Feast On This!

Vegan MoFo, Day 19

Friday sneaked up on me. Normally, I’m waiting for it, but I woke up and suddenly realized what day it was. I usually write my Feast On This post Thursday nights, so you’ll have to bear with me this a.m.; I haven’t had my cup-of-joe to get my Vegan MoJo on for Vegan MoFo yet. . . so here goes.

Gee . . .Another Recall

2,600 pounds of full-cooked, ready-to-barf-eat turkey breast was recalled in Texas because it may have been contaminated with listeria monocytogenes, a potentially deadly bacteria. Lovely. The four different products by the New Braunfels Smokehouse, were distributed nationwide and each has a UDSA Inspected mark on them. Way to go.

The FDA just made their third cheese recall of the month. In Washington state, several varieties of Del Bueno Mexican-Style cheese was found to also contain listeria.

Earlier this month, Gorgonzola cheese was recalled from Cosco stores because of E. coli.

It is absolutely staggering the amount of food recalls in the United States just this year—we only hear about some of them. People have gotten sick. People have died. Some people could still have these products at home, unaware of the recall. Check out an earlier post regarding recalls. Visit the Recall page of the FDA’s website for a comprehensive list of recalled products. With the amount of meat and dairy recalls that continue to pile up, why do Americans take the risk?


(I try not to post dead animals on my blog, so here’s a fake dead animal)

What food do you consider to have more taste? Meat? Veggies? Dairy? Since going vegan, I have found for myself that food has so much more flavor and taste. I never was a huge meat-eater before and never understood that thrill people claim they get when eating a steak. Peter Springberg, MD, a fellow NCW member, wrote an interesting post the other day regarding fat, taste, and beef burgers, entitled Even More Fat for our Taste Buds. The post is based on a Wall Street Journal article about celebrity chefs’ quest to make the most expensive, fattiest, and tastiest burger. Two burgers were featured in the article, one costing $39, and another a whopping $60! I guess compared to the cost of a triple bypass, it’s nothing.

“If you knew how meat was made, you’d probably lose your lunch.”

-K.D. Lang

Feast On This!

Rampant Recalls

There are a plethora of reasons I’m glad my family and I are vegans. One of them is the number of meat and dairy recalls—and we only hear about a few. Obviously, the big one right now is eggs. Half a billion eggs are recalled due to Salmonella.. Half a billion!! How does this happen? I’m so glad that I don’t put my trust into these companies, especially in “Wright Country Eggs” who is owned by Jack DeCoster. 13 years ago, he was fined $2 million for serious workplace violations. Read about this idiot HERE. It’s his business that has distributed the tainted eggs.

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspectors Service has issued nearly 40 recalls of eggs, poultry, and other meat. This doesn’t even include milk and milk products. As we know, even vegetables, fruits and other plants are not immune to Salmonella—all because of the meat and dairy industry. Salmonella is a bacteria is normally found in animal’s intestines. It doesn’t stay there. From slate.com:

“Manure, runoff and wild animals— Livestock animals, especially when kept in large numbers in confined spaces, can contract salmonella and carry the bug without showing any symptoms at all. Infected cows, pigs, and chickens shed the bacteria in their waste, which is sometimes used to fertilize nearby fields. The heat generated when manure is composted kills off most, but not all, disease-causing bacteria. Contaminated water supplies can also put salmonella on your tomatoes. Runoff from livestock pastures, or from leaky or overtopped waste lagoons at industrial farming sites, can dirty streams, groundwater, and other bodies of water farmers draw on for irrigation.”

The 2006 outbreak of E. coli in spinach, for example, was traced to a pack of wandering wild boars. The swine had picked up tainted cow manure on their hooves before breaking through the fence of a nearby spinach field to graze.

Zemco Industries of Buffalo, N.Y., has voluntarily recalled nearly half-a-million pounds of deli meat products distributed nationwide to Walmart stores because of possible contamination with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, a potentially deadly disease. If we can get our sources of protein, calcium, and vitamins from non-animals sources, why take these risks? Especially considering this:

“In 1999, produce was responsible for 40 separate food poisoning incidents in the United States. In 2004, that number climbed to 86. There have been 13 major outbreaks involving tomatoes alone since 1990.

Why the shift? One factor is a lack of inspections of farms and packing plants by the Food and Drug Administration, which means that more contaminated produce slips into the market undetected. The U.S. Department of Agriculture inspects every meatpacking plant in the country each day, keeping close tabs on safety conditions. By contrast, the Food and Drug Administration, which is charged with regulating produce, might inspect a vegetable packing facility once a year, and the number of inspections is shrinking. In 1972, the FDA inspected 50,000 farms and plants. By 2006, that number had dwindled to 10,000. Meanwhile, having increasingly centralized packing plants means that crops from a single contaminated field can mingle with clean produce and be shipped across a wider swath of the country than ever before.”


Vegans are not immune to product recalls and contaminated food—no one is, but at least we have choices of where to get our vegetables and we know where most of them come from, especially if we buy local.

Now, Why Didn’t I Think of This?

So this has nothing to do with food, but it’s so brilliant, I wanted to share it everyone. The Husband sent me a link to The Conscious Mind Network. I was enthralled because it’s just so cool. Scott Brusaw and his wife Julie have this amazing idea to create solar powered roadways. I don’t even know where to begin to explain this idea because well, I was an art major, not an engineer. I am humbled by these brilliant minds. What the Brusaws propose is that solar paneled roadways would not only pay for themselves over time, but create 3 times the energy that the world uses on a daily basis. How cool is that?

Check out this amazing project at Solar Roadways and watch a video explaining the project (in terms that most of us non-engineers can understand) and vote for Brusaw’s vision at GE’s Ecomagination Challenge.

Think of me tonite
For that which you savor
Did it give you something real,
or could you taste the pain of my death in its flavor?

-Wayne K. Tolson, from “Food Forethought”