With the recent food recalls of cantaloupe and lettuce, I have to admit that it freaks me out. A few months ago there was a scare involving ground turkey. As soon as I see that something has been recalled, my heart rate escalates. I don’t like the fact that I can’t trust the safety of the food I buy. It isn’t right.
Food safety is always at the forefront of my mind, especially now that I’m a mama. As parents, we want to provide our kids with safe and healthy foods. The last thing I want is to harm them with a meal that I prepare. But, how can we protect our families?
We all need to start with the basics. I think that some people grossly underestimate the need to wash their produce. Yes, you need to wash and scrub that melon before you cut it. Think of all that dirt and grime (or perhaps listeria) on the outside. Most people don’t put much thought into it. The world would be a happier and healthier place if people gave their watermelons and cantaloupe a bath before slicing it. As Nike says, “Just Do It,” people!
Don’t even get me started on the lettuce. I held a complete salad strike for a while. There were so many recalls over a short period of time I honestly didn’t trust those leafy greens. They look innocent enough, but I just couldn’t do it. People laughed at me, but it just wasn’t worth the worry. It is a sad state of affairs when it is unhealthy to eat a salad.
Part of the reason I signed my family up for a CSA this year was because I wanted to feel like I had more control over the produce we were eating. I wanted to know the farm that it came from. In fact, this past week, I had a specific question about their growing methods, and I emailed the farm directly. Within a few hours, I had a thorough answer from the farmer. It was stupendous.
How do you feel about this food safety stuff? I’m guessing no one thinks about it quite as much as I do. Some say that because we are testing produce and identifying bacteria in a more advanced way, these problems are just discovered more often than they used to be. And with the Internet and hour-by-hour news coverage on television, the public is immediately aware of any trouble in food paradise. This is not how things used to work.
What do you think? Is food more unsafe than it used to be or do we just know too much nowadays?