Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Spinach and Al Qaeda

I am the kind of person who adds a little spinach to my salad when I visit salad bars.

"Gotta keep the spinach farmers in business" -- someone told me when I was little, and it always stayed with me. I say the same things to my daughters now.

But I had never bought spinach at the supermarket or had an official "spinach salad" -- until last week.

Of all the times I had to choose to start.

LOL I thought I was being so healthy. Not only did I add spinach to two big salads during a tennis tournament (for 50 people) last week, but I made myself a really nice and big spinach salad that I actually enjoyed.

It was not until that night that I heard about the spinach e-coli outbreak but I've checked with my daughter, no one on the tennis team has gotten sick.

Still, this reminded me of an incident in 1984, with a watermelon-pesticide scare. About eight people died.

We love watermelon and that day, my husband and I ate some and ended up getting sick. The sicker we got and the worse we felt, the more we ate. We didn't want food so we just sliced up more watermelon. We both ended up in the hospital. I came home right away, James was hospitalized for three days. That is how we learned about the pesticide poisoning. We were lucky. We could have died.

It's scary, when you think about it -- contaminating fruits and vegetables. It's so simple to do.

I live in the Central San Joaquin Valley -- everything is grown here! All it takes is for Al Qaeda terrorists to decide to contaminate our food source and we would be a bit of a mess. How do we know for sure if anything is safe to eat or drink?

I've been reading about some fish program that the government uses - to keep track of whether or not the water is contaminated. If the fish are fine, the water is fine. Simple.

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