Latest reports are that the recent European outbreak of E. Coli is a highly infectious and toxic new strain of the bacteria. Officials are still not sure exactly where the bacteria originated, but there seems to be a strong link between having the disease symptoms, and eating raw vegetables in Germany. Those traveling to Germany are advised to avoid eating tomatoes, cucumbers, and leafy salads. So far seventeen people have died, and thousands more have become sick from the bacteria. My heart goes out to all those affected. Being sick from food poisoning is no laughing matter, and dying from it is truly tragic.
This is an example of something I’ve been saying for quite some time now: our food system is pretty much broken. Safety can’t be assured anymore. And with the globalization of our supply chain, it has become increasingly difficult to track the source of these food borne disease outbreaks. Our commercial food is shipped from all over the world, and handled countless times.
To me this is yet another reason to grow our own food, at least as much as we can. I haven’t had a fresh tomato since last October, but it won’t be long now. We’ve got green tomatoes setting on several varieties, and blooms on even more plants. I pretty much know the entire supply chain for these tomatoes, because I sow the seed myself, plant the seedlings in the ground, and eat the tomatoes when ripe!
We should have a few cucumbers even sooner. These little baby cukes in the photo below are growing in the greenhouse. It’s one of the few vegetables that will take the summertime heat in there. I’ve got more planted outside, but they haven’t started blooming yet.
And we generally have lettuce all the time, whenever we want it. We’ve harvested over 25 pounds of it already this year. The last of the spring greenhouse lettuce is almost big enough to eat.
And we’ve got a cold frame just full of tender lettuce. The cold frame is being used now for protection from the rabbits and deer. The bare spot in the photo had a lettuce plant growing there. We had it for lunch yesterday.
By following generally accepted organic practices, using composted manures in the garden instead of fresh, and washing all produce before using, the home garden grower can take comfort that their homegrown produce is safe to eat – not to mention fresher and better tasting. And I, for one, am pretty happy about that.
Have a great day and grow those fruits and veggies yourself!