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September 21, 2006

Spinach Recall Caused by Overflow of Crap from Livestock

Warning - the following post contains a word some might find offensive. I find it more offensive that it occurs throughout our food system, and have decided to use the impolite term for feces.

Let's get this straight - all fresh spinach has been recalled from the US because there is no oversight of the livestock industry in this country. Factory farming and a complete lack of oversight from the USG means that animals are crammed into smaller and smaller feedlots and their shit is allowed to seep into area waterways. Owners are never fined and never required to clean up.

This has led to every single stream of ground water in the Salinas Valley to have huge amounts of E. coli bacteria. And since Salinas is the lettuce bowl of the country, an outbreak there spells trouble everywhere.

The thing is - this has been going on for years. It hasn't changed since the first E. coli scare based around fast food hamburgers. To read mainstream news you'd think there's absolutely nothing we can do to prevent the problem. Prevention is fairly simply: stop the overproduction of livestock. Force the industry to properly dispose of its shit. Slow down the butchering process so that shit doesn't splatter on the meat. And spend the money to clean up our ground water. Make the fat cats of agri-business pay for it - they've broken the back of meatpacking unions, they've forced us to eat shit for years, they deserve to pay.

Furthermore, let's bring back the public works administration - pay some people to clean up after dogs, cats, and wild animals in our cities so that their shit doesn't end up in the ground water system either. Then the birds will stop eating E. coli-contaminated crap and will stop crapping E. coli all over the lettuce / spinach fields. It's really quite simple - we must hold agribusiness accountable for this public health disaster.

More info:

"E. Coli Pervades Harvest Area: Salinas Valley waterways are known to carry the bacteria that poisoned at least 145 people and killed one who ate tainted spinach.," by Marla Cone in today's LA TImes

"Lab Definitively Links E. Coli Outbreak to Contaminated Spinach," by Mary Engel in today's LA Times

Posted by cj at September 21, 2006 7:10 PM


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