Posts tagged with "Fruit and vegetables"

Going to seed: So many Americans start growing food that seed companies can’t keep up

April 15, 2020

As millions of Americans hunker down at home during the coronavirus outbreak, many are wondering, “Sow what?” In fact, “pandemic farms”—home gardens full of vegetables and fruits; and even chickens, cows, and goats—are fast replacing perfect lawns nationwide.

In fact, business is so good that some seed companies say they have temporarily stopped taking new orders, CBS News reports.

The increase in orders is “just unbelievable,” George Ball, chairman of Burpee Seeds, a 144-year-old seed company in Pennsylvania, told the network news outlet. The company closed to new orders last week because it needed time to catch up, although it plans to start accepting them again on April 15..

“If I had to put my thumb on it, I would say people are worried about their food security right now,” Emily Rose Haga, the executive director of the Seed Savers Exchange, an Iowa-based nonprofit devoted to heirloom seeds, ” said in an interview with CBS News. “A lot of folks, even in our region, are putting orders into their grocery stores and having to wait a week to get their groceries. Our society has never experienced a disruption like this in our lifetime.”

Other Americans are struggling to put food on the table. Feeding America, the nation’s largest network of food banks, reported a 98% increase in demand. And the need may be most critical in rural America, reported CBS This Morning correspondent Janet Shamlian. Pantries in some rural communities are closing because food is scarce while the volunteers who staff them are concerned about their own health.

Seed Savers Exchange started to notice an increase in orders in mid-March. Demand spiked during the following two weeks, Haga recalls. For now, the nonprofit also has put a halt on new orders while it catches up on the backlog.

“We received twice the amount of orders we normally receive,” she said, adding that the company of about 60 employees hired 16 workers to help cope with the flood of sales.

Research contact: @CBSNews

Wash fruit, vegetables with soap: Virologist confirms COVID-19 survives on supermarket produce

March 27, 2020

An apple a day only will keep the doctor away if you wash it with soap and water, much as you would your hands: A virologist has confirmed that “every surface is a hazard” when it comes to COVID-19—and  he cautions supermarket customers to be particularly mindful of the loose fruit and vegetables in the store, according to the Daily Mail UK.

Timothy Newson, an associate professor at the University of Sydney specializes in infection, vaccines, and virology, told the Daily Mail that, while the virus can live on most surfaces, grocery shoppers should be particularly wary of the fruit and vegetable aisle—where customers frequently pick up the produce to see how fresh and ripe it is, and put it down again.

“We have to remember that every surface is potentially contaminated. And like with any surface there is a risk,’ Newsome explained. ‘We don’t see it as high risk because that comes from sustained contact with other people, but nonetheless it’s important to be mindful.’

‘People working in the supermarkets should be picking all of the fruit and veg up and setting it back down with protection,” he said. Luckily he noted that a large proportion of shelf stackers and general workers have been wearing gloves and disinfecting their hands at every turn.

The best course of action is to wash your fruit and vegetables with soap as soon as you bring them home, not simply relying on the high heat of cooking them to “kill” the virus.

“Wash them with warm soapy water, just as you do your hands,” he said.

Research contact: @DailyMailUK