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#1 Old 09-20-2006, 12:58 AM
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I am the only vegetarian here in the Emergency Room where I work as a RN. Has anyone gotten slack over the spinach issues that are going on. All I hear is about how they (my coworkers) are glad that they are not going to die from E.boli. Any advice?

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#2 Old 09-20-2006, 01:37 AM
 
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Um, because veg*ns are the only ones who eat spinach? It would hardly be a major, nation-wide news story were that true.

The ones I pity are the ones who never stick out their neck for something they believe, never know the taste of moral struggle, and never have the thrill of victory. - Jonathan Kozol
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#3 Old 09-20-2006, 01:42 AM
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my coworkers act like they are happy that there is a problem with the spinach. I am like......duh.......mad cow!!!
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#4 Old 09-20-2006, 01:55 AM
 
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No kidding, lol. What about Salmonella or Campylobacter? You'd think medical staff would know this stuff! Not to mention heart disease...etc.

The ones I pity are the ones who never stick out their neck for something they believe, never know the taste of moral struggle, and never have the thrill of victory. - Jonathan Kozol
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#5 Old 09-20-2006, 02:45 AM
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Regardless, (I tell them).....eat your veggies!! So maybe this is a rare moment when someone died from eating spinach. But......how many die from obesity related illnesses? Heart disease and diabetes.....and all of the toxins in food has got to be the reason for so much cancer. I am sure the government doesn't want to release that information.
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#6 Old 09-20-2006, 08:45 AM
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Wow, that's really moronic. It's fully as stupid as the woman I once knew who said she was a vegetarian for health reasons-- she believed that eating only vegetables would protect her from foodborne pathogens. I'm sure if she explains politely to those E.coli that she's a veggie and doesn't deserve to be infected, they'll be more than happy to leave!
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#7 Old 09-20-2006, 10:43 AM
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don't you get e.coli in meat anyway? i'm sure i've heard of outbreaks of it from fast food restaurants
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#8 Old 09-20-2006, 11:08 AM
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yes, improperly cooked meat can contain the same dangerous strains of e. coli.



and i'll just echo what jen said: do they not eat any vegetables?
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#9 Old 09-20-2006, 02:07 PM
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E. Coli ends up in vegetables due to contamination from human or animal waste. E. Coli doesn't just magically appear on vegetables in a vacuum.



What pisses me off is that the media makes so much about e.coli outbreaks in spinach and green onions like it some huge health risk (and they rarely talk about where the contamination came from), but meat is routinely infected with pathogens, and people are merely instructed to cook it more.



Also, overall, there are only around 70,000 cases of e. coli a year (most of which are associated with meat consumption, BTW). Why isn't the media freaking out about the 1.4 MILLION cases of Salmonella reported every year? How about the 2 MILLION cases of foodborne Campylobacter reported every year? The number one source by far for both those infections is eating poultry and eggs or by drinking water that has been infected with poultry waste.



So everyone is freaking out because of 131 cases of people getting sick from eating commercially grown spinach that was contaminated by animal waste, but no one wants to talk about how the poultry industry is directly responsible for millions of people getting sick every year.



Don't get me wrong, I sympathize with people who were injured or who lost loved ones in the outbreak. But the outbreak was caused by contamination by animal waste, and e. coli has become such a serious health threat because of modern animal farming methods.
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#10 Old 09-20-2006, 04:04 PM
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Thank you for all of these valuable statistics, MRSSHF, I have already been arguing this case in my head against some ignorant people I know. Hopefully they won't, but I can just hear them already using this as an excuse not to eat spinach for ten years, and me being "the vegan who eats wierd" will somehow be approached and "warned."

We are the keepers of all vegetables, apparently.



Veggienurse, maybe you could print some of these statistics and hand it to your co-workers. People believe what they read. 70,000 compared to 131... on paper we're better off with our greens.
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#11 Old 09-20-2006, 04:12 PM
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Yes, I've gotten this too. And also, that organic vegetables are bad because they are more likely to have bacteria like this.
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#12 Old 09-20-2006, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bstutzma View Post

Yes, I've gotten this too. And also, that organic vegetables are bad because they are more likely to have bacteria like this.



