Tuesday, September 19, 2006

This spinach debacle

What a mess! Spinach. My beloved spinach! Wasn't it just a month ago I was sitting at a table, with both of my sisters, and a couple of their children, enjoy a lovely spinach salad with blue cheese crumble and apples? We all loved it. It was refreshing and good. Now, if I wanted to duplicate that salad I couldn't. Not only have the Salinas growers plowed under their fields but truckers, reatilers and packagers will simply lose millions of dollars over the next few months due this little germ E-coli.

Today the news stories in major papers totalled eleven. Even the Wall Street Journal has done a story. They've spoken with Don Schaffner, a food science professor at Rutgers on how food scientists track the outbreak of a food borne illness.

Grocers, such as, Whole foods and Wild Oats are giving their customers alternatives and introducing them to other greens to replace spinach.

I guess what I'm trying to say is there are way more people affected by this than a few spinach lovers. Consumption of fresh spinach is averaged at 200 pounds per person per year in the U.S. Wow. When you consider that fresh spinach is a $220 million dollar a year crop, there are many folks who will suffer from the trickle down of this catastrophe. And it is exactly that. A $220 million catastrophe. Jobs will be lost. Insurance rates will rise. Comapnies will be driven out of the business. Farmers. Living the good life, to feed all of us.

Think about it. It's not something to joke about. It's not a popeye cartoon. It's the lives of all the farmers out there trying to put food on your table.