Saturday, June 2, 2012

What is Lurking in your Pollo Asado?

As a Vegan Latina, the only organisms I really have to worry about are "Genetically Modified" Organisms, or GMO's.  But for some of my friends, the threat of micro-organisms in their food is all too real.  If you eat eggs or chicken, you run the risk of contracting Salmonella, a bacteria which attacks the digestive system.
 According to the CDC, over 40,000 cases of Salmonellosis are reported each year!  If untreated, Salmonellosis can lead to hospitalization and death.  Salmonellosis is more common during the Summer.  This is partially due to the warmer weather making it easier for undercooked meats to make their way to our plates; and this is also because of the amount of outdoor grilling and large parties we tend to have in the Summertime.

My advice to my Pollo Asado-loving friends:  make sure your meat is cooked well.  If you have any doubts, simply ask the cook to grill it a little longer.  Chicken is done when it is white and flaky in the thickest part.  Your fork should slide easily in and out of a fully cooked piece of Pollo Asado.  It you are cooking with eggs, be sure to clean all surface areas, and do not mix utensils you would use to make raw dishes or sides like Salsa and Guacamole with those you used to prepare the raw chicken or eggs.

Remember that every bite you put into your body should serve a purpose; the only need your food should serve is to avoid hunger and nourish your body.  Any emotional cravings must be satisfied in healthier ways.  Think of that Pollo Asado as a small portion of protein on your plate, in comparison to all the frijoles and brown rice you will be piling onto that tortilla de maiz!  If you do happen to get a Salmonella infection, at least you won't have enough microbes to debilitate you--you will most likely just get a minor digestive irritation which will go away on its own.

Recovering from a Salmonella infection is not easy, you must get plenty of fluids with electrolytes to replenish your system.  Start by eating crackers and coconut water which is full of electrolytes (like VitaCoco.  If you can keep that down, continue with bland fruits like Banana and Apples. 

Once your digestive system has returned to normal, it is time to make some healthier choices in the long run.  Faux (or fake) Chicken 'meats' are more popular now, and there are a few brands competing to be the best in taste and texture!  

Try Vegetarian Quorn chik'n patties, Gardein chik'n breasts (frozen or fresh), or Tofurky meatless roast and many others on the market today!

Let me know what you think!  Send me a Comment below.



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