I apologize for the "I told you so !" post and have removed it ...

Everything about food, from matching food and wine to recipes, techniques and trends.

Moderators: Jenise, David M. Bueker, Robin Garr

I apologize for the "I told you so !" post and have removed it ...

Postby Bill Spencer » Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:18 pm

%^(
Last edited by Bill Spencer on Mon Sep 18, 2006 4:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went !" - Anonymous

Napa is for auto parts, Paso is for wine !

Bill Spencer (Arizona Wine Lover)

Lemon Recipes - http://www.associatedcitrus.com/recipes.html
User avatar
Bill Spencer
Ultra geek
 
Posts: 429
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:03 pm
Location: Yuma, Arizona

Re: I told you so !

Postby John Tomasso » Sun Sep 17, 2006 9:46 am

This is some big mess - of course everyone who has purchased spinach within the last week or so wants to return it.

Thursday night was my first full day back home after a week vacation, and my wife was still gone. I hadn't gone shopping, so I opened up the fridge to see what was available and edible. I managed to throw together a spinach and potato frittata, using the bag of spinach I found in the crisper.

I sat down, and enjoyed my frittata, salad, and glass of wine. Then I sat down to watch tv.
The first thing that came on was one of those teasers for the nightly news:

"MAJOR HEALTH SCARE INVOLVING BAGGED SPINACH - NEWS AT ELEVEN!"

I'm still here, so I guess my spinach wasn't tainted.
User avatar
John Tomasso
Too Big to Fail
 
Posts: 1202
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:27 pm
Location: Buellton, CA

Re: I told you so !

Postby Hoke » Sun Sep 17, 2006 11:10 am

Bill:

Seems to me you are pretty quick jumping to the conclusion that this is a problem created by organic farming, and specifically the use of cow manure. All the reports I've heard seem to point towards the part of the process where the spinach is supposed to be washed before consumption. But again, all the commentary indicates washing should be done with ALL spinach, not just organically grown spinach.

I work with wineries that grow their grapes organically. I also benefit from the fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers they grow in their gardens, organically. I have worked in, and handled the compost---which, yes, is in part dessicated cow manure as part of the biological matter. I've never seen it as a problem, and don't know of anyone who has encountered a problem from the results of the farming technique, so I don't think I want to instantly conclude that this e.coli problem must be caused by the use of such farming techniques.

I got a really bad case of salmonella once. From bad eggs. I didn't blame the chicken farmer for those bad eggs, though. I blamed the establishment that prepared the eggs for me. It was a marginal place. I should have known better, or at least been more careful. But the problem didn't come from the way the chicken eggs were raised. (Although I probably shouldn't get started on the disgusting way chickens are processed in this country, and how unhealthy virtually all processed chicken meat is these days. But that's a different issue.)
User avatar
Hoke
Achieving Wine Immortality
 
Posts: 10527
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:07 am
Location: Portland, OR

Re: I told you so !

Postby Carl K » Sun Sep 17, 2006 6:29 pm

First, as others have said, the problem this time came from bad proceedures during the processing and bagging at the factory. Secondly, cow manure should (and in many states, must) be sterilized before being as fertilizer. This can be done either by heating the manure, treating with chemicals, or by irradiating the manure with x-rays or gamma radiation (though I've never heard of any one trying to use gamma radiation since x-rays stop being produce as soon as the power is turned off but gamma rays keep coming as long as the source is radioactive). Still, I will admit that the biggest difference I can see between organic fertilizers and non-organic fertilizers is that one comes from nature and the other from the laboratory. They both nurish the soil and the plants. The only reason I prefer organically grown produce is that some of the pesticides and fungacides used in commercial farming tends to be difficult to wash off completely.
Carl K
Wine geek
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 11:12 am
Location: Charleston, SC

Re: I told you so !

Postby Bob Henrick » Sun Sep 17, 2006 9:52 pm

Hoke, from what I have read the problem DOES arise from fields that are fertilized using some kind of feces fertilizers. and washing this is NOT going to allay the problem.
Bob Henrick
User avatar
Bob Henrick
Kamado Kommander
 
Posts: 3972
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:35 pm
Location: Lexington, Ky.

Re: I told you so !

Postby TimMc » Sun Sep 17, 2006 10:04 pm

I don't know that we can write off the entire organic farming industry with one isolated mishap.

May I remind that there is a far higher incidence of mad cow disease in beef than there is in e-coli tainted organic spinach/vegies? We haven't stopped eating beef either.


