8.12.2010

MORE FOOD SCARES

NEW POST ON BACK PORCH: FORT KNOX OF FOOD





Yes, I read Kingsolver's book. Yes, I read Michael Pollan's book. Yes, me an Uncle likes to eat regular-like. But....


"About two years ago, dozens of workers at a large chicken hatchery in Arkansas began experiencing mysterious skin rashes, with painful lumps scattered over their hands, arms, and legs.


"They hurt real bad," says Joyce Long, 48, a 32-year veteran of the hatchery, where until recently, workers handled eggs and chicks with bare hands. "When we went and got cultured, doctors told us we had a superbug."

Its name, she learned, was MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. This form of staph bacteria developed a mutation that resists antibiotics (including methicillin), making it hard to treat, even lethal. According to the CDC, certain types of MRSA infections kill 18,000 Americans a year — more than die from AIDS...in recent years, studies have found MRSA in retail cuts of pork, chicken, beef, and other meats in the United States, Europe, and Asia. To get answers, we investigated how MRSA has entered our food supply"


If ya can stomach it, read more of that article ( Click here)


When ya read the 200+ comments, youse gonna find that some say "organic" ain't much improvement on account of organic farmers using raw (ish) manure slurries to fertilize thangs, an' thas' how the "Super bugs" got in the food in the first place.


I ain't got no ideas to offer...jes' thought I'd scare the whoopy-doo out of ya' an then leave ya' frettin'.


On the other hand, if youse dietin', read this onc't a day an' you'll be less tempted to cheat. Heh.


Oh one more thang--last few years has seen an increase in new small farms. What does ya think? Folks is worriet about gettin' off grid , or, they jes' want some decent food?

21 comments:

Aunty Belle said...

I could become an obsessive person on this topic. somebody stop me.

Ava said...

Wow. Hadn't read anything on that in a while. Makes me focus on my food preparation a little more.

Big Shamu said...

I just recently heard a report on MRSA. The report was intereting for the fact that it was about a hospital that made a concentrated effort to reduce MRSA cases. They discovered a disconcerting failure of simple hand washing was part of the problem. Doctors and Nurses and staff. Not washing hands. In a hospital. When they finally made everyone realize how they were contributing to the problem their incidence of MRSA went way down.


Why should we stop you?

SophieMae said...

GADZOOKS! Ya know, I sometimes wonder about plagues in the end times and maybe God is being a bit more subtle today. Just thinkin'...
That is beyond disgustin'/horrifyin'/mortifyin'...

And hospital staff needing to be told to wash their hands???!!!

I was just saying to Duller how much more than usual lately I want somebody to stop the world and let me get off!

Oh, and I can't stop ya, coz I'm way out there aheada ya.

Karl said...

Good evening Aunty Belle,

Some of this goes back to the discussion that we were having on the back porch. Too many people and trying to compensate for the population with chemicals. I confess I'd didn't follow the link, yet I think there finding that the increase in MRSA is coming from overuse of antibiotics in livestock. Certainly the hospital issues with the super bugs has been traced to cleanliness and overuse of antibiotics. An in hospital infection is what killed my father.

Overuse of pesticides and fertilizer or causing major issues in the Chesapeake Bay. Vibrio bacteria appears to be increasing in strength due to the excess nutrients in the water. I personally know of one fatality and one who lost a leg to this bacteria. In my world it's one thing to walk into a bar and tell them you lost your leg from a shark, it's altogether different to tell 'em you lost it from a microscopic bug.

We keep trying to make it better and faster, what we're really do is make it worse.

As far as getting off the grid or just clean food. I think it's both.

Aunty Belle said...

hi Ava!

Less and better food is the answer..I mean, we'uns need to STOP expectin' to eat fresh peaches in January--why ain't we happy jes' to eat what is seasonal, local if possible? an' when we eat more real food wif real taste, we'll eat less an' be healthier.

Shamy!

Could ya jes' WEEP? Hospitals not washin' hands--gick! Stay outa hospitals if at all possible.

SophieMae!

Hey you! No kiddin'..the white horse rides.

Hi Karl!

Yes, a Back Porch redux...but honestly, how does one git folks' attention of the matter?

An' gracious, I ain't yet heered of the Chesapeake thang, Vibrio? Hideous soundin' pestilence.

Mebbe reality is ya need to be off grid in order to grow real food--what does one do to insure ya's ingestin' un tampered food?

LaDivaCucina said...

Hi Auntie, I like your posts on this subject, it needs to be addressed. Good food sources are vital to the strength of America as a nation and as kids today are so overweight and now developing type 2 diabetes, we can see the results of poor diet and lack of exercise. Can't be a strong nation with weak, sickly kids.

THIS is exactly why we are getting immune to antibiotics NOT because I get prescribed too many in a year at the doctors!

Part of the problem is the demand for food items like chicken breasts. Media like TV and magazines are constantly touting the benefits of eating the low fat chicken breasts. What about the rest of the chicken? Americans also need to retrain themselves on how they eat. Buy whole chickens only to decrease the unrealistic demand on chicken parts. If you had a farm and butchered a chicken, you would eat the entire thing, not just the breasts!

