The Great Hall
Vegetables Fields Contamination The Great Hall: Vegetables Fields Contamination
By Mr_Cook (Mr_Cook) on Saturday, October 14, 2006 - 04:24 pm: Edit

Dear readers and culinary professionals,
It seems to me that our excessive cultural desire to be consuming/eating (and perhaps professional chefs penchant to serve) meat all the time is starting to kill us in a way.
The latest news regarding the source of the E Coli that contaminated the spinach indicates it was actually simply "run off" from an adjacent livestock operation. This promted me to do a little searching and among the many interesting and informative bits I found is the following:
"Animals raised for food produce 130 times as much excrement as the entire U.S. population, roughly 89,000 pounds per second, all without the benefit of waste treatment systems. Fecal Contamination"
Actually, I am now quite frightened and much more cautious when buying vegetables....which is what I would call "a shame", but do not know on whom.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Sunday, October 15, 2006 - 02:50 am: Edit

I think you need to find out all the places where this is happening.

Maybe here in California the two are just too close together.
Maybe a little research will find that it does not happen in too many places besides California.
Maybe short turm solution would be NOT to buy California veggie's or lettuce.
I hav'nt for years.
But all the experts knew this was going to happen, and they have known for years.

By Mr_Cook (Mr_Cook) on Sunday, October 15, 2006 - 08:30 am: Edit

Dear Mr. Chefspike,
Where do you buy your greens from then? I can see that in the summer there would be many domestic sources to choose from. What do you do in the winter months? Foreign sources are know, or considered to be by many, to be high risk due to allowed DDT manufacturing and lack of adequate health-growing standards and inspection. Any help is appreciated.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Sunday, October 15, 2006 - 03:42 pm: Edit

I don't eat that many greens.
At least the fresh stuff.
Most of my favorites come frozen, and I'm just as happy with those as I am fresh.
I would, if I had to buy for a rest., buy local
(anywhere outside the green bowl in cal.)
from small time farmers.
Lettuce and greens grow other places than just Cal. and so does fruit.
And as far as DDT on produce from other countries, there are standards that the United States requires with all in coming produce ect.
We are not at the point of the lesser or two evils.
You don't realy think your customers would miss a fruit bowl from the menu do you, when it's out of season in their area ?
Why would anyone buy a fruit bowl in a rest anyhow.
It seems to me there are many, many alternitives to green salads too.
Have you ever had Canadian produce ?
It's great stuff, not covered in DDT, has size and great color, and many times I've seen it, it is cheaper than the local stuff here.
Seems to me a little research is called for.
and it's just Chef or Spike, what am I as old as some as these other chefs here ?

By Mr_Cook (Mr_Cook) on Sunday, October 15, 2006 - 07:28 pm: Edit

Ok Chef Spike,
I have never seen Canadian Produce being offered by a wholesaler, and that includes SYSCO, US Foods down to the little local guys. If they are selling it they keep it a secret. That is based on 15 years in the business, over half of which I was doing the ordering if not also the buying. I think most of the foreign produce comes in from Mexico, Israel and Central and South America. I know that from having lived in South America that not only do they produce DDT they use it without any enforced controls, at least for the domestic consumption.
You are right about the fruit bowl, but a fresh strawberry tart or a Pear Tartan in February is another issue. I do not think frozen will do.
Thanks for you conversation on this topic. Outside of the restaurant obligations I am a vegetarian so this is a topic of zero degrees of connectivity of concern for me.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Monday, October 16, 2006 - 12:00 am: Edit

"Thanks for you conversation on this topic. Outside of the restaurant obligations I am a vegetarian so this is a topic of zero degrees of connectivity of concern for me."

How can that be sir, "Zero"?
Then what and from where do you eat ?
and are you on the east or west coast ? far as the canadian produce.
and what about Australian and New Zealand produce, don't tell me you didn't buy that.
I bought that when I was in New York back in the early 80's and the canadian produce was offered too.
also, being a veggie eater doesn't the fact that water tables are being contaminated bother you?
I think you should also check that Mexico uses DDT, i think you'll find that they are under an agreement with the US, not to use certain kinds on the produce and fruit they ship here.
what company did you work for?
what years?
and how did you buy the meat for this company and then not eat it, or be a meat eater?