How do they figure that?
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#13 Old 09-20-2006, 04:25 PM
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Some people are convinced organic vegetables are fertilized with raw sewage. This latest outbreak doesn't do a lot to dispel that idea, though I'm guessing it more likely came from contaminated irrigation water.
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#14 Old 09-20-2006, 07:30 PM
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My husband and I were just discussing last night why a handful of people get sick from spinach and suddenly it's all pulled from the shelves, restaurants have pulled all of their spinach dishes, etc. Why don't they pull all of the meat like that when the same thing happens?
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#15 Old 09-20-2006, 08:02 PM
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I've never seen a meat recall get this kind of press, even when several people died from e-coli contamination. What is it about the meat industry that allows everything to be so covered up? Politics, I guess. And money.



The media won't do a meat industry expose' to save their soul.....but they'll vilify spinach so badly that people I know are suddenly swearing off spinach for-ev-er. It's foolish. E-coli happens. And the biggest risk is meat, although produce can carry it, too.



I feel sorry for the family of the person who died.

And the others with kidney damage and such.

I eat bagged spinach all the time - how awful for something like this to happen to anyone.
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#16 Old 09-20-2006, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenfire View Post

My husband and I were just discussing last night why a handful of people get sick from spinach and suddenly it's all pulled from the shelves, restaurants have pulled all of their spinach dishes, etc. Why don't they pull all of the meat like that when the same thing happens?



thats a really good point.
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#17 Old 09-20-2006, 10:25 PM
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I'm afraid I have another tale of stupidity to add to this tale. So, at the restaurant I work at, people (all predominantly omnis) have taken to ordering every single sandwich on the menu either "no vegetables, and NO spinach" or "Don't put none'a them salad things on there, I don't wanna die."





I was afaid that the Atkins worshippers were going to latch onto this as their moment of glory, and it appears that it's true. Nevermind that lettuce and greens are still fine. Nope, in their eyes you gotta not eat any vegetables or you will 100% with certainty DIE.



It doesn't help that Carl's Jr. is running their whole "no vegetables" campaign on their *stupid* ads either.
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#18 Old 09-20-2006, 10:40 PM
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This whole spinach fiasco reminds me of the Ribwich episode of the Simpson's where Homer orders a Ribwich and the box says "Now without lettuce!" How prophetic...



Quote:
Originally Posted by Faerie Green View Post

"the vegan who eats wierd"

You should put that on a t-shirt. I'd buy one. Plus your whacky coworkers would be able to locate you very easily.

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#19 Old 09-21-2006, 12:04 AM
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The funny part is no one can figure what contaminted the field. How about a migrant farm worker having to take a dump?

Lets see I could loose $20.00 dollars if I have to walk all the way to the potapotty and back, or I can just take a dump in this ditch and save $20.00 of lost picking time. OK this is a multiple choice question.
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#20 Old 09-21-2006, 12:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bstutzma View Post

Yes, I've gotten this too. And also, that organic vegetables are bad because they are more likely to have bacteria like this.





They probably got the idea from an expose that was done by Dateline (or one of those nighttime news-magazine shows) a few years ago. They took several bags of conventionally grown greens and organically grown greens and their lab findings showed that the organic ones had significantly higher amounts of bacteria (including e. coli). I think they may have tested some other types of veggies, but it was a long time ago, so I don't remember.



The things I DO remember from the show were: 1) the reason the organic greens had more bacteria was because they didn't spray their crops with the chemicals that will kill the bacteria; and 2) ALWAYS rinse all veggies and fruits for at least 15 seconds - even those that come in pre-packaged bags or with a skin that you peel. This gets rid of >85% of any contaminents that are on them (at least according to that show) and significantly reduces your risk of infection/illness.
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#21 Old 09-21-2006, 07:22 PM
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It's just insane that people are so up in arms about spinach, a food that's normally perfectly safe to eat raw, but have no problem putting something in their mouths that is routinely so infested with pathogens that you can never eat it raw or even undercooked, and you have to disinfect every surface it touches in your kitchen.
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#22 Old 09-22-2006, 03:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bstutzma View Post

Yes, I've gotten this too. And also, that organic vegetables are bad because they are more likely to have bacteria like this.