Also, I tried to support the Tall Grass Beef company but found that they can only send meat in those styrofoam coolers. I don't see much point in buying nice meat from a nice source to only have a bunch of styrofoam coolers I have to get rid of. It's a problem and even they don't know how to solve it at this stage.

So, how do I source sustainable meat from small farms here in Florida? Perhaps put pressure on the grocery chains and make demands? And can they meet the supply demands like that?

I would love to see more meat and poultry available from small, cruelty free farms. Interesting post Auntie, thanks!

Aunty Belle said...

La Diva, dear,
thanky fer a thoughtful comment. I hear ya!

One good link fer findin' pasture fed animals in yore state is this one:

http://www.eatwild.com/products/index.html

Diva, those in Florida will ship UPS--but I cain't say waht the containers is made of...fortunately I live in central Florida, not too far from some of these farms. I'se plannin' a look-see trip on Saturday, so standby for a new post on this matter.

fishy said...

Okay, you met your goal in frightening the "whoopy-doo" outta me. Course I was already haunted by the back porch illuminations ...

There use to be a spray in the vegetable section of my grocers which was marketed as a method to remove bacteria and chemical preservatives from the fruits and veggies. I have not seen this product in a while so it may not have survived.

If there were a product on the market which would kill these contaminants? I would keep it on hand as a household "necessity". If there isn't one now, then don't I just wish I could produce one!!!!!!

LaDivaCucina said...

Thanks, Aunty, I'll check it out!

LaDivaCucina said...

PS: I enjoyed your posts about your travels but especially the food posts!

Karl said...

Good evening Aunty Belle,

Getting the folks attention on any important matter is the trick. To get people to change their behavior on a small scale is difficult on a large scale it's next to impossible. As LaDiva the points out. How do you change the habits of people who will willingly sit in front of television sets, eating themselves to death. (by the way, were it not for the public burden these people put on the system and our tax dollar. They can do is they will.) Getting the media to focus on problems like this doesn't sell market share. So it ends up getting lip service at best. And until the majority of the consumers stop buying a product, the marketers are likely to listen.

Vibrio bacteria usually causes intestinal problems from eating tainted seafood. The real problems are caused when it gets into open skin wounds. The fellow that lost is leg, simply scratched his ankle on a barnacle attached to a piling. The doc's took his leg just above the knee to keep the infection from killing him.

As far as trying to ensure a good food supply; decentralization, supporting local farming and taking a lesson from the class of 41, the victory garden. We're part of a farm co-op that uses organic farming techniques (Now I'll have to check on the source of manure used for fertilizer) and we have a small garden on a plot of land near the boat. Between the farm and the garden we're pretty well covered. A good portion of our share from the farm, goes to the local food bank. We're not totally off the grid, but were working toward it.

Gee whiz, you do have a way of getting me to run on.

Karl said...

That should have been:
"the marketers aren't likely to listen."

By the way, maybe you should just eat a few pork rinds and quit worrying about it;)

LaDivaCucina said...

Karl, do antiseptics clean those wounds once out of the water? When I first started swimming in the sea I was taught that if I scraped my leg on coral or anything, to put antiseptic on it at once so it would not get infected. People forget that living sea creatures are full of bacteria just like wild animal's mouths. I've heard also that many people die from a bacterial infection from a shark bite as well as loss of blood.

Floridacracker said...

Eating is risky business.
Riskier not to though.


Mrs. FC came home from a public health briefing not too long ago with scary info about disease transmission through organic farming methods ... think germs taken in systemically by the plants from manure.

Ugh.

For new farmers, small intensive farms near urban centers are about the only way of breaking in to the ag business. No upstart farmer can afford traditional acreage amounts in FL.

LaDiva, a shark bite could open a way for germ entry from our not so clean seawater, but they are not known for bacteria laden mouths.
Gators are though.
Better to be shark nipped I think.

LaDivaCucina said...

FC, so much for learning from Shark WEEK!! haha! Thanks for the clarification.

Aunty Belle said...
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Aunty Belle said...
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Aunty Belle said...

Blogger Aunty Belle said...

Really good comments --thanky all.

Yesterday's WSJ notes new scares: typhoid in imported fruit purees used fer makin' them cool summer smoothies--so Aunty pitched a frozen pack papaya puree even tho it was in california where typhoid raised its ugly head..but it was a GOYA product and so's mah papaya puree--sigh. Other culprit is chicken, an' nuthin new 'bout that.

sadly, iffin' you too has read Micahel Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma then ya read how "free range chickens" rally ain't--a small strip of grass behind dorms whar' 20,000 birds is crammed together for their 7 weeks of life.

FC, an' Karl,reckon' youse nailed the reality--better than NOT eatin'...and like ya both noted, git on back to local small farms. Doan know about other states, but FC is tellin' it true--in Florida ya cain't buy acreage cheap enough to farm it.

I knows of families in Osceola county (ranchers down thar) who sold out their family ranches at up to 30k per acre! Mercy...then went to Texas whar' they bought TEN times the land at 3k per acre. What that means fer the future of Florida farmin' and ranches ain't too hard to figger out.

Aunty Belle said...
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Aunty Belle said...

New Post on Back Porch: Fort Knox of Foods