Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Eat Those Veggies...

but washing them first is always a good idea.

I'm surprised it took so long to hear a call for a federal inspection program for fruits and vegetables, the latest tainted food from Taco Bell apparently being the impetus for the Santa Rosa Press- Democrat's call for more federal oversight in this area.

So just what is the fed supposed to do? Take a sample of every vegetable picked and test it for contamination?

This is ridiculous. There's already state and federal regulations of one kind or another for food processing plants. What more can they do?

The worst part is, assuming the fed got more involved, many people will assume their fruits and vegetables are safe and might not take the common sense precautions they already do.
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Interesting that the Press- Democrat points out that fruits and vegetables are second only to seafood as a source of foodborne illnesses, yet seafood is already monitored by the federal government, as the P-D admits.

I can't help but wonder if maybe we should get the fed out of messing with seafood? Hey, seafood ranks higher as a source of illness. Might there be a relationship.

Noticed this small Associated Press article in the Times- Standard this morning. Yet another foodborne illness possibly caused by seafood, this time oysters being suspect. The worst thing about incidents like this is it will cause some people to ask for yet more federal oversight.

Wash your food, folks, and thoroughly cook it. Wash your hands before handling food or eating, as well. That's your best form of protection, not the federal government.
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Oh; That Fortuna Sea Products mentioned in the AP story about the oysters isn't from our very own Fortuna. It's someplace in Southern CA. Had me going there for a minute. I thought maybe there was yet another Humboldt County company I hadn't heard of.

25 Comments:

At 11:42 AM, Blogger Nick Bravo said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11:50 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Fred - not all food contamination can be prevented by washing. Taco Bell washes their produce at each restaraunt.

 
At 12:02 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Well, then how is some federal regulatory procedure going to stop contaminated food from ending up in the market place? How are they going to figure out what's contaminated and what isn't?

In regards to Taco Bell washing their produce: Sure, maybe most do. Maybe some gets by. Then you have to realize that food can be contaminated by the people washing it, as well.

No easy answer, at least in my mind, except for people having to use care in handling food. I don't see how the feds are going to help with that.

 
At 12:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

California has the tightest and best agricultural standards in the world. It is hard to imagine the Federal Government stepping in and making things better. This is a total knee jerk reaction. Im more concerned about the corn grown in Virginia.

 
At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

About three years ago I got really ill after eating at KFC on Broadway. Four days having to be within 10 ft of a toilet at all times. Doctor said to wait two more days before coming in and it got better on day 6. I was lucky, didn't have to work and no children lost care.

My message is that anything that helps reduce food contamination is money well spent. My personal experience, in the construction trade, is that standards and inspections work. Self regulation doesn't work. Thats why we now have this food problem, busineses are saying they can regulate themselves, but they can't.

 
At 1:49 PM, Blogger Fred said...

"Thats why we now have this food problem,".

What problem? Yep, people get ill on occasion eating either at home or at resaurants, but it's relatively rare.

Even when it does happen, you're talking about hundreds, or low thousands, of people in a nation of millions.

There are all kinds of local and state regulations regarding food handling and preparation. Nonetheless, some people end up getting sick, as you did in a regulated restaurant. Things like that happen.

 
At 2:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One solution would be irradiation. All the bugs are killed and no residual radiation is left over in the final product. Not all food lends itself to the process and the enviros would scream to high heaven. Meanwhile as usual they will turn to the government to solve a non existent problem.

 
At 2:17 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Good point, Leo. There was much abuzz about food irradiating not too long ago. I can't remember what got that issue started up. A fairly easy and effective way to kill critters and pathogens(?) that could help.

Unfortunately, the mere word radiation scared off a lot of people from even considering it.

 
At 4:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Radiation IS scary. Its not the effect on the food, but idiots mishandling it. Look at the abuses and accidents in the medical industry, and those people go to school for 7 years!

 
At 5:06 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Yes, it is scary, but you, 4:04, assume that people, hired by government, are any better qualified to do the same thing?

 
At 5:09 PM, Blogger Pogo said...

4:08 Make sure you stay away from your dentist, MD or oncologist. They are known to use xrays, MRI and radiation for treatment and diagnosis. That's "scary".

 
At 5:35 PM, Blogger Carol Ann said...

Isn't irradiation spent fuel rods?

I'll continue to shop organic and grow my own, as much as I can. Wash your hands often with soap and water and wash your food before you eat it. That is the best prevention.

 
At 7:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

By irradiating food, depending on the dose, some or all of the microbes, fungi, viruses or insects present are killed. This prolongs the life of the food in cases where microbial spoilage is the limiting factor in shelf life. Some foods (e.g., herbs and spices) are irradiated at such high doses (5 kilograys or more) that they are partially sterilized. It has also been shown that irradiation can delay the ripening or sprouting of fruits and vegetables and replace the need for pesticides. Really "scary".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_irradiation

 
At 8:30 PM, Blogger Carson Park Ranger said...

Always a great idea to get health related information from the carefully analyzed submissions on "Wikipedia."

 
At 9:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CDC has decided that LETTUCE was the culprit in the lastest Taco Bell Ecoli outbreak. They did find E coli in some white onion but it wasn't the same strain that made 70+ people ill. They aren't saying where the bulk lettuce came from, but California is the most likely place.
I am glad I can't eat fast food anymore!

