Rootstohealth's Blog


Yay E. coli!!….
June 19, 2009, 5:05 pm
Filed under: FDA, Food Safety

In case you haven’t heard – there’s been a recall on Nestle refrigerated Cookie Brownie Dough, which is not the place we usually expect E. Coli. (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/20/health/policy/20cookie.html?partner=rss&emc=rss)  It’s not a huge outbreak (yet) with 66 people infected thus far.  But as we have yet another E. Coli incident, I’d like to turn our attention to food safety.  

I know, in many ways, our current food supply is safer than it’s ever been (no pigs in the street…we HAVE water treatment, etc.).  And yet, I can’t help but think that there are better ways to regulate our mass production, and that greater safety measures could be taken.  If you haven’t read “Fast Food Nation” by Eric Schlosser, I highly recommend it.  It’s very enlightening about how our nation’s food business is run, and it might make you want to become a vegetarian.  Ironically, in one of his passages, he states

“A government health official, who prefers not to be named, compares the sanitary conditions at a modern feedlot to those of a crowded European city during the Middle Ages, when people dumped their chamber pots out the windows, raw sewage ran in the streets and epidemics raged. The cattle now packed into feedlots get little exercise and live amid pools of manure. Far removed from their natural habitats, the cattle become more prone to illnesses. And what they are fed often contributes to the spread of disease.” (http://www.mcspotlight.org/media/press/rollingstone2.html).  

 

Gross.  He also explains (and this I found really appalling) that other nations (especially the European Union and Canada) have stricter regulations than the US (especially concerning meat and feed), so some slaughterhouses in the US have two operations running: one on higher standards for export, and another on lower standards for domestic use.  

For a nation concerned with being the best, we sure don’t mind eating like a nation stuck in the past.

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