Two Can Play That Game

It isn’t just Norma who has beautiful tomatoes. I finally do too.

Tomatoes

Of course, they still aren’t quite ripe. I can’t believe it will be SEPTEMBER before I’m able to harvest some tomatoes. And these are “Early Girl”. Sheesh. What a crazy year.

In other food news, I was able to cross one more item off my Omnivore’s Hundred list this week. At Schneitter’s Restaurant, Zermatt’s fine dining establishment, I finally had some soft shell crab. And it was good. Yum. Though I admit, it is a little weird to eat the whole crab. But even better was my dinner. Tasmanian Salmon with Israeli couscous, topped with sauteed parsnips and pears (I think), and a bunch of fresh arugula. Cooked to absolute perfection. DH equally enjoyed his Macadamia nut encrusted halibut.

By the way, for those who were a bit concerned about the raw milk issue, let me help put your mind to rest. Each state determines its own regulations regarding intrastate sales of raw milk. According to Utah State law, raw milk can be sold only under certain circumstances, and it must meet the same bacterial standards as Grade A pasteurized milk. So I think the risk of any illness is pretty low in this case.

And although you wouldn’t know it from the media, very few people get sick in the U.S. each year from raw dairy products. Yes, certainly some do, and some of the illnesses are very serious or even fatal. But how many more people get sick or die every year from eating other foods?  This interesting article from Harper’s Magazine seems to fairly balanced, unlike most articles and websites which usually take one extreme or the other. One of the things they point out is that while pasteurization can be very beneficial, it also “gave farmers license to be unsanitary”. This is one of the reasons I hate the idea of irradiated food. I’m not really all that concerned about the irradiation itself, but that it means the meat and vegetables will probably be allowed to be much dirtier in the first place, because gee – they’re just going to kill all the germs later. Wouldn’t you rather just have something that’s clean in the first place, instead of eating spinach that’s been contaminated with cow feces and then irradiated to “fix” it?

I also hate the tendency of the media to scare the public. Or how companies have to overreact to everything in order to protect themselves from lawsuits. Raw eggs are a great example. How often do you hear that you must have them fully cooked to avoid salmonella? Yet estimates are that in the United States, only 1 in 30,000 eggs carries salmonella. How likely is it that even if you get one, that it’s one you’ll eat uncooked? I refuse to be worried about it, and while I don’t make a habit of eating raw eggs, I’m certainly not going to give up making eggnog, or having an occasional dessert containing raw eggs.

Of course, for the very young, the very old, pregnant women, or people with a compromised immune system, that’s a different story. But as a healthy non-pregnant adult, I’m just not going to worry about it. I figure I’m more likely to get sick from a food service people who didn’t wash their hands.

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11 Responses to Two Can Play That Game

  1. Cayenne says:

    Interesting point about irradiated foods. Now if I could just get my kids to wash their hands more often and not touch nasty things like used gum, or stop licking each other (grossed out, yet?) then maybe they would stop getting sick so often! I agree that preventive hygiene is a very good thing.

  2. Chris says:

    Those are great points about food safety/cleanliness – and our overexcitable media is one of my pet peeves.

  3. Carrie K says:

    Oh, that’s too funny. My concern for raw milk doesn’t extend to raw eggs apparently. I LOVE eggnog and my favorite treat is chocolate chip cookie dough. (Made by me, with raw eggs.) Hmm.

    The overexcitable media makes me crazy. It’s all Eminent Doom or a battle between two titans. Common sense and common ground are unknown to them.

  4. Nora says:

    Eh. I grew up in farm country where many of my friends drank fresh, raw milk every day. I never knew anyone to get sick. I also love to make my own mayo, which of course involves raw egg. A little caution is fine, but I do think we’ve got bigger things to worry about, like those horrific cattle feedlots out along I80.

  5. Anne says:

    There was an interesting blurb I read (somewhere….) that a lot of the salmonella cases in the US actually come from the little slices of lemon that they float in your water. Ew.

  6. Norma says:

    Amen sistah! Fearmongering, though, is so much more profitable and “fun” for some.

  7. Norma says:

    P.S. I’m back after reading the article (which is nothing new to me, but it’s always nice to see things written about well…) and am here to say thanks for the link.

  8. Elizabeth in Apex, NC says:

    Excellent article! I agree that we must stop ‘consuming’ media (pardon the pun, please) that focus on hysteria and inflated danger. There is nothing more upsetting than a child who dies, but why do we – as a nation – overreact to potential problems by creating worse ones?

    Many people believe our city and county have more incidences of violent crimes per capita than 20 years ago, which is false, because they watch what the television stations call “news.” And we must start listening to reasoned, science-based perspectives on health and safety and push for our rights to consume foods of our choosing! (I’m off the soap-box now, thanks.)

  9. Elizabeth in Apex, NC says:

    Sorry, I have to follow up… my children are making an insane amount of noise, and that last paragraph falls apart there in the middle because of it. What I was trying to say was, we need to stop attending to what the business of news tells us is important, and be thoughtful about what really matters with respect to our health and safety. I think that’s better, if not blame it on the six-year old. 🙂

  10. Lani says:

    I never really thought that because milk has to be pasturized that individuals would think they don’t have to be as sanitary since it would be “fixed” later… Sorta grosses me out to think about it.

    I do agree about the media blowing things out of proportion and trying to scare the living daylights outta people.

  11. Miss T says:

    I think more people get sick from things like bad food handling by big corporate operations and chain restaurants than from things like raw milk.

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