claiming it is their only option taking into consideration the high cost of using good-for-irrigation water.

Watch the video interview on Al Masry

So whether you believe it or not, it makes sense to start rinsing your vegetables in a mild solution of Potassium Permanganate to get most of the icky stuff out. (this cost effective treatment was recommended by a friend who works on water purification installations in houses and offices in India)


Maryanne Stroud Gabbani said...

When I moved here over 20 years ago with small children I used potassium permanganate to rinse my fruits and vegetables all the time. I still have some but just wash them now. Out here you get to see the canals and farms up close and personal. The irrigation water from the canals is definitely something that I prefer not to be immersed in or to drink but the fields are planted in such a way that the crops are on higher ground than the area that carries the water. When they irrigate, the water doesn't go on the plants, just around the roots. What's in the canals depends a lot on how waste is handled. That's a bigger problem around the cities than out here where we have septic tanks, most of which drain the liquids into the soil....away from plants. Cross contamination from the cracked and broken water pipes in the cities is a much bigger risk for parasites and bacterial nasties, I suspect.

Kim said...

Interesting perspective Maryanne, but seems a bit contradictory to this article on Islamonline.net

Would love to hear your thoughts as you have way more practical and direct references and insights than I do.

Forest said...

I actually just started eating the veg here so am a little sad to see this.... I did wash the veg in dish soap and so far have had no bad stomach issues.

I must say the veggies also taste really good!

Where would I buy potassium permanganate?

Kim said...

I too have eaten the vegetables here for almost 3 years and not had any stomach ailments yet. My husbnad, not so lucky! Had erosive gastric duodenitis which was linked to the food he ate in Egypt, since we both eat the same food at home, it had to be some cooked food that he ate outside of the house.

Washing the vegetables in a strong vinegar solution seems to have helped some, while skinning the vegetables before cooking is also an option.

Potassium Permanganate should be avilable at the chemists, but I'm not sure what it would be called in Arabic. (I bring my supply from home)

Aristarkhos said...

Damn. Duodenitis must have been painful. I believe, it hurts even more on an empty stomach.

Reminds me of the time when I asked my mom why I needed to wash corriander leaves before cutting them. She told me where they were generally grown...alongside the railway tracks! I was really small then.
When I started working, I had to travel all way from South Bombay to New Bombay. Seeing those vegetable patches brought those memories back. And knowing how people love littering around the place...oooer! I hear you mom...I hear you...

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