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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I'm a bit confused...

The news is still filled with stories about the meat recalls due to listeria, a very common bacteria. Maple Leaf Foods chose to recall all 200+ of their products, even though listeria was only found in 23 of them, and shut down the plant that the tainted meat had come from.

Fair enough.

Now, here's what I don't understand. I keep seeing things like polls asking questions along the lines of "will you stop eating meat" or comments from pretentious vegetarians saying "see - meat is dangerous, everyone should go veg, nya-nya-nya" and so on.

Why on earth would tainted products showing up in packaged deli meat be a reason to stop eating meat? For starters listeria is found all over the place, including fruits and veggies (especially organic ones, as they are more likely to use manure for fertilizer), soft cheeses, dairy products, seafood, water, soil, etc. So going vegetarian won't reduce the risk of contacting listeria. However, as far as I can tell, it's only the packaged meats - deli meats in particular - that are a problem. I stopped buying packaged deli meats years ago because I found they spoiled almost as soon as the package was opened (and no, it wasn't just Maple Leaf brand, but all brands). Once in a rare while, I'll buy some packaged bacon or maybe some sausage. The packaged meat I'd buy most frequently was hot dogs, and that's still a fairly rare treat, too. If I did buy deli meat, I got it at the deli. Not only was the meat fresher and I could get exactly how much I wanted, I found it a lot cheaper.

None of these things do I currently have in my home, by the way, and I haven't for quite some time. I buy fresh meat and freeze it at home, or sometimes already frozen meats. None of which is effected by the recall.

So why are so many people talking about cutting out meat completely because of this? I mean, if you want to go veg, go ahead, but don't delude yourself into thinking you'll be safe from listeria for it! Especially if you eat any of your fruits and veggies raw.

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