I've been in the process of getting all of the more than 50 health screenings lately. Over the past several years I have put on a few pounds and my LDL cholesterol is too high, but overall I have been given a clean bill of health.
I mostly try to watch what I eat and stay away from fast food and junk. They say eating too many potato chips is bad for you.
But lately it is the healthy food that is scaring the pants off me. Tomatoes are the latest casualty of the good food gone bad scare. Last year it was spinach and before that it was those little green onions.
No one ever got E. coli from downing a bag of Fritos. Maybe a size 52 inch waist and a heart attack, but not E. coli.
It may be time to look at the way we cultivate produce. There are several facets to this problem. One is our insatiable demand for year-round availability of every type of produce. It used to be that we ate what was in season.
It was something to look forward to when the corn or the peaches came to market. But now we import produce from all over the country and the world. Oversight in other countries is not as strict as in our own. But even in the United States, there is a growing trend of lax oversight due to a cut back of funds for programs.
We demand affordable food and despite the cry to kick all the illegal immigrants out, they are the ones harvesting many of our crops. Some of the growers may not provide adequate facilities for sanitation and people need to go somewhere.
Also using contaminated water to irrigate crops has been noted as an issue in some places.
It used to be that the local stores produce managers knew where their food came from and many times met with the growers as they picked out the food for their stores. But now they must chose, sight unseen, their orders of food sent to them by middlemen from all over the world.
I have no clue where my lettuce was grown that I bought yesterday. We do have the right to know this.
Now I don't want more tiny little stickers on each piece of fruit I buy. It's already hard enough to scape those puppies off everything before you eat them. Just a clear, informative sign by the bin would suffice.
Of course I am also puzzled by the fact that sometimes it costs more for us to buy regionally grown food than the same item imported to us from Paraguay.
Well I am looking forward to my little crop of vegetables from my backyard. I also will visit the little farmer's market if it gets going again this season.
I am trying to be good and get my LDL down. I wonder how good oatmeal is with Fritos sprinkled on top.