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Your Opinion: Recalls also involve fruits, vegetables

Your Opinion: Recalls also involve fruits, vegetables

August 21st, 2011 by Kristie Scheulen, Loose Creek in News

Dear Editor:

Once again, I see that Jeff Flemming has a problem with meat, this time the salmonella outbreak in ground turkey at Cargill resulting in a recall.

Where is Mr. Flemming's indignation when the recalls involve fruits and vegetables. We never hear from him when there is a recall of peanut butter, tomatoes, spinach etc. when they are the center of bacterial outbreaks as E-coli, salmonella or listeria.

Even Europe is not immune to bacterial outbreaks and many consider the food systems in Western Europe to be superior to those in the U.S.

Sixteen people died and 1,150 were sickened just recently by an E-coli bacteria that was traced to sprouts eaten raw on salads.

The same scenario has happened many times here in the U.S. It is not limited to meat.

The thing about bacteria is that it can be found almost everywhere. E-coli exists in the digestive tract of every living organism including humans. Salmonella is prevalent in rodents and turtles, especially those kept as pets. Staph lives on your skin and up your nose. We don't live in a sterile world.

The argument that bacterial outbreaks are a reason to quit eating meat is pretty weak considering that same argument can be used against the fruit and vegetable industry.

The good news is that all bacterial infections can be avoided by proper cooking and food handling methods.

There really is no reason to quit eating meat. The American Heart Association has given it's certification (as Healthy Heart) to extra lean cuts of beef as well as skinless chicken breasts and turkey breasts.

Harvard researchers have determined that there is no association between eating unprocessed red meat and the increase of risk for heart disease and diabetes. They came to this determination after examining 20 studies involving 1.2 million individuals. They did find that eating processed meats (hot dogs, deli meats) raised the risk of heart disease by 42 percent and diabetes by 19 percent.

You never know all this contamination of livestock/meat industry products could be caused by acts of some eco-vegan terrorist group. They really do work hard at trying to convince the general population to eliminate all animal products from their diet.