This may actually be true. It got some big press when it was on 20/20, which is to what gypsy refers, I think. The organic vegetables were more likelyt o have contaminates. The big thing though was that this was BEFORE you washed them. Of course, that little pseudojournalist John Stossel didn't really make much of that part. I mean, seriously. Who, in the 21st century in North America doesn't wash their vegetables?

The ones I pity are the ones who never stick out their neck for something they believe, never know the taste of moral struggle, and never have the thrill of victory. - Jonathan Kozol
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#23 Old 09-22-2006, 10:22 AM
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Isn;t the whole reason that veggies become contaminated with E Coli is because of all the huge numbers of animals that are brought to slaughter, these massive amounts of livestock adn cattles cause a major backup of waste and these run offs cause E COli contamination!!!!! If it was not for the meat industry/Dairy industry there would not be these kind of outbreaks in vegetables or very very rare case. E Coli is a bacteria found in the feces of animals not plants!
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#24 Old 09-22-2006, 02:01 PM
 
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It's not just runoff, but the fact that animal goodies are used in the growing process.

The ones I pity are the ones who never stick out their neck for something they believe, never know the taste of moral struggle, and never have the thrill of victory. - Jonathan Kozol
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#25 Old 10-06-2006, 10:11 PM
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Veggienurse, maybe you could print some of these statistics and hand it to your co-workers. People believe what they read. 70,000 compared to 131... on paper we're better off with our greens.[/QUOTE]



I will print thes statistics and see what they have to say. My coworkers seem like they are trying to eat even more meat in front of me. Idiots!! Hey, if they want to eat me, then fine, but don't jump down my throat about a small situation with Spinach.
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#26 Old 10-06-2006, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsygeek View Post

They probably got the idea from an expose that was done by Dateline (or one of those nighttime news-magazine shows) a few years ago. They took several bags of conventionally grown greens and organically grown greens and their lab findings showed that the organic ones had significantly higher amounts of bacteria (including e. coli). I think they may have tested some other types of veggies, but it was a long time ago, so I don't remember.



The things I DO remember from the show were: 1) the reason the organic greens had more bacteria was because they didn't spray their crops with the chemicals that will kill the bacteria; and 2) ALWAYS rinse all veggies and fruits for at least 15 seconds - even those that come in pre-packaged bags or with a skin that you peel. This gets rid of >85% of any contaminents that are on them (at least according to that show) and significantly reduces your risk of infection/illness.



I still wash my veggies even if it says pre-washed. I do not trust the industry that much to not wash my food. I think that salad spinner is a great invention.
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#27 Old 10-06-2006, 11:00 PM
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From New York Times:



September 21, 2006

Op-Ed Contributor

The New York Times

Leafy Green Sewage

By NINA PLANCK



FARMERS and food safety officials still have much to figure out about

the recent spate of E. coli infections linked to raw spinach. So far,

no particular stomachache has been traced to any particular farm

irrigated by any particular river.



There is also no evidence so far that Natural Selection Foods, the

huge shipper implicated in the outbreak that packages salad greens

under more than two dozen brands, including Earthbound Farm, O Organic

and the Farmer's Market, failed to use proper handling methods.



Indeed, this epidemic, which has infected more than 100 people and

resulted in at least one death, probably has little do with the folks

who grow and package your greens. The detective trail ultimately leads

back to a seemingly unrelated food industry ? beef and dairy cattle.



First, some basic facts about this usually harmless bacterium: E. coli

is abundant in the digestive systems of healthy cattle and humans, and

if your potato salad happened to be carrying the average E. coli, the

acid in your gut is usually enough to kill it.



But the villain in this outbreak, E. coli O157:H7, is far scarier, at

least for humans. Your stomach juices are not strong enough to kill

this acid-loving bacterium, which is why it's more likely than other

members of the E. coli family to produce abdominal cramps, diarrhea,

fever and, in rare cases, fatal kidney failure.



