14 May 2009

Give me a break, ConAgra!

Since when is it OK for food corporations to not take responsibility for the products that they put on the market? It is SO frightening to continually read about disease and pathogen outbreaks, caused by food. I realize that food-borne disease is nothing new. But it's scary. Think of those kids in China who were drinking milk that was knowingly contaminated by producers trying to prove how nutritious and protein-filled their milk was. Think of the peanut salmonella outbreak. The spinach salmonella outbreak. The countless recalls.

I love the title of this article: "Food Companies Try, but Can't Guarantee Safety." Basically, Big Food is shifting the responsibility of food safety to the consumer--explicit instructions as to how to cook something, and how long, and at what temperature. But isn't that contrary to the entire mission of pre-packaged foods? That they are easy and taste OK, and, oh, by the way, you can depend on them to not make you sick?

This shift is completely problematic. In no other industry is the consumer responsible for harm by a product. Think about it: baby product recalls, car recalls, electrical appliance recalls. Those companies would get hit so hard, and so fast, that it's just not worth it to them to keep them out on the market. So where does that leave us and our food? Why is food under-regulated and potentially dangerous and this is acceptable to the marketplace?

I can't answer that question. What I can do is tell you what you have probably already gathered: I believe that the less handled your food, the better. The fewer pre-packaged, pre-processed foods in your pantry and fridge, the better. That if you make your food yourself mostly from scratch, not only will things taste really, really good, but you risk less in terms of health, too. It's hard, I know. It involves foresight and organization, which takes a lot, a lot of practice. It's a tall order. But it is totally, completely worth it. I promise.

1 comment:

rachel said...

And if you're lucky enough to have Mei Chin cooking for you, then let me tell you, it's TOTALLY worth it.