Of Fungus, Flies and Frozen…

It’s not a sponsored post and I don’t prefer one brand over others. These are my observations over several years and some simple experiments from my side to look at the other side of the coin.

Coming back to the topic, I get a minimum of 5 posts on my social media networks everyday complaining of insects, fungus, hairs, plastics, metals and many more in food products. Initial response is always to bash the product manufacturer and all hell breaks loose if it’s an MNC as they are thought to be destroyer of our culture and spoiler of our youth. Maybe it’s true I have no way to find out, but as an educated person (I think so) I should know that no product which has any shelf-life can be without additives whether it is for human consumption or external application.

Number one on the list of contamination is frozen products. We see fungus in butters, cheese, rotten vegetables and cracked-crushed Ice-creams. I have purchased fairly fresh batches of products which appear perfectly frozen but spoiled inside when opened and ice-creams cracked de-shaped. This will happen only when they melt and re-freeze. I have observed this in the reputed and upmarket chain of stores as well as local grocers. To test it I visited many stores when they just open up and went straight to the frozen section. It was switched of in most of the shops and products inside were soft and gooey including butters and expensive cheeses.

 

Iced lollies were also melted.  Frozen peas were very soft and when opened up they had all turned dark brown inside. To confirm my suspicions I went to the stores again just before closing and saw them switching it off. Some of the products like butters and ice-cream cones come in loose cardboard packing and the melted chiller water easily contaminates them. These cycles of melting and freezing can spoil even the best of packaged products but all the complains registered  show only product manufacturers on consumer forum.

Aamrkhand Fungus Formation

Arguing with them was non-productive as it is a very common way of cost cutting. In fact a green enthusiast like me should be happy at this conservation effort. This was the usual practice in homes some years ago as a futile attempt to bring down the electricity bill. But does it really help or it’s a false economy?

According to LeeAnne Jackson, FDA Co-Chair of the Food and Agriculture Sector Govt. Coordin. Council . “Refrigerators should be maintained at a constant temperature setting at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, many foods in refrigerator have bacteria on them, and the cold temperature inhibits the bacteria from multiplying (or at least slows it down). If the food warms up, the bacteria reaches harmful levels faster.” For this reason, the USDA recommends that food left in an unplugged, unopened fridge for more than four hours be tossed. UAE has warned grocers not to turn off freezers in night  or else they will have to pay fine. Hopefully someday we to will have a rule like that.

Also the energy savings aren’t significant by switching the refrigerator as more energy is used to cool the refrigerator back down to 40 degrees Fahrenheit than if the refrigerator simply maintains the temperature at 40 degrees. Its hygiene verses conservation …what would you choose.

Best solution to this problem is buying local, fresh and simple products. All exotic and expensive products stay a long time on the shelves or in refrigerator and have much more probability of getting spoiled.

My sincere request to shopkeepers is to follow the clean and green refrigerator for cost cutting instead of switching it off.

Good Read

http://diy.stackexchange.com/questions/2621/can-i-save-energy-costs-by-turning-off-the-refrigerator-for-1-2-hours-every-day

http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2010/12/can-you-unplug-your-fridge-night-save-money-and-energy

http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/stop-turning-off-freezers-or-face-fines-uae-grocers-warned

Images

http://www.bookcomplaints.com/online-consumer-complaint/India/Amul—www-amul-com-reviews-complaints/home-lifestyle/food-groceries/amul-cheese-containing-fungus-amul-www-amul-com_i7729#gsc.tab=0

http://www.consumercomplaints.in/big-bazaar-aamrkhand-fungus-formation-c976596

http://www.consumercomplaints.in/complaints/amul-butter-dhanbad-dhanbad-jharkhand-c485297.html

Pushpaanjali

Nature Lover, Bangalore

Welcome! Fellow Green Living Enthusiast

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