it’s only spinach in a goddamn bag that can make you sick, people

It must have been a slow news day yesterday, because our local 11pm broadcasts spent an awful lot of time covering bagged spinach’s deadly assault on bagged-spinach-eating Americans all across the country.

One station sent a reporter up to Ventura to do a story about local farmers, and how the irrational terror of all spinach — not just the bagged variety — is cutting into their bottom line, because nobody is buying it.

Of course, spinach grown and picked in Ventura is perfectly safe to eat, but the local newsdrones could sensationalize their story of they included that information in the beginning of the story, so that little bit of information was tacked on at the end of the story, as if it just didn’t matter.

If you’re going North this week, stop off in Ventura and pick up a bunch of spinach, okay? It’s only a buck, it will help some farmers, and it will show the local newsdrones that we will not be terrified into non-spinach-buying submission.

Stay vigilant, but don’t alter your plans, in other words. We can’t let the local newsdrones win.

10 thoughts on “it’s only spinach in a goddamn bag that can make you sick, people”

  1. Isn’t this scare really just a product of the fact that most (ca. 90%) of the nation’s spinach is grown on two massive farms in NoCal?

  2. Wil, you are soooo right. On some NPR show yesterday, their “expert” implored listeners to throw away any and all spinach. No qualifications. No mention of bags. Just toss it all out.

    But she *did* mention that there are more than 70,000 cases of E Coli reported every year and, more interesting, outbreaks in the U.S. of E Coli from unknown sources occur, on average, every two weeks. Odd how it seems we’re only hearing about the spinach.

    A friend who works at TJs thinks it’s a conspiracy.

  3. there’s nothing inherent in the bags that aids the e. coli growth – it comes from the fields, so until they actually track down where all suspect batches have gone, avoiding most of it isn’t that bad an idea.

    it’s not a conspiracy, most likely, just extra – some would say excessive – caution.

    i would chalk that up to the fact that photos of once smiling, now dead toddlers and grandmothers tend to make juries weepy-eyed as they payout millions in lawsuits alleging farm neglegence. and while i tend to, no joke, consume raw spinach at every damn meal, this inconvenience won’t last forever and the product will recover.

  4. Personally, I don’t know if I would call it sensationalized. 115 in 21 states have become sick, 12 of those have suffered kidney failure and one of them has died. Now, they’re plowing under entire crops and laying off hundreds of workers. I think it seems like a pretty serious story.

  5. it actually has very little to do with the spinach being bagged or not. it’s all grown in the same place. cows are eating ground up parts of sick and dead animals in their feed and their waste gets used in the fertilizer. that’s how the spinach ended up being tainted. so, bagged or sold by the head, it’s all the same.

    from the ap:
    E. coli lives in the intestines of cattle and other animals and typically is spread through contamination by fecal material. Brackett said the use of manure as a fertilizer for produce typically consumed raw, such as spinach, is not in keeping with good agricultural practices. “It is something we don’t want to see,” he told a food policy conference.

  6. Just to be clear: the news report last night was filled with hysterical phrases and attention-grabbing language, but the segment ended with a nonchalant mention that no spinach grown in Ventura County has been found to be contaminated.

    I’m not minimizing the deaths or illnesses that have resulted from eating tainted spinach. I’m pointing out that source of the tainted spinach has been pretty clearly traced to Northern California, and it’s irrational and illogical to spend an entire news segment raving about the entire situation — while in Ventura — but close the segment by mentioning, as an afterthought, that the spinach grown in Ventura is completely safe.

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