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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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