Our Food Supply - Are You Concerned?
Sep. 5, 2010 2:17 pm
Updated: Sep. 20, 2010 2:46 pm
First let me just say I am not a germ freak. I have eaten from street vendors world wide, without a problem. I eat my beef rare and I have a firm belief that pork & chicken should not be over cooked. I like my eggs over easy or soft scrambled.
I am NOT a fan of processed lunch meats or ground meats.
When a package of ground beef says, Product of Canada, USA, Mexico and Chili - I am NOT buying it! - No way!
(Update: It was brought to my attention that my statement above could be taken as a indictment of Canadian beef. This is not the case. To clarify this point I am amending this blog to include additional information.
Source: Steve Klingaman: a nonprofit development consultant and nonfiction writer living in Minneapolis)
A package of ground beef can include meat from many sources, all combined into a single product. If your ground beef comes from a variety of sources, it is only as good as the weakest link — and we are talking about a long supply chain with lots of permutations.
Ask a few questions of your meat supplier.
Do they test ingredients before they are ground?
Most don't test until after the beef is combined with products from a variety of sources and ground. Some say this is due to processor fears about implicating sub-par suppliers.
Do they use fatty trimmings purchased from slaughterhouses?
Fatty trimmings are 50% fat. Who wants that in their diet? Besides, processors routinely treat the trimmings with ammonia to rid the meat of bacteria. Ugh!
Do they use meat derivatives in their ground beef?
Call it slop. Or worse. Meat derivatives are unacceptable to me.
Do they use imported beef?
Some imported beef comes from Canada. No problem there. The Canadian system is more stringent than that of the U.S. The Canadians have adopted the National Cattle Identification System using RFID ear tags to identify each individual cow before it leaves the
herd. The system employs these radio frequency tags to track down problems before they get out of hand.
Beef from South America is a different story. Though U.S. inspectors go abroad for periodic checks, sometimes they find problems. In between inspections, who knows? Beef imported from South America should be tested in advance. The odds are it is not.
I do have major concerns about the processing of the foods we are eating.
Recently, with the mass hysteria of the massive egg recall I signed up with the FDA for email alerts of food recalls. My mail box started clicking like crazy. What became apparent is that it is not only eggs that we need to be concerned with. There are food
recalls everyday - ones we never hear about. (Including Pet Food)
The eggs that were contaminated with Salmonella all came from Iowa. Egg farms that are all owned and operated by the same company. What is shocking to me is that these eggs were trucked all over the United States to packing plants that package eggs for a wide
range of different stores and restaurant supply firms. These contaminated eggs from Iowa traveled to Southern California to an egg packing plant in Fontana. Every egg from that packing plant had to be destroyed. Not one California egg farm tested positive
for Salmonella, yet all the eggs that had been in contact with the contaminted eggs had to be recalled. What a waste!
Is it really cost effective to truck eggs from Iowa to California to a massive egg collection facility to then turn around and truck them all over the United States?
I live in an area rich with egg farms and I buy my eggs locally. I have done this for years. After the egg recall I stopped by my favorite egg ranch and they were bringing out cases and cases of eggs and loading them into peoples cars. Most restaurants & bakeries
in the area were busy hunting down fresh eggs. Yet people in my neighborhood will drive right past the egg ranch to the big chain market to buy their eggs. Why don't they buy local? Is it that it means one more stop on their way home? Is it that they really
I often trade my home made bread for fresh eggs. I have actually had a few people tell me they don't want to eat the fresh eggs because the yolks are orange. Well, guess what? They are supposed to be orange! Amazing how we have come to accept pale yolks as
I will let you do your own research into what Listeria, Salmonella Typhi & Salmonella are.
Personally - these alerts from the FDA have been a real eye opener for me.
(When I started writing this blog I included so many different issues that my "blog" started to look like a book. LOL - I sat back and decided to pare it down to one major issue. Although there are so many concerns - all of which we can discuss
here, I needed to keep the blog short enough that people would read it and try to include enough information that people will research for themselves and form their own opinions. )
Suggested reading if you interested in learning more:
"The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan
"In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto" by Michael Pollan
"Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingslover.
"Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health" by Marion Nestle
Suggested web sites to locate local farmers and Farmer's Markets.
If you are interested in getting email alerts from the FDA delivered to you check this out and sign up.
Take a quick look at some of the food recalls in recent weeks.
Paleta California Co. Announces Voluntary Recall of Frozen Mamey Paletas Because of Potential Contamination with Salmonella Typhi Tue, 31 Aug
2010 13:42:00 -0500
In response to the voluntary recall by Goya Foods, Inc. of their frozen mamey pulp, Paleta California, Co. is voluntarily recalling its 4 oz. Mamey Supreme Cream Bar (frozen fruit bars also known as “paletas”) due to a potential health risk from Salmonella
Typhi. Salmonella Typhi is a bacterium that causes a life-threatening illness called typhoid fever.
itle="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm224494.htm" href="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm224494.htm">Morningland Dairy Conducting Nationwide Voluntary Recall of All Cheese Labeled as Morningland Dairy & Ozark Hills Farm Because of Possible Health
Risk Tue, 31 Aug 2010 13:37:00 -0500
Morningland Dairy of Mountain View, Missouri, is recalling 68,957 pounds of cheese because it may be contaminated with
Listeria monocytogene and also has the potential to be contaminated with
Staphylococcus aureus.Morningland Dairy’s raw milk cheese is sold in the lower 48 states via mail order, retail stores, crop sharing associations, and direct delivery. The cheese is packaged in vacuum-sealed plastic packages that are sold as
random weight size retail packages.
Fruiti Pops, Inc. Recalls "Fruiti Pops" Brand Mamey Frozen Fruit Bars Because of Potential Health Risk Fri, 27 Aug 2010 14:52:00 -0500
In response to the voluntary recall of Goya Foods, Inc. frozen mamey pulp, Fruiti Pops, Inc. of Santa Fe Springs, CA is recalling its Fruiti Pops 4 oz. Mamey frozen fruit bars due to a potential health risk from
August 24, 2010 - itle="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm223977.htm" href="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm223977.htm">
Azteca Linda Corp. Recalls Queso Fresco and Queso Hebra because of Possible Health Risk13 Listeria
August 23, 2010 - itle="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm223747.htm" href="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm223747.htm">
Moark, LLC, of Fontana, California, Recalls Shell Eggs Supplied From Hillandale Farms of Iowa Because of Possible Health Risk14 Salmonella
August 20, 2010 - itle="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm223539.htm" href="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm223539.htm">
Milton's Baking Voluntarily Recalls 24 oz. Multi-Grain Bread in Three States For Undeclared Milk in Some Loaves15
August 20, 2010 - itle="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm223452.htm" href="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm223452.htm">
Hillandale Farms of Iowa Conducts Nationwide Voluntary Recall of Shell Eggs Because of Possible Health Risk17 Salmonella
August 20, 2010 - itle="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm223760.htm" href="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm223760.htm">
NuCal Foods Conducts Recall of Shell Eggs Supplied from Hillandale Farms of Iowa Because of Possible Health Risk18 Salmonella
August 20, 2010 - itle="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm223549.htm" href="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm223549.htm">
Lubersk i Inc., Initiates Voluntary Recall of Large Fresh Shell Eggs Because of Possible Health Risk19 Salmonella
August 19, 2010 - itle="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm223328.htm" href="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm223328.htm">
COUNTRY Eggs, Inc. Initiates Voluntary Recall of Large AA Loose 15 dozen Fresh Shell Eggs Because of Possible Health Risk21 Salmonella
Farm Fresh Carrots and Eggs.