Time to grow a garden

            Food safety concerns are everyone’s concern. The average distance food travels to your table is said to be about twelve hundred miles. Not to wonder why all the prices seem to be going through the roof as of late.       Thus our latest food crisis; tomatoes.

            One year it was lettuce, then spinach and now tomatoes. Just about ever restaurant and market has pulled their recent arrival of tomatoes as we go through another e-coli scare. Trust me; you don’t want to deal with that. The reduction of government inspectors over the last eight years, under the push for less government and more corporate control and product responsibility has come home to roost! Just a few months ago it was our beef. The butchering of downed animals had us all in a scare.

             So when I saw this little ditty in several op-ed pieces this past week I had to pass it on; “Mary had a little lamb / and when she saw it sicken / She shipped it off to Packing town / and now its labeled chicken.” No wonder eighty thousand people protested efforts to re-introduce our beef to the country.  This gives new meaning to that ad campaign that ran a few years ago; “what’s for dinner,” at least in South Korea not beef.   In fact they have banned our beef for years. Basically on the unfounded fear that the beef contains Mad Cow disease; of course we know it doesn’t.  

            I did some searching to find what other food products we make here that are banned. Come to see lot of people is pretty upset with the rice we are exporting. Has to do with; ‘genetic engineering!”. We currently export about twelve percent of the world’s rice market. Certainly not a whole lot, but if Europe and Japan are hesitant it certainly isn’t good for business.

            Given all this, there seems to be only one cure for safe food; buying locally as much as you can as well as growing your own. The fact that by the end of summer gasoline may be topping five dollar a gallon, one might think a back yard garden not such a bad idea. One word of caution for those of you that bought the hanging upside down tomato plant growing apparatus from QVC; they tend to topple over. Thousands have been sold but it appears over a hundred people have been hurt when their tomato plant hangers have fallen over on them! Who saw that coming?  


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