Friday, October 22, 2010

Killer Celery (Reason #192 To Eat Real Food)

"4 deaths tied to bacteria at food processing plant" in Texas. What was the food in question? Celery. What was celery doing in a processing plant? Details here.

We've seen the same story before, with eggs, luncheon meats, organic tomatoes, spinach, and so on. It seems like the frequency of these crises is increasing.

Are these foods all inherently risky?

I think that's beside the point.

The problem is that when food is processed on a large scale by people who really don't care, trouble is around the corner. Government oversight is not enough, because (a) the interests of the regulatory agencies are often not aligned with individuals' (in fact, sometimes they are diametrically opposed!); (b) even when their interests are aligned with ours, the agencies are spread too thin to actually do their putative jobs; and (c) they often step in only after the fact, if at all.

Your best defense against getting sick from industrial supply chain food is to avoid it when you can. Rather than buying pre-cut, plastic-wrapped, packaged, processed food from a supermarket, convenience store, or bad restaurant, consider buying whole, unmolested food from a small-scale food producer such as a local farmer. It's not always possible, but it's something to aim for.


Virginia said...

Yes! Awesome post!

Alex Lewin said...

Thanks Virginia!

Sea Street Soups said...

I took your class on fermenting foods last year and loved it. I am making soup on the North Shore from local ingredients. We are packaging in glass Ball Jars and the business is really starting to take off. Any new classes I should be looking to join???

Alex Lewin said...

SSS, congrats on your new business! That's awesome. I haven't taught any new classes--just kraut demos around town, thanks for asking. Tell me where I can buy your soups, I'd love to try one.