Sunday, October 15, 2006

Beware Of Baby Spinach

Well I haven't posted in a while (well okay 4 months) and the real reason is that I've essential stopped cooking dinner in my household which if anyone knows me that is totally my dream come true. I have a second roomate (do people count their boyfriends as roomates? mine is because he annoys me just like a roomate haha just kidding) that does the cooking at night during the week. And seriously he doesn't ever have to leave. No, seriously.

But this New York Times article about the recent E Coli scare was really interesting because it talked about the dangers of a centralized food economy. The author's all about the local food movement as a National Security Effort. I can see a Republican's head spinning right now.

But there’s nothing sentimental about local food — indeed, the reasons to support local food economies could not be any more hardheaded or pragmatic. Our highly centralized food economy is a dangerously precarious system, vulnerable to accidental — and deliberate — contamination. This is something the government understands better than most of us eaters. When Tommy Thompson retired from the Department of Health and Human Services in 2004, he said something chilling at his farewell news conference: “For the life of me, I cannot understand why the terrorists have not attacked our food supply, because it is so easy to do.” The reason it is so easy to do was laid out in a 2003 G.A.O. report to Congress on bioterrorism. “The high concentration of our livestock industry and the centralized nature of our food-processing industry” make them “vulnerable to terrorist attack.” Today 80 percent of America’s beef is slaughtered by four companies, 75 percent of the precut salads are processed by two and 30 percent of the milk by just one company. Keeping local food economies healthy — and at the moment they are thriving — is a matter not of sentiment but of critical importance to the national security and the public health, as well as to reducing our dependence on foreign sources of energy.
Here's a link to the rest of the article. It was written by Michael Pollan who's book The Omnivore's Dilema is in the save for later section of my shopping cart. It keeps getting pushed to the side for a new science fiction book I really really really want to read (hey I'm just being honest about the fact that non-fiction still feels like homework or brushing your teeth you know it's good for you but still).

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