OK, I’ll make this brief, since I already posted one article today, as well as the bike ride and runniing “advertising” posts. But I couldn’t let this one go by. I’ve read a version of this numerous times over the last few years. It has always infuriated me, because of the implied conclusions that people jump to draw from it. It is yet another example of the headline completely missing the point, as well as the writer taking the point of view that something dysfunctional is just a given, an absolute, and unchangeable. It therefore falls to the subject of the article to bear the blame for a problem of the system itself. Why do we assume the system is unchangeable? OK, the article.
When linked, the title appears even worse: “Vegetables are Big Culprit in Food Illness, Study Says.”
Oh good, now I can stop eating vegetables and stick with safe stuff from sanitized boxes. Crackers and cheese curls and all the crap from the aisles of the grocery store. Skip that whole weird section where they don’t even wrap the food!
OK, well, I’ll let you read into what is REALLY at stake, because you are an intelligent person. (I make this assumption since you read me, of course.)
But in case you’re wondering how this set me off, here’s my not so brief comment on the facebook link where I saw this. I have a sneaking suspicion this was “shared” to give a certain individual I know a reason to tell his wife why he doesn’t eat vegetables. Not on my watch. 😉
Once again, the headline completely buries the actual story. The culprit is contamination, usually from large scale factory farming that uses crazy unsustainable methods for irrigation, fertilization, processing and distribution. But bringing that issue out as problematic wouldn’t exactly sit well with the POV of the WSJ. Commodifying food works for crap in a box, but fresh veggies are more vulnerable. So long as we demand they be cheap cheap cheap, this is what happens. Stories like this just tend to make people eat fewer vegetables. Sorry, got off on a rant there.
This is why I suppose I must be a communist. We’ve identified a problem: the way we package and distribute vegetables is leading to contamination. The capitalist model of cheap is always better determines the meaning in this to be: vegetables are a problem. It would never occur to someone in the commodity/profit mindset to say INDUSTRIALIZATION OF THE FOOD SUPPLY IS THE PROBLEM HERE.
You know what? I think I am going to start a political movement. Joel Salatin for president. If you don’t know who he is, then shame on you. Google him. Now. Don’t read anything else I have to say until you find out about this prophet farmer. In fact, here’s a TED Talk you should see. Then get his book.
OK I lied. I wasn’t brief.