Grape Tomatoes Recalled: Is Your Food Safe to Eat?
There are advantages and disadvantages to our corporate farming system. One of the big advantages, of course, is an abundance of food of putatively uniform quality. One of the disadvantages, of course, is that if a bug gets into the conveyor belt (metaphorically speaking) it damages a lot more product. Also, the very uniformity that is valuable to retailers can be a disadvantage with regard to flavor and nutrition.
This most recent salmonella outbreak in grape tomatoes out of a farm in Florida is not as widespread as some of the other recent outbreaks, but the frequency itself is concerning. Once upon a time, Americans thought it was safe to assume that the food we buy at the supermarket is safe, but an overstretched and underfunded Food and Drug Administration is no longer even remotely capable of policing the quality of your food supply.
In January of this year, President Obama signed into law a bill that was intended to shift the FDA focus from after the fact policing to prevention of food contamination, but before the ink was dry, reputable scientists wondered whether the FDA would have enough funding and manpower to get the job done.
Americans are largely naive about our food sources. When we think of a farm, we think of the farm we visited with our second grade class, or lived on, as a child. We think of a pumpkin patch or apple orchard that allows you to pick your own. We think of the gardening magazines at the check out line in the grocery store.
The truth is, almost none of American farming, percentage-wise, is like that anymore. Farming now is huge corporate conglomerates largely employing illegal aliens and former convicts for substandard wages under unsafe conditions, and growing food that, in order to minimize crop loss, has been thoroughly contaminated with pesticides and GMOs. The process of getting it to market contains several points where contamination can occur and spread.Continued on the next page