This may be pointing out the obvious. I don’t know.
Cooking with lettuce shouldn’t be scary. Cooking with pufferfish should be scary. If you don’t slice it exactly right, you die!
Lettuce should just be lettuce.
I certainly don’t want to be insensitive to people doubled over in pain right now. They were just trying to be healthy and eat some salad. It could have been me. I eat lettuce too!
But what gives with all these pathogen outbreaks and lettuce recalls? Something is up and it ain’t right!
We’ve touched on this before. And we will talk about it again. We are about to start a full year of talking about how to get more good food to more people. This is an example of bad food. It’s getting to people, but it’s not good. It’s a different problem than Coke, candy, junk food being the most affordable foods, but it’s all connected.
We are making some mistakes along the way if something as simple as plain old lettuce is hurting people.
I think we probably know what those mistakes are: Too big of farms. Too many people touching the food. Tainted water infiltrating the fields. Convenient, pre-cut and bagged salad mixes. Lengthy travel and storage times. And so on.
It doesn’t seem like rocket-science, and yet… it happens once again.
People will say that there need to be more rules and regulations. Maybe there will be a fall-guy. Or a scape-goat. But the problems with the system run deep. The solutions may be simple, but there is no easy fix. Probably we will blame it on the tail end. We will find something going on at the packaging and processing level. Maybe some guy only double washed it instead of triple. But sometimes we need to look at the head of the problem. Like for example the fact that grain-fed livestock is spewing unnatural pathogens into waterways. There are some big-time systemic issues that generally get glossed over.
IF WE DON’T DO SOMETHING, PEOPLE WILL KEEP GETTING HURT!
People just want to be able to eat their salads and go on with their day. Is that too much to ask!