Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Let's discuss food recalls

Yesterday the FDA announced a recall of 380,000 pounds of deli meat (that's 190 tons), most of which was sold at Wal-Mart in the form of sandwiches, for listeria contamination.

I'm a bit late to the party but my husband and I just watched Food, Inc. last week.  If you've seen the movie (or read any of Michael Pollan's books or any number of other books and documentaries out there), then this recall probably doesn't surprise you one bit.

What surprised me was learning that the FDA has forced 41 similar recalls since January 15, 2010.  There are a couple on the list that were recalled for mislabeling, but the rest are for E. coli, listeria, and salmonella.  And the truly horrifying "foreign material", "adulterated", "underprocessing", and "animal drug contaminant."

Now, knowing what I know about the FDA and how utterly powerless and, quite frankly, apathetic it is toward the American food supply, I can reasonably assume that the amount of things not recalled that should be is almost unfathomable.

I don't know why people continue to buy frozen ground beef patties.  It seems like there's a recall on those every other week.  The fact that they're mixed with filler that has been treated with ammonia notwithstanding.

Choosing to eat clean, real food is not your typical the-sky-is-falling worst-case-scenario type overthinking.  It's not like helicopter parents who don't let the kids out of the house because of course there's some psycho rapist behind every bush just waiting to snatch them away if they walk across the street.  This is about eating a fast food hamburger and ending up in the hospital.  It's about downer cows, crowded chickens who can't walk under their own weight, pigs whose feet are rotting from standing in their own feces, water supplies ruined from industrial farm runoff, Monsanto thugs putting family farms out of business, greenwashing, the obesity epidemic, the cancer epidemic, untested GMOs, and on and on.

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