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2006-09-17 16:14:21.478828+00 by Dan Lyke 10 comments

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2006-09-17 17:28:43.668747+00 by: ebradway

federal health officials urged people to avoid eating all fresh spinach -- not just the prepackaged variety.

So no fresh spinach from the Farmer's Market? No fresh spinach from our neighbor's garden? This sounds like the big e-coli scare that occured over unpasteurized apple cider a few years ago. One "bad apple" in the bunch and now it's almost impossible to get fresh, unpasteurized apple cider. Soon, we will only eat spinach as Popeye did - from a can!

#Comment Re: made: 2006-09-17 17:46:48.421856+00 by: Diane Reese

I admit, I avoided the spinach at the farmer's market yesterday, even though two vendors had detailed signs next to their offerings designed to convince shoppers that their product couldn't possible be tainted in any way. There seemed to be a brisk commerce in collard greens and arugula yesterday, neither of which typically move very well.

I think the way this is being handled is responsible and as matter-of-fact as possible. And I'll return to buying Earthbound Farms produce as soon as it's made available again.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-09-17 19:26:08.450686+00 by: Larry Burton

Can e.coli not be washed off this spinach once it's on it?

#Comment Re: made: 2006-09-17 21:23:43.827327+00 by: Dan Lyke

Larry, I'd assume that decent washing would take care of it, as should cooking.

I don't know how many of the 280 million people in the U.S. had spinach over the past few weeks, but if fifty or a hundred got sick I figure that's better odds than driving to the store to buy the spinach in the first place.

I generally do other greens anyway 'cause of the oxalic acid in spinach, but this whole silliness makes me want to go get some spinach.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-09-17 21:36:54.083412+00 by: Diane Reese [edit history]

The FDA is currently recommending that the public not consume fresh (uncooked) spinach or salad blends containing fresh spinach.However, E. coli O157:H7 in spinach can be killed by cooking at 160 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 seconds. If consumers choose to cook the spinach they should follow these cooking instructions and also remember to take steps to avoid cross-contamination of the fresh spinach with other foods and food contact surfaces and to wash hands, utensils, and surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after handling the spinach.

Apparently not, Larry and Dan.

#Comment Re: Mr. E. Coli in the spinach field made: 2006-09-19 16:31:51.314589+00 by: andylyke

Has nobody thought that this might be O. bin L. at work? (Just trying to start a panic). Seriously, though, back when I was in the army (and Dan was in diapers - sorry, Dan) the comissary in Frankfurt recommended washing all fresh veggies in a weak bleach solution, as the Germans "use human excrement" as fertilizer. We never did, and never got sick, but somebody evidently thought that was a preventive. But getting back to the apple juice - I think the biggest challenge in this is to calm your neighbors so we don't wind up eating spinach from a can. {To quote Mike Kennedy, upon being served boiled chopped spinach at a company commisary in West Berlin, "es sieht wie schnott aus". - ("es sieht wie ... aus" means "it looks like")}

#Comment Re: made: 2006-09-20 16:03:15.697432+00 by: Dan Lyke

After reading a bunch more, my impression now is that they use a chlorine wash in the processing plants.

The real need this speaks to, though, is the need for more diversification in our food supplies. That thousands of acres of spinach got squeezed through one plant means not only that there was a potential for a single point of contamination, but also that there's no way to trace that food back to its source.

I don't know how we educate consumers to ask for this, but somehow we have to make a conscious shift to being more aware of the mechanisms and means of production of what we eat, rather than just treating food as commodity.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-09-20 17:17:57.135458+00 by: Larry Burton

I don't know how we educate consumers to ask for this

Promote local farmer's markets and get people to ask for local fruits and vegtables from the produce manager of your local supermarket.

#Comment Re: Dan's comment made: 2006-09-20 17:19:08.668398+00 by: andylyke

Yes, it returns to thoughts put forth in Erich Schumacher's book, "Small is Beautiful" (I forget how long ago that was). Consolidation and industrialization is harmful on so many levels - spiritual, economic, cultural, epidemiological, ... or, as somebody (help me, Dan) wrote, when people have to be identified by numbers, the society is too large.

Nation magazine devoted a whole issue recently to discussing the various ills attending consolidation in the food chain.

#Comment Re: [Entry #9291] Re: Dan's comment made: 2006-09-20 21:26:02.443623+00 by: Unknown, from NNTP

andylyke <prefersanonymity_390@flutterby.com> writes:

>    as somebody (help me, Dan) wrote, when people have to be identified
>    by numbers, the society is too large.

Heinlein, speaking via his Lazarus Long avatar: "When a place gets crowded enough to require IDs, social collapse is not far away. It is time to go elsewhere."