Here's to not sounding the alarm bells just yet.
TimMc
 

Re: I told you so !

Postby Ian Sutton » Mon Sep 18, 2006 9:29 am

TimMc wrote:I don't know that we can write off the entire organic farming industry with one isolated mishap.

May I remind that there is a far higher incidence of mad cow disease in beef than there is in e-coli tainted organic spinach/vegies? We haven't stopped eating beef either.


Here's to not sounding the alarm bells just yet.

Wise words
User avatar
Ian Sutton
Spanna in the works
 
Posts: 3652
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2006 3:10 pm
Location: Norwich, UK

I apologize for the reply post to Bob H. and have removed it ...

Postby Bill Spencer » Mon Sep 18, 2006 1:43 pm

Bob Henrick wrote:Hoke, from what I have read the problem DOES arise from fields that are fertilized using some kind of feces fertilizers. and washing this is NOT going to allay the problem.


%^(
Last edited by Bill Spencer on Mon Sep 18, 2006 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went !" - Anonymous

Napa is for auto parts, Paso is for wine !

Bill Spencer (Arizona Wine Lover)

Lemon Recipes - http://www.associatedcitrus.com/recipes.html
User avatar
Bill Spencer
Ultra geek
 
Posts: 429
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:03 pm
Location: Yuma, Arizona

Re: You are correct, fortunately or unfortunately, Bob !

Postby Hoke » Mon Sep 18, 2006 2:00 pm

Obviously, this is a highly emotional issue for you, Bill. And I'm sure we all respect that.

But, on the other hand, if you didn't want people discussing and debating what you were saying....well, you probably shouldn't have said them. If you throw something out there in a forum that is dedicated to discussing issues, then poke your fingers in your ears and go lalalalalalala real loud because it's just to sensitive a subject to talk about, you're being at the least very unrealistic, Bill.

I'm partial to organic farming, Bill. But I'm not locked into that stance if I hear something to the reverse that is reasonable. What I've heard from you is flat statements, unsupported, vehement, angry, distressed, flat statements. Then, when we (reasonably and in a spirit of wanting to know how you came to these statements) ask you to clarify, you say you're just too distressed to talk about it.

Well, come back when you're ready to talk about it then. But don't talk about it if you don't want to talk about it.

And by the way: you're not the only one who feels bad about this whole thing, Bill. It's a tragedy: it's not your personal tragedy.
User avatar
Hoke
Achieving Wine Immortality
 
Posts: 10527
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:07 am
Location: Portland, OR

Re: You are correct, fortunately or unfortunately, Bob !

Postby Ian Sutton » Mon Sep 18, 2006 3:19 pm

Bill Spencer wrote:still no "clink" ...


Thread drift alert!!!
Bill
I've been unable to work out what the faces & "clink" mean in your posts :oops: Put me out of my misery (or at least tell me what it means, my misery can stick around for a few days more :wink: )

thanks

Ian
User avatar
Ian Sutton
Spanna in the works
 
Posts: 3652
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2006 3:10 pm
Location: Norwich, UK

A second recall on Spinach

Postby Karen/NoCA » Mon Sep 18, 2006 3:31 pm

I just read an article about the second spinach recall and here is a excerpt from it. It mentions bovines which was interesting to me. I don't know why farm animals would be anywhere near the produce being grown. My grandfather had a huge garden and many animals. The animals were kept very far away from the produce and did not contaminate the water the produce was watered with.

"Experts are investigating irrigation systems, fertilizers and produce-handling by workers to determine how the bacteria entered the food supply. The pathogen is most often found in bovine fecal matter and could have entered plants through the roots.

Even though the U.S. food supply is among the safest in the world, foodborne illness remains a major public health concern, said Kathryn Boor, a professor of food microbiology at Cornell University and former president of the New York Association of Food Protection. She described E. coli O157:H7 as a microbe of chief concern because it's sometimes lethal. "There's huge amount of work looking into new processing strategies to eliminate the microbe from foods," Boor said."
Karen/NoCA
Hunter/Gatherer
 
Posts: 5264
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:55 pm

Re: You are correct, fortunately or unfortunately, Bob !

Postby Bill Spencer » Mon Sep 18, 2006 4:04 pm

Ian Sutton wrote:I've been unable to work out what the faces & "clink" mean in your posts :oops: Put me out of my misery (or at least tell me what it means, my misery can stick around for a few days more :wink: )


A bad habit, I guess Ian ... sorry ...
"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went !" - Anonymous

Napa is for auto parts, Paso is for wine !