Where does this particularly virulent strain come from? It's not found

in the intestinal tracts of cattle raised on their natural diet of

grass, hay and other fibrous forage. No, O157 thrives in a new ? that

is, recent in the history of animal diets ? biological niche: the

unnaturally acidic stomachs of beef and dairy cattle fed on grain, the

typical ration on most industrial farms. It's the infected manure from

these grain-fed cattle that contaminates the groundwater and spreads

the bacteria to produce, like spinach, growing on neighboring farms.



In 2003, The Journal of Dairy Science noted that up to 80 percent of

dairy cattle carry O157. (Fortunately, food safety measures prevent

contaminated fecal matter from getting into most of our food most of

the time.) Happily, the journal also provided a remedy based on a

simple experiment. When cows were switched from a grain diet to hay

for only five days, O157 declined 1,000-fold.



This is good news. In a week, we could choke O157 from its favorite

home ? even if beef cattle were switched to a forage diet just seven

days before slaughter, it would greatly reduce cross-contamination by

manure of, say, hamburger in meat-packing plants. Such a measure might

have prevented the E. coli outbreak that plagued the Jack in the Box

fast food chain in 1993.



Unfortunately, it would take more than a week to reduce the

contamination of ground water, flood water and rivers ? all irrigation

sources on spinach farms ? by the E-coli-infected manure from cattle

farms.



The United States Department of Agriculture does recognize the threat

from these huge lagoons of waste, and so pays 75 percent of the cost

for a confinement cattle farmer to make manure pits watertight, either

by lining them with concrete or building them above ground. But

taxpayers are financing a policy that only treats the symptom, not the

disease, and at great expense. There remains only one long-term

remedy, and it's still the simplest one: stop feeding grain to cattle.



California's spinach industry is now the financial victim of an

outbreak it probably did not cause, and meanwhile, thousands of acres

of other produce are still downstream from these lakes of E.

coli-ridden cattle manure. So give the spinach growers a break, and

direct your attention to the people in our agricultural community who

just might be able to solve this deadly problem: the beef and dairy

farmers.



Nina Planck is the author of "Real Food: What to Eat and Why.''
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#28 Old 10-07-2006, 02:31 PM
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This story is in todays news about a beef recall. Show it to them and tell them to shut up!

WASHINGTON (AP) -- An Iowa company is recalling about 5,200 pounds of ground beef products distributed from seven states because they could be contaminated with a dangerous strain of E. coli, the government said Friday.



The meat is suspected of having the same E. coli strain responsible for three deaths in the recent outbreak of contaminated spinach. The government said no illnesses have been reported from consumption of the beef subject to the recall.



Jim's Market and Locker Inc. of Harlan, Iowa, produced the ground beef patties and packages August and September 1, and sent it to distributors in Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Texas and Wisconsin, and to one retail establishment in Iowa, said the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service.



Customers who bought the products affected by the voluntary recall should return them to the place of purchase, the service said.



E. coli lives in the intestines of cattle and other animals and typically is linked to contamination by fecal material. It's believed responsible for about 60 deaths and 73,000 infections a year in the United States. The potentially deadly strain can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration.



The very young, the old and people with compromised immune systems are the most at risk.



The Iowa recall is the first significant one involving ground beef since a Tennessee company recalled some 4,300 pounds in early August, also because of possible E. coli contamination.



Each package in the latest recall bears the establishment number "Est. 2424" inside the USDA mark of inspection.
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#29 Old 10-08-2006, 10:37 PM
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Oh.......now they are attacking lettuce. please refer to the following:



http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061009/...ainted_lettuce
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#30 Old 10-08-2006, 10:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegan Joe View Post

The funny part is no one can figure what contaminted the field. How about a migrant farm worker having to take a dump?

Lets see I could loose $20.00 dollars if I have to walk all the way to the potapotty and back, or I can just take a dump in this ditch and save $20.00 of lost picking time. OK this is a multiple choice question.





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