Thursday, September 21, 2006

Old News...But Still News

No more spinach!!! I’ve had it! Anytime I want to start eating right, something always bursts my bubble. Ah- I’ll pick up some spinach and make a nice, healthy salad. This was last week. A few days later, they tell me that spinach has been recalled due to a strain of e-coli. 146 people got sick from this outbreak and one person died. It’s nationwide. Great. They say that it takes 3-11 days before the person becomes ill. I’m on day eight.

It reminds me of that commercial for Imodium AD, where the woman is sitting in traffic waiting for the light to turn green. The announcer says, “Where will you be the next time diarrhea strikes?” I’m waiting for that moment, on my eleventh day, where I’ll be stuck in traffic or God forbid on a check out line in Walmart somewhere making a beeline for the ladies’ room. On the eleventh day of my spinach e-coli term, I’ll be home. I’m not moving. Pray for me.

Is anything safe to eat anymore? Even organic foods aren’t 100% organic! So all you health freaks who strictly eat purely organic fruits and vegetables, read the labels. It clearly states if the produce you’re eating is purely organic or not. They label it in big letters, “ORGANIC”---and then the fine print tells you, ‘only 30% organic’. Read.

You literally have to grow your own vegetable garden in order to feel safe. Even meat is iffy. Think about it—how many times has beef been called in due to mad cow disease? The butcher puts up this little sign that notifies the public about the recall. You have to wonder how the cattle gets mad cow disease to begin with.

When cattle are slaughtered, portions of the animal not destined for human consumption may be used to produce a protein-rich byproduct that may be mixed with grain and fed back to livestock as feed. In the UK where the disease was first identified, it is thought that these byproducts may have contained the prion protein, and that cattle became infected by consuming feed containing prion-contaminated animal protein. It is for this reason that the feeding of animal proteins derived from cattle back to cattle has been banned in the US.

So basically, you, me and the cow are eating stuff we shouldn’t be. Protein-rich byproduct is basically what you find in chicken mcnuggets. Do we really want to eat this stuff? Regardless, I still enjoy my occasional filet mignon from time to time and a good ol’ hamburger, but I always have that little voice inside my head that says, “Hmmm, should you really be eating this?” (No, it’s not the schizophrenia either.)

What about chicken? I was going clucking crazy when I heard about the bird flu. A huge epidemic that can possibly enter the US! “No, you can’t get bird flu by eating chicken, you have to be exposed to a chicken coupe”, in other words, next to their crap. Do we trust that? “Still eat chicken!”

So what’s left? Fish. Then on the news, the levels of mercury in fresh water fish and seafood is at an alarming rate. Great. Sushi is out. There is absolutely nothing else to eat…is there? I’m going down to the basics, nuts, berries and grass. Even that, I can’t even trust with my neighbor’s dogs using my property as safe haven to crap.

What else is there? Cheeses, bologna, sausages, hot dogs, lunch meat, coleslaw made from contaminated cabbage as well as shellfish. I’m allergic to shellfish anyway. This saves me in itself. Listeria-- (known as listeriosis) may create symptoms such as fever, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, difficulty breathing, and poor feeding for pregnant women.

Why worry anymore? Everything’s at risk. Any one of us could walk out of our houses and get hit by a bus, so what’s the use of worrying?

Bon appetit!