The Great Spinach Debate

As federal investigators narrow their search for the source of the deadly E. coli–tainted spinach, bloggers begin to dig more deeply into the question of whether—and where—to get your greens.

At Chez Pim, the guest blogger for the day, Andy Griffin of Mariquita Farm, gives his insight into the fiasco. Andy helped pioneer the organic-bagged-greens trend as owner of Riverside Farms (later sold and now part of Natural Selections, thought to be the source of the tainted spinach). His insider take on the situation: It’s the processing, not the spinach, that is to blame.

Kim O’Donnel, writing for The Washington Post’s food blog, makes the point that supermarket bagged spinach isn’t the only game in town. She interviews several supporters of local and sustainable agriculture who are happy to continue eating their farmers’-market or homegrown spinach. One local eater makes the observation that, for your own safety, it is “more critical than ever to eat closer to the source.”

And on Eat Local Challenge, a blog devoted to the movement to eat produce that is locally and sustainably produced, a fascinating post looks at the story behind those perky bags of greens at the store. From the chemical treatments the greens undergo to extend their shelf life, to the perchlorate (a component in rocket fuel) that may contaminate the water sources for some of the growing areas, there is more at stake than the convenience of salad in a bag.

It’s not the spinach’s fault, but it seems E. coli may be just the tip of the iceberg here.

See more articles
Share this article: