Well maybe they do scare me, but not for reasons you might think. When I heard about the egg recall, I didn’t run to the fridge to see if my eggs were on the recall list; I buy my eggs from a local family farm. When I heard about the Walmart meat recall, I knew it did not affect me; I do not buy meat at Walmart, especially not nitrates/nitrites-laden deli meat.
So what’s scary about the recall to me? The probability that the government will react in a way that fails to address the real problem: industrial farming methods and manufacturing processes.
Michael Pollan is optimistic that this will be one of those “teachable moments” on the problems of the industrial food system and the need for reform. I really hope he’s right. Here’s what Pollan had to say on Anderson Cooper 360 last night, as interviewed by Dr. Sanjay Gupta:
There have not been the same sort of outbreaks with organic operations. However, organic egg operations are so tiny compared to conventional egg producers, that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. I eat eggs, and I buy them whenever I can at the farmers’ market. I know how those eggs are raised. They’re raised on grass. The animals live outdoors, in small flocks. They’re raised much the same as in the days before we had to worry about salmonella.
So what’s the big deal about industrial food? Most of it is not real food. Hear what Nina Planck has to say about industrial food.
And check out this article from the Agriculture Society that says, … if we changed our farming practices and methods back to the ways used by traditional farmers through the ages, we would heal the land, the creatures, and our bodies of many of the modern illnesses, problems, and scourges that plague our modern feedlots and factory farm environments.
It’s not a coincidence that you’re hearing more and more about salmonella outbreaks. They will continue to make headlines until this country gets its priorities straight about our food supply and the motivations behind the major players. Get educated about real food, eat real food and you’ll open up a whole new world to yourself. You can do it!
Update (8/25/10): The farms responsible for selling the eggs infected with salmonella continue to produce and sell their product while the FDA investigates. Millions of eggs per day are being cracked open and pasteurized (exposed to high temperatures for a period of time) to kill the salmonella. They are then being sold as liquid egg or added to other products. Pay attention! Industrial food suppliers are