Bill Spencer (Arizona Wine Lover)

Lemon Recipes - http://www.associatedcitrus.com/recipes.html
User avatar
Bill Spencer
Ultra geek
 
Posts: 429
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:03 pm
Location: Yuma, Arizona

Re: A second recall on Spinach

Postby Bill Spencer » Mon Sep 18, 2006 4:10 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:The pathogen is most often found in bovine fecal matter and could have entered plants through the roots.


The vast majority of organic produce is fertilized using composted cow manure ... IMHO ONLY, if the cow manure is not properly composted, then the e-coli bacteria will not be completely destroyed and can be taken up by the roots of the plant as the plant is irrigated and grows ...
"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went !" - Anonymous

Napa is for auto parts, Paso is for wine !

Bill Spencer (Arizona Wine Lover)

Lemon Recipes - http://www.associatedcitrus.com/recipes.html
User avatar
Bill Spencer
Ultra geek
 
Posts: 429
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:03 pm
Location: Yuma, Arizona

Re: You are correct, fortunately or unfortunately, Bob !

Postby Bob Henrick » Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:26 pm

Don't let them beat you down Bill. It seems to me that you were right all along. As I said in my short post to which you replied then removed the reply. It is apparent to me that somehow fertilizer made from some kind of fecal matter was used to fertilize, and in this case it is bovine, and that is proven by analysis. How that the spinach (and what else?) was infected we may not know, but I would not be greatly surprised if it wound up being something assimple as a mistake by either a farmer or a cooperative of farmers, and their choice of a fertilizer provider who made a mistake of his own.

I do not seek out organic foods nor do I shy away from them. In fact I am of a mind that the organic label is just another way of jacking up the price without really offering a value for the dollar. I would not castigate anyone who only ate organic foods, but I sure wouldn't join them either. I grew up on a farm and I guess I ate lots of organic foods, but we didn't call them that back then.

Like I said Bill, don't let them beat you down!
Bob Henrick
User avatar
Bob Henrick
Kamado Kommander
 
Posts: 3972
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:35 pm
Location: Lexington, Ky.

Re: You are correct, fortunately or unfortunately, Bob !

Postby Robin Garr » Mon Sep 18, 2006 6:08 pm

Bob Henrick wrote:Don't let them beat you down Bill.


Bob, nobody's beating up on Bill, or anybody else. No need to start picking sides and throwing things at each other here.

Meanwhile, though, <i>IMHO</i> it is not possible for spinach (or any other plant) to take up e. coli through its roots and circulatory system.

I would also note for everyone's amusement that the news wires are now reporting that the suspected spinach from Natural Spinach Foods has turned out NOT to be "organic" but "conventional." Hmmm.

Spinach company: Organics cleared

By Justin M. Norton, Associated Press Writer
Monday, September 18, 2006 11:53 AM PDT

SAN FRANCISCO - The company whose fresh spinach was linked to an E. coli outbreak that has sickened at least 109 people said its organic products had been cleared of contamination, while health officials continued working to pinpoint the bacteria source.

Natural Selection Foods LLC, the country's largest grower of organic produce, said late Sunday that manufacturing codes from packages of spinach that infected patients turned over to health officials all were from non-organic spinach. Natural Selection packages both organic and conventionally grown spinach in separate areas at its San Juan Bautista plant.

The company, however, did not immediately lift any recalls of 34 brands. Those brands include the company's own labels and those of other companies that had contracts with Natural Selection to produce or package its spinach.

(Click the headline above for the full story.)
User avatar
Robin Garr
Forum Janitor
 
Posts: 17209
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: You are correct, fortunately or unfortunately, Bob !

Postby Paul Winalski » Mon Sep 18, 2006 7:52 pm

Robin Garr wrote:Meanwhile, though, <i>IMHO</i> it is not possible for spinach (or any other plant) to take up e. coli through its roots and circulatory system.


This is true. But it is possible for bacteria to congregate around the spiracles in the leaves, and wrinkies, and other places where it's very hard to dislodge them. Hence the warnings that however carefully you wash the spinach, that might not be enough.

-Paul W.
User avatar
Paul Winalski
Wok Wielder
 
Posts: 4130
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:16 pm
Location: Merrimack, New Hampshire

Re: You are correct, fortunately or unfortunately, Bob !