 
At 9:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"latest"

 
At 12:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever illness is now being borne by food in America can be traced back to one responsible party, our National Saint, He Who Did No Wrong, President Ronald "Deregulate Them Until They Scream" Reagan.

 
At 12:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The KFC on Broadway cooks its chicken all the way through, in my experience.

The KFC in Burre Center, consistently fails to cook its chicken all the way through, at least the last time I went there about a year ago.

When chicken bones show blood that is still red, it is a signal that something is not quite right.

 
At 1:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred said:
"There are all kinds of local and state regulations regarding food handling and preparation. Nonetheless, some people end up getting sick, as you did in a regulated restaurant. Things like that happen."

Dear Fred,

Many of those regulations have been weakened and the agencies that are supposed to enforce the regulations have been cut back and then cut again. Ever since the King of the Tax-cutters, so-called, our Beloved Leader, Ronald Wilson Reagan became President.

Have you ever noticed that there are more pieces of bone in your hot-dogs and hamburgers than when you were a kid? It's because of the Deregulation of the Food Industry.

I know Libertarians like to rely on businesses to regulate themselves. That's why you will never see a Libertarian instructor suggesting to students that they read Upton Sinclair's book, The Jungle. The Jungle is the book that, about a hundred years ago, woke America up to the disease-ridden products being produced by the unregulated food industry of that day. Americans were so angry to learn how their families' lives were being threatened by industrialists who cared more for profit than for the people's health, they demanded Congress take action. Congress did take action, establishing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to protect the food supply of the nation.

You say, "Some people end up getting sick." You sound so casual about it.

I'd like to let you in on a little secret, Fred. My baby sister's little girl, when she was only two years old, contracted what the press calls "e.coli poisoning." No one knows where it came from. It might have been food. Or it might have come to her from an environmental source other than food.

In any case, there is nothing on earth so frightening as to come within a hair's breadth of losing a little child whom you love deeply to a disease organism that your own government has been less than thorough in combating and removing from the food supply that we Americans rely on.

I suppose that when you are a Libertarian, and you have your own blog and such, it might be easy to lose touch with the common people.

If you ever feel out of touch with the pain of people who have actually lost their health or their lives, or those whose loved ones have lost their health or their lives because they trusted their food to be safe, please read this post and think about it until you can feel what I feel.

True, suffering is an inevitable part of life. But among America's core values is that neighbors help neighbors and that with our "can do spirit" we overcome problems that other nations don't even attempt to solve. America cleaned up its food supply once. Then we let certain charismatic charlatans persuade us to let the foxes guard the chicken house again. Now it's time to chase out the foxes and protect those chickens for the good of all concerned.

 
At 6:31 AM, Blogger Fred said...

12:39 wrote, "Whatever illness is now being borne by food in America can be traced back to one responsible party, our National Saint, He Who Did No Wrong, President Ronald "Deregulate Them Until They Scream" Reagan.".

I feel safe in saying that regulation of food now is much more stringent now than it was back in the days of Reagan.

Are food borne illnesses more prevalent now than before Reagan? I don't know.

 
At 6:38 AM, Blogger Fred said...

1:11 wrote, "I'd like to let you in on a little secret, Fred. My baby sister's little girl, when she was only two years old, contracted what the press calls "e.coli poisoning.".

My wife underwent a bone marrow transplant earlier this year. She is VERY immune deficient at this point in time (although you wouldn't know it by looking at her). She has been advised not to eat any uncooked or unprocesses vegetables, whether from the store or a restaurant.

I'm sure the doctors would advise the same whether the fed was regulating produce or not. It's just common sense.

"The Jungle is the book that, about a hundred years ago, woke America up to the disease-ridden products being produced by the unregulated food industry of that day.".

I've read The Jungle. Whether or not Upton Sinclair's description of the meat packing industry is an accurate portrayal of what really existed, I have my doubts.

"I suppose that when you are a Libertarian, and you have your own blog and such, it might be easy to lose touch with the common people.".

You're right there. I really do need to get out more. One of these days I'll get hold of you and you can take me out and show me who these "common people" are.

 
At 7:01 AM, Blogger Carol Ann said...

Sorry to hear about your wife, Fred, and I hope she recovers soon. Sorry to hear about 1:11 niece, too, and I agree with your post. Upton Sinclair's book, The Jungle, was required reading in high school. Not only did it deal with the way the food was processed, but it dealt with how the workers were treated and the fight for employee unions.

 
At 8:00 AM, Blogger Pogo said...

1:11 "I suppose that when you are a Libertarian, and you have your own blog and such, it might be easy to lose touch with the common people."

That's about the snarkiest comment I have ever read on this blog (and there have been some winners)!

 
At 9:23 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

Hey Fred, being the "King of Bloggers" has never inflated your head, but it sure has gone to 1:11's head. Pogo, I wouldn't call it snarky, it's much more dillusional. Here on the ivory tower of my free blog I look out over the masses and all I see are ants scurrying for crumbs.

Sorry 1:11, I sympathize with much of what you wrote, but Fred's about as common as a guy can get. (Don't take that worng Fred)

 
At 11:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://buhnetribune.blogspot.com/2006/12/blind-item_14.html

Anyone sick of Nick Bravo/Ryan Fenster and Charles Douglas? Here is your chance to weigh in your opinion.

 

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