What does true food safety look like?

| 7/30/2008 12:36:15 PM

Tags: food safety, industrial food system, consumer protection, food regulation,

Food Safety

Recent food safety scares have the American public frightened. This year it was salmonella in tomatoes, then peppers. Last year we were scared of peanut butter, spinach, imported seafood and even pet food. And, of course, our megacomplex agribiz system ensures a major beef recall just about every year.

The good news is that this big hot mess has people talking. Activists and policymakers alike are looking for a better way. The bad news is that it looks like the answer to our complicated, industrial mess of a food system is likely to be nothing more than a complicated, over-regulated bureaucracy that stands to hurt all our smallest farmers most.

There’s no better time to join the conversation. (With the Farm Bill shuttered, we have to turn our attention to something ... right?) So here are a few good places to start.

* For a refreshing editorial perspective on our food safety system, check out Local Harvest director Erin Barnett’s take in their latest newsletter.

* Read the New York Times editorial that got Barnett stewing.

Larry Bouget_2
3/17/2010 7:41:20 AM

I continually read about our food supply and how and what we should do to ensure safe and better food. Everywhere I turn I hear people talk about the possible situations we could possibly face in case of some disaster or war, but I don't see many people doing anything about it. Are we going to wait until some disaster occurs to take action. Of course then it will probably be too late. I would really like to see us take action now. I am as guilty as anyone else. We just moved to Tennessee from Louisiana. We purchased 8 acres and we have plans of building a log home but we need to get started with gardens and livestock to better feed our family. Lets get started friends. Lets have fun planting and growing and raising livestock. Have a great day.

3/15/2010 8:55:59 AM

Food safety is a serious issue that needs to be taken more seriously by everyone, including government agencies. Problems begin at mass production levels with companies like Tyson, not only in the way that raw food is handled but also in how it is grown. I strongly recommend the film "Food Inc." to anyone who has purchased a Tyson product or plans to. I don't mean to bash only one company because there are several that deserve it, however it is one of the worst and first that came to mind. I have worked in several higher end restaurants over the past 10 years and although a great deal of effort is made to adhear to health inspections and food safety regulations, there is much more that could be done. I have a strong feeling that food production on a commercial level is going to get much worse before it gets any better.

3/8/2010 6:03:05 PM

Did anyone really think we'd have a change in Food Safety with Monsanto's Michael Taylor at the helm?

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