Postby Bill Spencer » Mon Sep 18, 2006 7:52 pm

Robin Garr wrote:I would also note for everyone's amusement that the news wires are now reporting that the suspected spinach from Natural Spinach Foods has turned out NOT to be "organic" but "conventional." Hmmm.


It was FOX news early Saturday morning, September 16th, that reported that Earthbound Farms, the parent company of Natural Selection Foods LLC, had initially identified the suspected contaminated spinach as "organic."

I'm not amused either way ...
"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went !" - Anonymous

Napa is for auto parts, Paso is for wine !

Bill Spencer (Arizona Wine Lover)

Lemon Recipes - http://www.associatedcitrus.com/recipes.html
User avatar
Bill Spencer
Ultra geek
 
Posts: 429
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:03 pm
Location: Yuma, Arizona

Re: You are correct, fortunately or unfortunately, Bob !

Postby Randy Buckner » Mon Sep 18, 2006 8:08 pm

"No need to start picking sides and throwing things at each other here."

Always a wet blanket at the party....

E. coli O157:H7 has a bovine reservoir; both outbreaks and sporadic cases of hemorrhagic colitis occur after ingestion of undercooked beef, unpasteurized milk, or food and water contaminated with cow manure.

The organism can also be transmitted among persons (especially among infants in diapers) by the fecal-oral route. See, grandma was right when she said to wash your hands before eating.

One study showed populations of viable E. coli O157:H7 declined on vegetables stored at 5 degrees C and increased on vegetables stored at 12 and 21 degrees C for up to 14 days. The most rapid increases in populations of E. coli O157:H7 occurred on lettuce and cucumbers stored at 21 degrees C. Remember, chilling won’t kill bacteria. Only proper cooking will do that.

There is no magic with produce. Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly - especially those that will be eaten without cooking. Take measures to avoid cross-contamination during food preparation and service.

I certainly see no reason for you to apologize, Bill, especially to the shady bunch hanging around here. :-)
User avatar
Randy Buckner
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1725
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:46 pm
Location: Puget Sound

Re: You are correct, fortunately or unfortunately, Bob !

Postby Robin Garr » Mon Sep 18, 2006 8:32 pm

Paul Winalski wrote:Hence the warnings that however carefully you wash the spinach, that might not be enough.


No, but <i>fifteen seconds</i> of cooking at 160F is.
User avatar
Robin Garr
Forum Janitor
 
Posts: 17209
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: You are correct, fortunately or unfortunately, Bob !

Postby Robin Garr » Mon Sep 18, 2006 8:35 pm

Bill Spencer wrote:It was FOX news


I'm going to try really hard to resist temptation here. ;)

reported that Earthbound Farms, the parent company of Natural Selection Foods LLC, had initially identified the suspected contaminated spinach as "organic."


Apparently Natural Selection has a wide variety of both organic and convedntional brands. The news that came out Sunday night (and is posted on the FDA site) indicates that all the sources have proven to be conventional.

I'm not amused either way ...


No, you're absolutely right, Bill. It's not a funny situation, and I'm not trying to be argumentative with you. Just to point out that the initial reports of an organic source were apparently mistaken.
User avatar
Robin Garr
Forum Janitor
 
Posts: 17209
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: You are correct, fortunately or unfortunately, Bob !

Postby Larry Greenly » Mon Sep 18, 2006 10:22 pm

Bill, I like your clinks. Sometime I use a clunk for my beer bottle.
User avatar
Larry Greenly
Resident Chile Head
 
Posts: 4208
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 12:37 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: I told you so !

Postby TimMc » Tue Sep 19, 2006 1:25 am

Ian Sutton wrote:
TimMc wrote:I don't know that we can write off the entire organic farming industry with one isolated mishap.

May I remind that there is a far higher incidence of mad cow disease in beef than there is in e-coli tainted organic spinach/vegies? We haven't stopped eating beef either.


Here's to not sounding the alarm bells just yet.

Wise words


Thanks, Ian.
TimMc
 

Re: You are correct, fortunately or unfortunately, Bob !

Postby Bill Spencer » Wed Sep 20, 2006 3:03 pm

Robin Garr wrote:I would also note for everyone's amusement that the news wires are now reporting that the suspected spinach from Natural Spinach Foods has turned out NOT to be "organic" but "conventional." Hmmm.


