Salmonella be damned

            Normally, I ignore food scares.  Life is scary enough without running around purging my house of spinach every time three people in Idaho get ecoli.  The odds are so slim that I will get fisteria from a chicken that I continue on my merry way, smugly above the hysteria.

            But the latest scare over tomatoes and salmonella – well, that one seems big enough to actually pay some attention to.  I don’t have to worry about my children, since they think tomatoes are a Communist plot to poison them.  And I don’t have to worry about my husband, who has had such bad (and still undiagnosed) stomach problems for almost five months that he cannot eat any fruits or vegetables.  But, for once, I sort of have to worry about myself. 

            I love tomatoes.  I live for tomatoes.  And when I am pregnant, they rank just under peaches as the ideal food.  Suddenly, I am supposed to stop eating them?  What the hell will I eat in their place?  Chocolate is a poor substitute.

            And, then, I took a closer look.  There is a whole list of “safe” states, with tomatoes the FDA has deemed salmonella-free – 27 states to be exact.  And, on that list, you will find New Jersey and California.  Now, since I have never had a tomato worth the eating that was not grown in New Jersey or California, I am just not too concerned.  And, with all due respect to my newly adopted state, let’s be honest.  If a tomato ain’t grown in New Jersey, it’s really just taking up space.

14 responses to “Salmonella be damned

  1. I don’t know how many foods I’ve given up eating because of various contamination scares — but it’s a rather large number. Yes, I’m a complete and total wimp about these things.

  2. What I love about this one is that every report must include “homegrown tomatoes are safe to eat.” Really? You THINK? Unfortunately, my home grown tomatoes are at least a month away from eating. It just astoundsn me that someone feels the need to tell people that their own tomatoes are safe.

  3. That’s why I am totally loving my local farmer’s market right now. And, sorry, but the best tomatoes were the ones grown in my backyard growing up in the mountains. Mmmm…BLT’s.

  4. I also grow my own – and they taste so much better than anything we can buy at the store. That way, we don’t have to be quite so concerned about the bad decisions of major growers whose concern is not my health or yours. 🙂

  5. New Jersey?

    Get thee to a farmer’s market, STAT, and get some California-grown heirloom tomatoes. There’s a whole new world out there for you!

  6. It’s particularly cruel when tomatoes sound so darn good right now, all that cool fresh yumminess.

  7. ah. i too ignore these things.

    tomatoes come from NJ? i had no idea.

  8. wohoo! This former New Yorker lives for the Jersey tomatoes! Bring on the heat of July if I can have a juicy ugly red from Jersey!

  9. If I was from NJ, I think I would get a bumper sticker made which read, ” If a tomato ain’t grown in New Jersey, it’s really just taking up space.”

    Perhaps it could be the new state motto.

  10. So funny that we have peaches in common. Tomatoes are not my thing, but everyone else in my family eats them on a daily basis. Praise God for farmers’ markets.

  11. I adore peaches too. I think you are so sensible to take these scares with a pinch of salt. A friend of mine, a scientist, went to work for the Guardian and was horrified at the way that the news from scientists was mangled into something sensational and, by that point, completely untrue. I think the media is very irresponsible in the way it will wind people up and panic them, just for reading or viewing figures. Enjoy your tomatoes!

  12. I’m the same way with food scares–I usually don’t pay attention. This one has me, though, because Alexis would live off tomatoes if I would let her. Fortunately we are growing some on our deck, so she should be able to get her fix soon.

  13. New Jersey tomato’s rock! In the day when we went to the shore (now we go to the beach…I assume I don’t need to explain that to you) we always stopped at a roadside stand and got some for the way home. I can eat them like apples.

  14. though the jersey tomatoes are a good month in the future…