Should we ban raw Tomatos and Spinach?

After a nice long break from civilization (ahh the peace and quiet; no phone, no cable, no TV, and no computers) I’m back from the Old Wreck, catching up on all the hideously terrifying things going on in the world that I was perfectly happy not knowing about.

    Ok, of all the headlines grabbing the day, Tomatos are not really hideously terrifying, and of course the answer to the above title question is quite obviously no, but it does help to underscore a point I’m continually trying to make:

      More people over the years have gotten Salmonella and E Coli from nibbling raw veggies than from drinking Fresh Raw Milk!

    The latest strike is from the lovely Tomato, that round red globe of tangy summer delight (Big Sad Sigh).


    6 New Tainted Tomato Cases in City

    By Jennifer 8. Lee
    Six new cases of an unusual form of salmonella linked to eating raw tomatoes have been confirmed in New York City, in addition to a previously known case, the city’s Health Department. According to the Food and Drug Administration, there have been 277 reported cases of salmonellosis nationwide caused by Salmonella Saintpaul, an uncommon form of salmonella. At least 43 hospitalizations have been reported.


    Meanwhile, a new report from the CDC still has poor old milk on the “Wanted” posters. Remember the saga of Organic Pastures Dairy that I wrote about a while back?


    Numerous Errors and Misstatements Demonstrate Agency’s Rush to Judgment Against Nature’s Perfect Food

June 17, 2008–Washington, DC– A Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report

issued June 13, 2008 has been carefully crafted to implicate raw milk from Organic Pastures Dairy in California (“Dairy A,” OPDC) with six cases of E. coli O157:H7 illness. The illnesses occurred at the height of the California E. coli outbreak associated with contaminated Dole brand baby spinach, which resulted in over 200 cases and three deaths.

According to the CDC report, raw dairy products from the dairy were allegedly associated with two hospitalizations and four additional illnesses yet the report itself contradicts this conclusion. To begin, the report noted that the alleged outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 that was found in the children was not found in any of OPDC’s samples. Also, the report admits that no E. coli was found in any of the environmental samples collected at the milk plant. Moreover, the report states that samples from three heifers yielded a different strain of E.coli O157:H7 yet the report fails to state that those three heifers were not even producing milk at the time. Nevertheless, the CDC sought to place blame on the dairy products because some of the product samples contained somewhat elevated counts of beneficial bacteria, which are destroyed by pasteurization..

“This is another in a long line of examples of raw milk serving as the whipping boy for other foods known to cause disease,” says Sally Fallon, President of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a non-profit nutrition education foundation that promotes the consumption of raw milk from pasture-fed cows. “There is no credible proof that raw milk caused illness in these children. Government officials should be focusing on the known vectors of the rare form of virulent E. coli, such as leafy greens and hamburger from cows kept in filthy confinement operations.”



Look, all I know is that we spent a couple of weeks in the mountains, beset by deer, a roaming black bear cub and even some escaped Peacocks from accross the mountain. We drank raw milk every day (as well as many other less healthy but delightful beverages) and let the kids eat about as much dirt as they wore.
The worst thing that any of the nearly 15 people in and out of that house became ill with was a hangover. And it was well worth it!


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