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Monday, October 16, 2006 - 11:18 am: Edit

Here is an interesting article on this very subject.
The Vegetable-Industrial Complex


Soon after the news broke last month that nearly 200 Americans in 26 states had been sickened by eating packaged spinach contaminated with E. coli, I received a rather coldblooded e-mail message from a friend in the food business. “I have instructed my broker to purchase a million shares of RadSafe,” he wrote, explaining that RadSafe is a leading manufacturer of food-irradiation technology.

By Mr_Cook (Mr_Cook) on Monday, October 16, 2006 - 08:12 pm: Edit

Chef Spike,
To answer your meat eating question, I thought that I clearly (an apologize if I did not) explained that outside of my restaurant responsibilities I am a vegetarian...that is I do not eat it when I dine out or cook at home. I have worked and purchased in Boston, California, Ohio and Florida. I of course bought the New Zealand Kiwi and Australian Strawberries, etc., but repeat that I never had offered Canadian produce. You make a valid point about the water tables, but should provide some factual support. The issue here is about facts my friend, not 'I think this or I feel this", let's deal with some critical analysis here.

Here is some research, I will wait for yours: "A major concern is the fact that Monterey County since at least 1998 has been irrigating 12,000 acres of edible food crops with tertiary treated sewage effluent water in their $78 million Castroville Sea Water Intrusion Project."-By Frank Pecarich, Retired Soil Scientist. Read Entire Article

"This next article explores the bad decision that Monterey County made and how
they purposefully overlooked evidence and concern in their own 1999 Grand
Jury report etc." Read Article

"This last and most recent article covers some elements of why this has been a
cover-up and how blatant and obvious that has been to scientists who can see
that there is an attempt to stall this investigation as long as possible to
allow people to establish their cover and excuses" Read Article

Not to get personal, but as a food professional ducking behind frozen vegetables and then bowing out sends a very bad signal to folks like me who feel that eating is the last step in the agricultural cycle, and reverence should be paid to this mystical cycle by all who benefit from it. Next time you go out to eat think about what you are doing, you are allowing (with your willing cooperation) a stranger to put unsubstantiated substances inside of your body. That is a lot of trust to give to a stranger, and a very large responsibility for EVERYONE involved in the chain.

Sleep well chef.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Monday, October 16, 2006 - 10:46 pm: Edit

"ducking behind frozen veg's and then bowing out"

what are you talking about ?
First I'm a Pastry chef and second I've never eaten that many greens or veggie's.
I could care less if they never grow any of that green crap again.
and lets get personal.
you buying meat for a hotel or chain, is like a person who's never had a drinking problem telling some who does how to sober up.
it's a joke.
I hired someone like you once, and found out that she didn't eat white sugar.
I fired her the next day.
How can you possibly make, sell, promote, stand behind something that you don't consume yourself.
How do you do that?, on someones elses word ?

"reverence should be paid to this mystical cycle"

Your kidding right ? Come on!...come on !
It's a freakin veg. come on !
what, you want everyone to start bowing to dirt or something ?
You get what you pay for, in everything in life.
You need to start conserning yourself with how clean those hippies are at that mother earth rest you go to, to eat those organic veggie stuff thats so goood for you.
MEAT...It's whats for dinner.
Gee...hope that's not to personal.

By Ilpro (Ilpro) on Tuesday, October 17, 2006 - 10:35 pm: Edit

Have'nt farms been fertilizing with animal waste for many decades?

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Wednesday, October 18, 2006 - 06:03 pm: Edit

More like centuries.

From the Article sighted above.


