Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Food Contamination, It's Not OK

I was in the grocery store yesterday and opted against buying meat. I've been put off by these recent findings of contamination, and more importantly, by the knowledge I've been acquiring about how our livestock are raised. Why are pet food ingredients, items that receive low priority on the FDA's watchlist, being sold to farms that raise food for human consumption? What meat can I trust? I see cows grazing in fields along highways, is there pesticide runoff in that grass? Organic, grass-fed, pasture-raised, humanely-handled meat and poultry aren't widely accessible, not financially, not logistically.

This is not OK. It's not OK that lettuce, spinach, and meat were contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. It's not OK that peanut butter was contaminated with salmonella. It's not OK that government agencies responsible for the safety of our food don't talk to each other, aren't adequately funded, and appear to be more beholden to industry and political interests. We pay for these federal agents to keep our food safe. They work for us. If the current set-up can't handle the requests made of it, it needs to be changed. This is not OK, and I'm going to do something about it.
Photo: Marion Nestle's 2003 book Safe Food: Bacteria, Biotechnology, and Bioterrorism

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