Sunday, October 4, 2009

"hamburgers are gross!"...."i love hamburgers!"

you know what is gross? hamburgers.
you know why they're gross? ground beef.

in the new york times this morning they featured the story of a woman paralyzed from severe food poisoning. the food culprit? hamburger.

a children's dance teacher, stephanie smith thought she had a mild case of food poisoning. unfortunately that wasn't the case. smith's kidneys stopped working, she had such severe seizures that she would be knocked unconscious, and her seizures were so frequent that doctors had to put her in a coma for nine weeks. now she's paralyzed from the waist down.

"food poisoning" isn't an adequate term for what really happens when you eat bad food. strains of e-coli do horrible things to your body, like kill it. you're not just poisoned when you have an infection, you're dieing.

the funny thing about e coli is that people who eat meat(which i don't) always argue that you're just as likely to get it from vegetables as you are from meat. this is clearly a lie.

e coli from vegetables is from not washing them. e coli can be present in the fertilized soil (a by product of the meat industry) which the vegetables are grown in. also, people who handle the vegetables (picking them, packing them, etc) often have dirty hands from, you know, picking vegetables and stuff.

that tomato you eat didn't just magically lift out of the ground clean and ready to eat. it was grown in soil generally fertilized with manure. then it gets packed, stored, and shipped. once the tomatoes reach the grocery store more hands touch them. they can also come into contact with bacteria laden surfaces as well as meat products.

so, even if your tomato made it from the field to the store without any bacteria on it, maybe the dude stacking them in the produce aisle doesn't wash his hands after he uses the bathroom or after he touches the meat products, or the meat surfaces.

so washing your vegetables is an easy way to not die from eating them. but you can't wash meat.

you could, but it wouldn't do anything.
because you can't wash ground beef, you should be careful about where you buy it and how you eat it. according to the new york times, one piece of hamburger is "often an amalgam of various grades of meat from different parts of cows and even from different slaughterhouses" and even though random meat like this is extremely vulnerable to e coli contamination, "there is no federal requirement for grinders to test their ingredients for the pathogen."

this means that they get all of this sketchy meat from different sources, usually the cheapest sources possible, and grind it up without testing it. then they sell it to you and cross their fingers that you don't die or become paralyzed.

the best part about the new york times article is when it describes the kinds of meat used as "a mash-like product".

the hamburger that made smith sick had meat from nebraska, texas, uruguay, and south dakota.

it feels like if you're going to eat meat these days you have to be extra careful. like, maybe you need to buy a cow, raise it yourself, buy your own meat grinder and grind your own beef if you insist on eating hamburgers.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...