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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
from Dawnwatch.com:

This week, America shunned spinach after some was found to carry a

deadly strain of E.coli bacteria. The Thursday, September 21, New York

Times, however, included an op-ed, by Nina Planck, author of ''Real Food:

What to Eat and Why," who suggests that the spinach farmers are not the

culprits.

In the piece titled, "Leafy Green Sewage" (pg A31) Planck writes:

"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.

She explains that E. coli O157:H7 is different from most E.coli which

is harmless to humans. She writes:

"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."

And she discusses "the contamination of ground water, flood water and

rivers -- all irrigation sources on spinach farms -- by the

E-coli-infected manure from cattle farms."

She writes:

"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."

And she concludes

"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."

You'll find the full piece on line at

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/21/opinion/21planck.html . It addresses

a danger of factory farming from the standpoint of public health but

does not mention animal welfare. Most cattle, fed on corn, live pathetic

lives. Contrary to the images we remember from childhood of animals

grazing in meadows, those raised for beef and milk today live in

disgusting feedlots, often knee-deep in their own manure, with no protection

from the elements. In 2002 the New York Times Magazine ran a cover story,

'This Steer's Life,' in which Michael Pollan documented the life of a

steer from birth to death. That piece is available on Pollan's website

at http://www.michaelpollan.com/article.php?id=14 . It is well worth

reading.

Planck's op-ed deserves some appreciative letters to the editor against

factory farming. Feel free to sing the praises of a veggie diet.

The New York Times takes letters at [email protected]

Always include your full name, address, and daytime phone number when

sending a letter to the editor. Remember that shorter letters are more

likely to be published. And please be careful not to use any exact

phrases from this alert in your letters; the editors wish to receive

original reactions from their readers.
 

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I am furious that now with the green onion e coli outbreak at Taco Bell no one is mentioning where e coli orginates. Every article seems to be 'blaming' all kinds of vegetables - and although they may be the carriers of the e coli, plants do not create it. I even saw one article that a few vegetarians had also eaten at Taco Bell and had gotten sick implying that meat isn't the culprit here.

Anyways - I thought this article that Irizary posted during the spinach scare was good and thought I would bump it up.
 

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Sadly, my father and a few other seemingly intelligent people seem to think it was some Mexicans who took a dump in the field because they didn't want to walk to the nearest port-a-potty.



~Wondre
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Wonder View Post

Sadly, my father and a few other seemingly intelligent people seem to think it was some Mexicans who took a dump in the field because they didn't want to walk to the nearest port-a-potty.



~Wondre
That's the worst one I've heard yet.
That is sad.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Wonder View Post

Sadly, my father and a few other seemingly intelligent people seem to think it was some Mexicans who took a dump in the field because they didn't want to walk to the nearest port-a-potty.



~Wondre
Oh my gosh.
Unfortunately, this is exactly the kind of thing that comes out of the mouth of my husbands brothers and dad all the time.
 

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http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/read/12213

Quote:
Pigs blamed for E. coli in spinach

A WILD BOAR FOUND DEAD AT SALINAS-AREA RANCH TESTS POSITIVE FOR BACTERIA THAT RUINED SPINACH

Oct 27, 2006 | Ken McLaughlin | Mercury News

Wild pigs are the likely culprits behind the E. coli bacteria outbreak that killed and sickened people across the country after they ate fresh, bagged spinach.

Genetics tests have found the exact strain of the deadly bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract of a boar discovered dead at a Salinas-area ranch suspected as the source of the outbreak, California and federal health officials said Thursday.

The officials also said ``the outbreak appears to be over.''

Investigators had announced two weeks ago that they had matched the bacteria found in tainted bagged spinach to three samples of cattle manure in a pasture near the field. But this is the first time they have found convincing evidence of how the fields became contaminated.

Wild pigs are one ``real clear vehicle'' that could explain how E. coli spread from cattle on the ranch to the spinach field less than a mile away, said Kevin Reilly, deputy director of the state Department of Health Services.

He said the pigs could have tracked the bacteria into the field by smashing down fences or spread it by defecating on the spinach.. ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That is a somewhat misleading quote pulled from the article above identifying wild pigs as the source. They were perhaps the vehicle, but it still goes back to the cattle:

Quote:
Wild pigs are one "real clear vehicle'' that could explain how E. coli spread from cattle on the ranch to the spinach field less than a mile away, said Kevin Reilly, deputy director of the state Department of Health Services.

He said the pigs could have tracked the bacteria into the field by smashing down fences or spread it by defecating on the spinach.

Reilly said Thursday that genetic tests also found the same strain of bacteria in a creek downstream from the spinach field as well as in four cows that graze in the nearby pasture.

But the creek, downstream from the spinach field, may have been contaminated by the pigs.

"Those wild pigs are up and down that waterway,'' he said.
 
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