September 18, 2006

OMG Spinach!!!!!

We ate some spinach last weekend, and Maggie ate some more during the week. So we were a little worried about those warnings about e. coli contaminated spinach. A lots of people have gotten sick and a couple of people have even died. It has been a little nerve-wracking. I think we’re pretty safe at this point, not having been sickened by our leafy repast. However, I’m never going to look at bagged greenery the same again, and I bet the bagged spinach business has taken a nearly irreparable PR hit. I didn’t notice a run on bagged salad this weekend at Stop & Shop either.

Of course, It could be worse. It could have been something that explodes and kills four people or so every day. Those are bomblets, not spinach.

If e. coli spinach was a big story, imagine how big exploding spinach would have been.

Posted by James at September 18, 2006 12:49 PM
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almost as big an overreaction as one person in a state dying of eastern equine encephalitis or west nile virus and then having to hear about it and misguided efforts to control it ALL SUMMER!!! Grrr.

Sorry, awful for the family of the person who dies. Not really relevant to almost everybody else. try looking both ways before crosssing the street next time and you're far more likely to improve your chances of living through the day than in spaying malathion in your yard.

karen has a great visual on this type of reaction on her blog (verbatim). the media could due a hell of a lot better job helping people gain a handle on what the threat levels of things truely are.

Posted by: B.O.B. (bob) at September 18, 2006 1:33 PM

People think they are in control of their cars, which is why they are not in the least interested in car accidents and the news will never report accident statistics. But it's difficult to be in control of getting bitten by a mosquito -- usually you don't know until after it's over. You are in no control of whether you ate contaminated spinach or not before you knew spinach was contaminated. People panic in unreasonable proportions when they *think* they don't have control.

However, I ate spinach, and I am upset to find out that some spinach was tainted with e.coli. I'm not a gambler at heart. I'm not up nights worrying that I'm going to die, but I will breathe a sigh of relief when the gestation period is over.

It is the same when a bug goes through my town or through my house. I am concerned that I will get it until either a) I get it (what usually happens), or b) people stop getting it. I'm sick very often and it causes me to miss work, so yes, I worry about getting sick. I don't think that's unreasonable.

Posted by: Maggie at September 18, 2006 3:33 PM

It's reasonable to be concerned and it's reasonable to take spinach off the shelves and it's reasonable to spread the news that the spinach might be tainted.

But reading these two stories one immediately after the other struck me oddly.

Posted by: James at September 18, 2006 3:36 PM

I have never been relieved to discover we wasted food until I found an unopened and wilted bag of spinach in the refrigerator this morning.

Posted by: briwei at September 18, 2006 6:15 PM

I wish there had been fewer ill-considered broad statements made in the news regarding spinach.

I heard a woman from CDC yesterday advising people to relax. Then she talked about throwing out bagged spinach. Shortly thereafter, she said not to eat any spinach.

I am certain that if I went to the organic farm down the street from my house, their spinach would be fine.

Of course, I realize it is too much to ask the American populace to understand risk when they're too afraid to fly "post 9/11," but they'll jump in their cars and drive on Rt. 128 or the Mass Pike.

Lord, we live in a nation of idiots who will believe any outlandish story told to them (which is how we ended up in Iraq).

Posted by: Patti M. at September 19, 2006 9:12 AM

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