Wendell Berry once wrote that when we took animals off farms and put them onto feedlots, we had, in effect, taken an old solution — the one where crops feed animals and animals’ waste feeds crops — and neatly divided it into two new problems: a fertility problem on the farm, and a pollution problem on the feedlot. Rather than return to that elegant solution, however, industrial agriculture came up with a technological fix for the first problem — chemical fertilizers on the farm.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Thursday, October 19, 2006 - 11:03 am: Edit


Thats It !
Thats what we have been doing.
Nothing needs to be "organic" if we went back to the way it was years ago.
And we won't screw up the water either, because the Earth has a better filtering system than we could ever invent.
I don't know if this makes a difference, but as I remember the growing farms were always higher ground than the cattle farms, maybe that was just in my area.

Thanks Cheftim

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Friday, October 20, 2006 - 10:51 pm: Edit

theres a commercial running here in California that talks about how 60% plus(?) of our water and streams are contaminated with something or another.
and of course its the other parties fault, but besides all that political crap I thought all this dirty water was taken care of years ago.
Thats what I was lead to believe.
In fact I think that I've been paying taxes to clean it up going on what?,...30 years !
So now you know, you take your health in your hands if you eat anything grown here in California.
You have been warned !!!!!
Pass the MEAT, will ya?

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Sunday, October 22, 2006 - 04:26 pm: Edit

One of the problems the farmers have with the aquifer here on the Oxnard Plain is salt. Though it is a delta surrounded on three sides by the ocean it's not ocean water intrusion that is the problem. It the salt coming from the water softeners of the homes, hundreds of thousands of them, that line the canyons and barrancas feeding the Santa Clara River.

As far as meat being a more heathy substitute for vegetables. I suggest one thinks of the hormones, anti-biotics used in raising food animals. Remembering also, animals drink water.

Buy local is the best solution. Knowing who grows your food is a big step in being secure with what you eat.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Sunday, October 22, 2006 - 08:30 pm: Edit

I think your right about the buying local.
I don't know what the big city people do, NY, LA
as examples, I would think it would be easyer in the midwest seeing that the farms would be closer to the city's.
And I never said meat is healthier than veg's.
In fact I would say that veg's are healthier, but if I had to choose.
Meat's for dinner

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Monday, October 23, 2006 - 10:50 am: Edit

Certified Farmers' Markets in Los Angeles County

Farmers' Markets in New York

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Monday, October 23, 2006 - 02:36 pm: Edit

I sent them an email asking how they regulate how the products are grown.

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Monday, October 23, 2006 - 06:20 pm: Edit

Certified Farmers' Markets don't regulate how crops are grown. They simply Certify that the participants are really Farmers.
If your not shopping a CFM then you may be buying from people that buy goods a the wholesale produce market to sell.
Farmers are burdened enough with regulation they certanly don't need another layer added on.

Here is another article about Organic, Sustaiability and buy local
The New Gold Standard

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 02:40 pm: Edit

Vegetables May Boost Brain Power
Study found leafy, green veggies,... slowed cognitive decline.
Think about it!

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 04:01 pm: Edit

I learned this when I was a kid, my Mom used to make us eat veg's even when we couldn't aford any meat.
And fish oil, I got sick of fish oil.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 - 11:55 am: Edit

Just remember, crap rolls downhill, even in the farm!!!!!!

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 - 07:53 pm: Edit

Here is Anthony Bourdain's take on the Farmers' Market trend.

How good are your local farmers markets?


Without question, one of the more positive and influential developments in urban gastronomy was the arrival--and rapid expansion--of the "Farmer's Market" or "Greenmarket".

By Flattop (Flattop) on Wednesday, November 08, 2006 - 09:39 pm: Edit

The last out break was cuased by feral pigs correct?

By Mr_Cook (Mr_Cook) on Friday, December 08, 2006 - 08:03 pm: Edit

If I am not mistaken the latest contaminated food "hubub" is an Taco Bell encore featuring green onions, the last one having been in PA a couple of years ago. Not 100% sure.
Last time the produce came from Mexico and this time from California.

By Chefgibz0 (Chefgibz0) on Sunday, December 10, 2006 - 12:26 am: Edit

Cantalopes have also been contaminated with Salmonella. Both the scallions and cantalope have come in from Mexico. I do not have my email in front of me but I know what packer they came from as well.

Add a Message

This is a private posting area. A valid username and password combination is required to post messages to this discussion.