Sunday, September 17, 2006

Another Vegetable Bites the Dust

It’s a sad state of affairs when something as nutritious and delicious as spinach becomes an object of fear. The E-coli count is now up to 102 according to today’s NY Times.

We went to a gourmet dinner party last night, which was supposed to feature a spinach dish they had been perfecting for months. On Wednesday they had bought 2 5-pound bags of spinach. On Thursday morning they were back in line to return that same spinach. What a difference a day can make! The clerk asked if there was something wrong with the spinach. Our host referred to the latest news on spinach and she replied, “Oh yeah, I guess I did hear about that...”

So what’s the real skinny on spinach? Did you know the contamination is fecal in nature? GROSS! Just how many bags of the stuff are actually affected? Is it possible that organic spinach is still OK? Does anyone have even the slightest idea?

We’ve seen this same scare phenomenon at work on beef, chicken, eggs, and probably a host of other foods. It’s really unfortunate that the whole lot is labelled “suspect” when in fact it’s probably a very small percentage. What seems strange is that we were all happily eating our spinach salads just last week and suddenly spinach salad is off the menu.

I wonder how long it will take the FDA (or whoever works on these things) to come up with something even marginally definitive? I almost feel like throwing caution to the wind and continuing to enjoy spinach in all forms. I’ll bet it will never be a bigger bargain!

And you? Do those green leaves still have an appeal for you?


Blogger Kristin said...

This happened to prepackaged lettuce just a couple of months ago. I didn't stop eating that. I doubt I'll stop eating bagged spinach either. Am I playing Russian roulette with leafy greens? I don't know. I just can't cut them from my diet.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

I have to say that I can't afford not to heed the warnings. It would be tempting the fates as far as my health is concerned and not worth the risk. I can wait until all is clear.

(Glad things are looking up for you as far as the glass of water! If you wait long enough, things always even out in the big picture.)

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, this really pissed me off. I buy spinach every week. It's my favorite salad green. I threw out the unopened package when I got home after reading about the e coli. I am not brave enough to think my "bag" was untouched. Spinach, of course, comes fresh without the wrapper so will buy it that way. What really has me wondering now is whether all those packaged greens will/can/do suffer the same contamination?



1:46 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

I heard tonight that they had extended the spinach ban to cover non-packaged spinach as well. I can't help thinking there is some political agenda here that they are not telling us about. A friend reminded me that there is e-coli in everything and that only those people with compromised immune systems get sick from it. I can't imagine that anything new has happened to vegetables over the past week. I'm thinking that the absence of the vitamins provided by spinach is probably more likely to make me sick than the e-coli...

9:57 PM  
Blogger Old Lady said...

Of course, sometimes I think our processes are too clean. They are much better now than in the past.

4:29 PM  

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