Eat your veggies, Tommy!

by - Story: 25548

He says:
For many years our parents cooked chicken, pork and beef so well-done that you could barely recognize which kind of meat it was by the time you ate it. Our parents were afraid of poisoning themselves with medium rare pork roast. Never in my whole life as a kid did my parents warn me about spinach, lettuce, or even carrot juice being dangerous for me…

In 2006 between Canada and the USA we were told about many high risk situations around food contamination. And I hazard to say that probably not much has been done to fix these annual problems. When it’s not about the Avian Flu, it’s about something else.

The London Free Press writes:
A. A. Driedger, Faculty of Medicine University of Western Ontario, writes that the recent food poisoning episodes concerning contaminated spinach, lettuce and carrot juice rightly concern us all. Such events have become so common place, we hardly notice the recurrent annual problem of contaminated ground beef during the barbecue season anymore. More’s the pity, because there is a Canadian-made solution.

During the 1960s and 70s, food irradiation was found to be a safe and effective way of preventing bacterial growth in a variety of packaged food stuffs. However, irrational resistance prevented the deployment of the technology in our country and we seem to have forgotten that we don't have to become ill from bacterial contaminations. In other countries, food irradiation is beginning to be used effectively.
Perhaps we ought to re-examine our options and recognize that food poisoning is an avoidable option.

Governments, physicians and health officials should sit down and come up with a solution or at least a plan on how to fix our food chain. Years ago, how long did it take for them to educate the population about pasteurization of milk?

I am not a big fan of the irradiation of our food, but I am not for people dying either. Could we find some type of solution half way in the middle?

It is not normal to have people dying from eating lettuce. Perhaps too many fries or donuts could kill you, but not lettuce, it’s wrong. What are we supposed to tell our children? NO! Tommy we are not eating spinach tonight because it’s poisonous and you can get really sick and even die from that green food… eat your Corn Flakes and be happy.

I will continue to farm my little patch of garden this summer, at least in that case I know where my food has been before it hit my plate. Everyone should appreciate every fruit and veggie they eat, as it could be their last one.

She says:

I have long been a believer in the concept of Slow Food, that philosophy created in Italy to help preserve the traditions and culture that are such an intrinsic part of what we eat. It was done to combat the relentless march of the fast food industry in all its various forms, so that people would still remember where food came from – and I don’t mean the grocery store. Good food is a valuable part of our survival on this planet, but we must treat it as a valuable commodity to preserve its integrity.

Martin’s comments about the current news items are made tongue-in-cheek, but there is an underlying serious tone there, too. As a businessman he is always looking for good deals to offer his customers, but as a chef he takes great pride in what he cooks. I know that some of his favourite dishes involve goodies that come from our garden or the local markets. When food is produced “en masse” it loses some of its magic, as quantity and quality seldom go hand in hand.

The going trend in North America has been that more is always better and especially if it is cheaper! Coffee and soft drinks are served in extra large sizes now and you can “super-size” just about any food item in most faster-service establishments. The consequence of doing this is that you get food that does not have a very distinguishable taste, but it is not much more expensive than a portion that used to be half that size. Public opinion has decided that is what constitutes value today.

If we want to institute change and prevent further food disasters, I honestly believe that we as individuals need to take a more active part in the food chain again. Get to know your local butcher and fish monger. Visit the farmer’s market in the summer, and check out one of the wonderful independent produce shops in town. Tell them you want to have food that has been treated with integrity. Show them with your purchases that you care about what you eat. Even organic food can be produced by larger companies that may not follow the principles that organics once signified, so be sure that you are comfortable with what you buy.

Food is a subject for all of us – you don’t have to be rich to vote with your pocketbook about what you will eat. The upside of these nasty news articles is that Tommy may be afraid of the big bad bags of imported spinach at the factory-sized grocery store, but he may also then be happier about eating the lettuce you planted or the carrot sticks he picked himself at the market. He won’t just eat his veggies he will get to know them!

If you would like to read more about the powers of spinach, click on this link.

More Happy Gourmand articles

About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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