First off: nitrates are naturally occurring in food. They’re also used as a preservative in meat, giving it that pink colour. But nitrates, like chocolates, need to be consumed in moderation. According to the WHO, a daily intake of 3.7 milligrams of the stuff is advised. The problem is that modern agriculture means nitrate levels are often higher than they should be. Until now, you could’ve been eating tons of nitrates without knowing it.
WTF Are Nitrates?
According to GreenTest manufacturer, Anmez, Nitrogen (the chemical that is broken down to become nitrate) is the most-used fertiliser in the world, and today we are using almost 20 times more than we did 50 years ago. According to the National Cancer Institute, increased ingestion of nitrates in water and meat is linked to cancers of the colon, kidney, and stomach.
How Nitrate Testing Works
Alvarita, food safety company, has launched the first of its kind in South Africa. The device, called GreenTest, removes the lab testing from the consumer or business. All you need is the device, a tiny brick smaller than the palm of your hand, with a metal prong on one end that gets inserted into vegggies, fruit, water or meat. It measures the nitrate levels, with warnings to avoid the grub or go ahead and tuck in.
The test retails for R1499, at Alvarita.co.za