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.