Ben Hewitt, author of Making Supper Safe: One Man's Quest To
Learn About Food Safety, claims that eating in America is an act of
faith. He explains in great depth the dangers of making this blind
faith. One thing for sure: he gives us plenty of food for thought.
In light of the increasing numbers of recalls following highly
publicized food poisoning outbreaks we are understandably concerned
about pathogens, particularly of the ecoli kind. The increased
industrialization of food production not only makes outbreaks
exponentially larger but makes sources harder and slower to trace.
Your burger may have meat from cows from several abatoires (OK,
slaughterhouses. Pardon my fondness for SAT vocabulary words.).
In Hewitt's world this is only the tip of the iceberg and we
have a lot more to fear from what's under the water line. Folks like
Earl Butz, my own private Freddy Kruger, are changing government
incentives to reward growers of componants of factory foods.
Processed foods are less likely to harbor the bacteria we fear but are
worst for us in terms of long term chronic disease (think heart
disease, diabetes.) Keep this in perspective. In any given year
295,000 more people die of obesity related than pathogen related
"For the literally hundreds of thousands of Americans who suffer
and die from diet-related afflictions, E. coli and salmonella are not
the most palpable threats in our food. No, the most palpable threat
in our food is the policy behind it, a policy that has given rise to a
system of abundance that, even as it fills our stomachs to bursting,
offering a false promise of wellness and short-term satisfaction,
starves us of our long-term health.
This is the unspoken truth about food safety in the United
States: our food doesn't need pathogenic bacteria to sicken. It does
just fine on its own."
Can you read that quote and not go running out to get a copy of
Making Supper Safe? I sure hope not!
On a personal note, it is some cold outside!!! I was quite happy to
run my errands (by walking and budding) without incurring frostbite.
The secret of my success: layers. Dress defensively.
A great big shout out goes out to the hubby and all the others who
labor out in all kinds of weather earning money to keep their families
fed and sheltered.
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod