Dangerous food bacteria, according to newspaper,

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I have always tried to buy american raised food, But is getting harder all the time. Now in the Newspaper, from the associated Press, they have a artical about the food we eat. Here goes,

Dangerous bacteria are going to be a problem in America"a food for a long time as disease agents arrive in imported products and microbes already here develop in new forms, scientists say. In a report for the Institute of Food Technologists, the scientists also say the increasing use of manure as fertilizer poses the risk of spreading harmful bacteria to food, either by contaminating irrigation water or contacting to the crops. Manure, which harbors bacteria such a E. coli 0157:h7 and salmonella, substitutes for chemical fertilizer on both organic and conventional crops.In some foreign countries, chicken manure is fed to farm-raised shrimp. The report, which is being released today, also warns against the overuse of antibiotics in livestock, saying there is growing body of evidence that farm use of antibiotics is causing bacteria to become resistant to drugs. The job of assuring microbiological food safety is unending, said Morris Potter, a top epidemiologist for the Food and Drug Administration who chaired the study by government and university scientists. Consumers should take heart, however because of the progress that has been made.The scientists say it will be practically impossible, to keep hot dogs and simiar precooked meats free of Listeria, Monocytongenes because the bacterium is so common in the environment. The report does not address the issue of whether the government"s food safety agencies should be consolidated. Food regulation now is split between the Agriculture Department and FDA, which have widely varying inspection programs and rules. But the report raises concerns about the regulation of imported fruits and vegetables and potential for new pathogens getting into the country. It"s happened before, The bacteria Cyclospora cayetanensis came to the USA through imported produce and rare forms of salmonella also have been appearing in the country.

At the grocery store right now all tomatoes are comeing from Mexico, only a few from Florida. I always try to look at the boxes to see it I can tell where the fruit and vegs are comeing from. Watch the frozen stuff too. Read the label.

-- Irene texas (tkorsborn@cs.com), February 21, 2002


What I want to know is regarding my own garden. Does this mean I shouldn't use my chicken manure to fertilize my garden, or put in my compost pile? What about horse manure - we have a friend who is more than willing to share!

Irene, I've just about stopped buying tomatoes at the grocery when I can get away with it. I have found a greenhouse here that sometimes raises them through the winter, and also the feed store where I buy my chicken feed sometimes has greenhouse-raised from somewhere in the southern part of Oklahoma. At least then I know where they came from! Also, the last time I bought at the feed store, they were $1/lb., and for slightly lesser quality at the grocery I would have paid $2/lb.!

-- Christine in OK (cljford@mmcable.com), February 21, 2002.

Good heavens, what did they think was used for fertilizer before petrochemical based fertilizers became available???? MANURE! Wash the veggies and don't worry.

I have lived in Norway, which is one of the cleanest and healthiest countries in the world. The spring there is VERY smelly because they clean out the barns where the cows lived over the winter and spray liquified manure on the fields. People there live a LONG TIME!!!

Americans live over-sanitized lives. Sterilized bottles for babies instead of a nice healthy momma's breast, complete with whatever germs are on her skin. Builds the immune system. Kids used to grow up in the creeks and woods, playing, eating roasted sparrows over a campfire, and getting dirty, and being HEALTHY. Now they eat processed foods in front of the television, are allergic to everything and FAT.

Soap box mode turned off. Whew. I feel better. I'm going out in the yard and dig in the dirt. I might even wash the carrot off before I eat it.

-- Rose (open_rose@hotmail.com), February 21, 2002.

Hehehe! Rose I remember my 3 year old niece pulling a carrot out of my garden and took a big bite out of it and declared, "Hey, this carrot tastes like dirt!"

Irene, I think, once again, Monsanto and the USDA are trying to scare us away from organic produce and delcare everything without the USDA stamp on it "bad for you." They do not approve of Americans growing their own and sharing amongst the neighbors. They want a cut of our apple pie and do not like the fact that us smallholders can do without their chemicals and stamp of approval.

It is not funny how they can approve produce so heavy with chemicals as to be dangerous for children to eat, pork and poultry raised under such filthy conditions that the meat actually smells like sewage, but give health warnings about the hazards of organic fertilizer.

As far as our produce from our southern neighbors, it is pretty much the same workers, under the same conditions, working for the same companies as those on this side of the border. Yes, berries from Mexico made the headlines, but so did watermelons from this side of the border.

Wash your produce well. I've always been more concerned with the germs the produce picks up at the grocery store with so many people handling, pinching and sneezing on it than the germs picked up in the field.

-- Laura (Ladybugwrangler@hotmail.com), February 21, 2002.

Manure from properly raised animals is the best fertilizer you can get. I agree about our immune systems needing a little "dirt." Studies now show that children cannot be protected from germs too much or they will have a weakened immune system.

I always ask where the produce comes from, before I buy. (Should be a law showing where food comes from.) I haven't bought a fresh tomato in winter in years! I toss my tomatoes in a bag for the freezer. No, they can't be used for salad, but they make a great veggie soup! Just cook until well thawed, puree in blender. Add other veggies (like onion, celery, carrot) that you've chopped fairly fine in blender. Simmer till done. Add cooked beans, fresh peas or whatever. Season with a little prepared mustard, S & P, herbs.

Snip bits of your dried tomatoes and use for your pizzas (or pitas) along with dried pepper bits, cheese, etc. Pop it in the oven.

Anyway, that's how we get our tomatoes.

-- HV (veggie@ourplace.com), February 21, 2002.

Good answers!! Home grown is the best and you just can't beat organic fertilizer fresh from the farm.

Some of those government agencies are CLUELESS!! They should get a dog and name it Clue, than maybe at least they would have one!!!! (My uncle told me that and I have been dying to use it!!)

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (me@home.net), February 21, 2002.

There was a really tragic case a few years ago in which a family was infected with E. coli. Two of their daughters were quite ill, one of whom later recovered, but the littlest one suffered severe and permanent damage to several major organs. The E. coli was traced to a package of pre-washed, organically grown salad greens. It turned out that the water used to wash the greens was contaminated from all of the manure which was used to fertilize the crops. The real tragedy is that the danger would have been eliminated had the family washed the greens again at home before consuming them. So, always wash your veggies, even if they are advertised as pre-washed, and even if you grow them yourself.

-- Elizabeth (ekfla@aol.com), February 21, 2002.

Advice from a chef to clean veggies is to soak them in salted water, which I usually do if they're to be used raw.

It's best to use manure when it's composted, especially for underground veggies. For such things as lettuce, though, I will put fairly fresh manure/straw down, cover with finished compost/soil. Roots can reach down and get that nitrogen.

-- HV (veggie@ourplace.com), February 21, 2002.

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