The wonders never cease! In a record-breaking year of food recalls, it turns out some food corporations aren’t willing to sacrifice all that lost cash and swallow the tab. How do they make the economic blow of losing tons of food (literally) more tolerable?
They’ve been repackaging and redistributing recalled foods.
Last week, the FDA issued another warning about eating California Prime Produce or Orange County Orchards brand pistachios.
California’s Orca Distribution West Inc. had received and repackaged the pistachios after they’d been recalled for possible salmonella contamination.
So, here’s a question for you:
Do you trust your government and food companies to produce safe and healthful foods?
IBM asked this question last week, and got some not-so-startling answers. Apparently, if you expect the food you buy at the grocery store to be safe, you’re in an ever-shrinking minority. Less than 20% of U.S. consumers trust that the food they get will be clean and safe.
I don’t know about you, but this is one of the few instances in my life where I stand in the majority.
According to the IBM survey, “77 percent of consumers want more information about the content of the food products they purchase, and 76 percent would like more information about its origin. 74 percent are willing to dig deeper and seek more data about how the food products are grown, processed and manufactured.”
Consumers want to know where their food comes from.
This is good news, folks. With movies like Food, Inc. pulling away the veil of secrecy, we can only hope that more people will begin asking real questions about the origins of their food.
Who grew it? Where? Under what circumstances? Can I trust them?
It’s an opportunity we must seize.
With more than 40 food recalls in the month of June alone, the season is ripe. The public is growing frustrated, and is starting to demand accountability.
Unfortunately, we can’t even trust our government to pass real food safety reform. They seem intent to put a band aid on a fundamentally flawed system.
Up until now, solutions tend to look like this:
1) They tell you to cook EVERYTHING!!! (Even foods we have a long tradition of consuming raw — like milk, cream, butter, sour cream, and cheeses.)
2) They come up with some new technology-based industry to kill all the pathogens in the foods rather than simply cleaning up their act. Remember, this is how we got pasteurized milk. Rather than forcing filthy urban dairies to practice more sanitary milking, storage, & distribution, we got laws requiring milk to be pasteurized. Now, rather than feeding cows grass (their natural diet), we’ve created a multi-billion dollar industry washing leftover animal bits in ammonia and turning it into hamburger meat “filler” that gets mixed into a whopping 70% of the hamburgers sold in this country in order to “protect” the patties against e-Coli contamination.
3) They try to pass NAIS or a system like it, in order to more easily trace foods back to their origins. Unfortunately, this doesn’t actually make our food safer. NAIS is simply a burdensome tracking system for AFTER the food born illness spreads. NAIS makes sense for large-scale farms moving tens of thousands of heads of cattle, but for a small producer serving a local, limited market, the law makes no sense at all since that kind of direct farm to consumer channel is easily traceable. And yet how will NAIS be implemented? As it stands now, large-scale operations will be allowed to tag entire groups of livestock while small-scale producers will have to tag each individual animal, essentially driving the small scale farmer out of business due to excessive costs.
None of these are real solutions.
So, what can you do to ensure the safety of your food? The answer’s simple. Eat REAL food, traditionally prepared.
(photo by laramdame)