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It's a price/class thing. Organic in the US is high end, expensive food while the factory farmed junk is the cheap stuff. So organic is safer. Go to a poorer country where the factory farmed stuff is aimed at the high end market while the small and by default free-range small peasant farmer stuff gets sold at markets to the poor with little or no food safety controls you'll get the reverse.
by MarekNYC on Wed May 2nd, 2007 at 07:44:33 PM EST
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Soylent Green never seemed more prescient.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 12:49:06 PM EST
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actually I don't buy this theory, because it contradicts the experiences of personal friends who have cruised worldwide in small sailboats, as well as the written testimony of other more well-known sailors.  there's a strong consensus among them that the best food in third world countries -- in the absence of drought, pestilence, war, etc which create artificial scarcities -- is the wonderful local fresh produce and regional dishes from rural and small-town mom&pop groceries, open-air markets, roadside and boat-based food vendors, in other words from small family farms, local kitchens, etc.

supermarket food in such places, so my friends tell me, is mostly packaged corporate cr*p from the first world or their comprador operations overseas, being dumped on 3w populations, often outdated and always overpriced, sometimes contaminated with pesticides banned in the first world (but again dumped on the 3w).  there are occasional exceptions -- Danish and Dutch canned butter is reliably excellent anywhere in the world, they don't seem to have a double standard for dairy.  so while local elites may indeed flaunt their wealth by buying packaged junk food, that doesn't make it better food or safer or healthier...  the travelling cruisers save a lot of money and eat far better and healthier meals by "going local" and noshing like a fairly successful paisan.

how much of this food is "organic" is anyone's guess as there is no labelling, but industrial farming practices are expensive and many smallholders just grow stuff the way Grampa did.  3w water quality has been a bigger issue (healthwise) than food quality for most of the adventurous sailors I've known.  and in terms of survival and boat repair, diesel quality can be a big issue in remote locations...

organic-label food may indeed be better inspected and supervised than factory junk food in the US, but that doesn't stop the rightwing/corporate spin machine from demonising it at every oppo.  the Spinach/E.Coli scare has not died down yet;  and many organic farmers fear it will be used to legislate small salad-greens operations right out of existence.

there may yet come a day when the Enclosers realise the ir longtime programme and it becomes illegal to buy or sell -- or even to grow or eat -- any food or drink that is not controlled by the corporatocracy.  vile thought...

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 05:39:44 PM EST
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I was speaking purely in terms of avoiding food poisoning or stomach flu, not nasty chemicals, let alone taste. Sanitation and refrigeration are more consistent among the larger scale producers - the pork at Pani Marysia's stand will have been sitting out for a while and the eggs will be speckled with chickenshit.  But to be fair I haven't seen any studies and I may just be projecting off of the number of times I've gotten sick in Poland. However, I've hear the same thing from people who have lived in Africa or Asia - the market stuff tastes amazing but be ready to get sick on a regular basis.
by MarekNYC on Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 06:49:17 PM EST
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cooking at 250 deg F (throughout) for more than 15 minutes will kill just about anything live and nasty in meat -- other than prions, of course...  and yeah, serious cooking is recommended for any meat that's been out in the sun for more than a few minutes in the tropics :-)  also I have received dire warnings about cardboard boxes anywhere in the 3w and anywhere w/in 30 deg of the equator:  never bring them aboard, as they always, without exception, harbour cockroach eggs.  and eliminating roaches from a boat is a sisyphean task...

interestingly enough those speckly dirty open-market eggs are much in demand among sailing folk, because eggs that have never been refrigerated keep a lot longer than eggs that have been refrigerated.  eggs fresh from the henhouse this morning, oiled and stored carefully in a sand-filled canister, will still be edible 3 or more weeks later w/o refrigeration.  but eggs out of the cold case, if you don't have another cold case to put them in, will go bad really fast...

also veg with the dirt still on them will keep amazingly long compared to veg that have been washed and chilled.  I tried this with carrots from own garden last summer and found that they were still crisp and sweet after over a month (!) in a paper bag in the kitchen averaging 70 deg F in the early Fall.  fridge carrots kept for a month are either dehydrated carrot-mummies if left outside plastic bags, or getting pretty slimy and sad if left inside plastic.  similar results for taters and cabbages and leeks;  never wash, never chill, and they last longer.  celery can be kept alive, crisp and juicy for over a week as a kind of houseplant just by sticking the crown end in a dish of fresh water.

anyway I digress (methods of keeping food w/o refrigeration being a pet interest of mine)... and it occurs to me that it may be that cruisers, seeing mostly coastal areas and (if they are low-budget like all my friends) avoiding big cities whenever possible, are experiencing a different food spectrum from what you would find by wandering in the favelas or townships or the kaleidoscopic alleys of Mumbai...  it would figure too that food vendors in crowded cities might be able to get by with few repeat customers, whereas out in the sticks or some nowhere coastal town, if Uncle Theophile's wonderful sweet potato fly makes folks throw up, his business won't last much longer than it takes for village gossip to travel :-)

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 07:19:06 PM EST
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