I quote from the latest press release from Earthbound Farms d/b/a/ Natural Selection Foods LLC on their website this morning -

"Based on the preliminary information available in this on-going investigation, we have been advised by the US Food & Drug Administration and the California Department of Health Services that no organic products, including Earthbound Farm brand spinach or other products, have been linked to this outbreak at this time. This does not mean that organic products have been cleared."
"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went !" - Anonymous

Napa is for auto parts, Paso is for wine !

Bill Spencer (Arizona Wine Lover)

Lemon Recipes - http://www.associatedcitrus.com/recipes.html
User avatar
Bill Spencer
Ultra geek
 
Posts: 429
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:03 pm
Location: Yuma, Arizona

Re: You are correct, fortunately or unfortunately, Bob !

Postby Bill Spencer » Wed Sep 20, 2006 3:43 pm

One of the problems with this new forum is the absence of bio's ... I know from your bio on the old forum that before you retired you were a career weatherman ... I'm sure that you know from my bio that I am a 34 year so far career farmer ... my bio doesn't say that I actually graduated from the University of Arizona in 1972 but it does say I was attending the U when the wine experience referred to in my bio took place ... I have been posting on both the old forum and this new forum combined for years ... I wrongly assumed from all those years of posting that my profession as a career farmer "was a given" ... because of that assumption some of my flat, unsupported statements could/would possibly come across to someone as a person who didn't know what they were talking about because they in fact did not know my background ... had the subject been one originated by you about something weather related instead of this food related topic, you may have suffered the same fate for perhaps the same reason ... who knows ...

FOX news (sorry Robin) reported early Saturday morning, September 16th, that the company who grew and packed the spinach was Earthbound Farms d/b/a/ Natural Selection Foods LLC in San Juan Bautista, California, that the spinach was "organic spinach", and that it had been packed in numerous different labels for numerous diffferent companies ... ALL of the news reports since the story broke have indicated that simply washing the spinach either with detergent or just plain water would NOT wash the e-coli bacteria off ... the strain of e-coli identified in EVERY media story I've heard or read indicated the e-coli was specific to bovine (cows) ... "knowing" as a career farmer that almost all organically grown row crop vegetables utilize composted cow manure to provide the necessary nitrogen for the plant to survive and grow and "knowing" that even most conventionally commercially grown row crop vegetables utilize lessor amounts of composted cow manure as a soil amendment led me to believe that that was the source of the contamination ...

In a long and detailed conversation with Dr. Jorge Fonseca, researcher at the University of Arizona, Dr. Fonseca related to me two studies that had been done to see if e-coli bacteria could be taken up by the roots of a plant ... the first study was done at Rutgers University in 2002 ... the second study was a replication of the first study by the University of Minnesota ... in both cases, it was "proven" that e-coli can, in fact, be absorbed by the plant through it's root system ... HOWEVER, both universities felt the study did NOT use a "real world" scenario that could be replicated in an actual field growing situation ... in both studies, the plants were grown in a hydroponic solution AND the amount of e-coli present in the solution was higher that ANY amount that might be found in a normal field grown situation ... as such, the conclusion was that while e-coli could be taken up by the root system, it was HIGHLY improbable that it would ever happen in a "real world" growing situation ...

Dr. Fonseca went on to say that the most likely reason the e-coli could not be washed off the spinach was becuase the bacteria had formed a bio-plas around the bacteria on the surface of the plant which protected the bacteria from being killed by washing ... think of bio-plas like a plastic coating ...

The bottomline is that in my zeal to make sure my fellow FLDG'ers knew how serious this outbreak was, I probably came across a little on the vehement side ... in hind sight, that was a mistake ... what appeared to some as unsupported statements, however, came from nearly four decades of education and experience as a career farmer ... and sure, Bob, I grow lemons not row crop vegetables ... but plant physiology is plant physiology ...

Finally, Bob ... farmers are a family ... hurt one and we all cry ...as a family, we will survive this ... BUT some of us won't ... I know the people invloved at Earthbound Farms ... I GUARANTEE you this was a mistake ... but it is a tragic mistake ... and as one of the family, I do take it personally and grieve for the members of my family and the people who have been tragically sickened by this mistake ...
"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went !" - Anonymous

Napa is for auto parts, Paso is for wine !

Bill Spencer (Arizona Wine Lover)

Lemon Recipes - http://www.associatedcitrus.com/recipes.html
User avatar
Bill Spencer
Ultra geek
 
Posts: 429
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:03 pm
Location: Yuma, Arizona

Next

Return to The Forum Kitchen

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests