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Food, Media, Science

Deadly Spinach

Posted by Hannah / September 15, 2006

spinach.jpgRecent posts on Snow Patrol and Comets on Fire might have you thinking that this is another music review about a small, up-and-coming band with a curious name. If you continue to think that way, you will be disappointed.

This is about a leafy vegetable your mother made you eat when you were a kid and you really never knew why because it was gritty and bitter and it made you choke, but not as much as parsley made you retch. And why, oh why, did your grandmother think that it was best served with a splash of white vinegar?

But those days are past and the clear and present danger is death by spinach. I kid you not.

Throughout the day, CNN has been keeping me abreast of the newest threat to American security: spinach lethality.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. supermarkets cleared shelves of bagged fresh spinach on Friday after the Food and Drug Administration warned the produce could be the source of a deadly E. coli outbreak across the nation.

One person died, eight suffered kidney failure and more than 40 were ill after eating suspected contaminated fresh bagged spinach in Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin, the agency said.

More at the NYTimes, ABC, and Canada.com, where Canadians are being advised not to consume spinach imported from the U.S.

Discussion

10 Comments

asmaa / September 16, 2006 at 02:49 pm
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that is some maniacal-looking spinach ... so, is it the bagging that's the problem?
OJ / September 18, 2006 at 11:58 am
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Apparently, we are being warned not to eat any spinach - fresh or bagged - produced in the US.

What the hell will Popeye do? Does arugala provide the same strengthening powers?
Hannah / September 18, 2006 at 12:03 pm
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Here's the update and a bit more of an explanation. The sickly spinach has been linked to an organic farm (of all places) called Earthbound Farms in California that grows and bags spinach for a wide variety of different brands.

Earlier this year Stephen Shapin wrote a <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/printables/critics/060515crat_atlarge";> fantastic article</a> in the New Yorker about the mass marketing of organic foods and pondered its plausibility. His featured farm? Earthbound.

There are a few ways to get a microorganism like E. coli, which is normally found in cows, hence its moniker the hamburger bug, into a vegetable. Water is one, usually via direct irregation or run off of contaminated water. Manure is another. Earthbound may have contaminated its crops by using unsterlized manure. A third possibility is that the E. coli was present at the packgaing plant.

What's worse is that you can't save yourself by giving the potentially dangerous leaves an extra scrub. The bugs are actuallly <a href="http://www.nature.com/news/2002/020101/full/020101-10.html";>inside the plant</a>, not on the leaves.
nymphomanes sexy / October 1, 2014 at 07:38 pm
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Enc?re un superbe article, j'espère en discuter demain avec mes amis
golu dolls / March 26, 2019 at 12:57 am
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nice post
Kanchipuram sarees / March 26, 2019 at 12:57 am
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nice post
Kanchipuram sarees / March 26, 2019 at 12:57 am
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nice post
Herbal Powder / March 26, 2019 at 12:58 am
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nice post

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