Monday, May 18, 2009

One more reason Cranky Cindy is grateful that she cooks from scratch

Food companies put the onus for food safety on consumers. New York Times article. (Michael Moss 5/14/09) By writing specific directions on packaged foods, businesses hope to shift the responsibility for contamination from the company to the consumer.

"In this case, ConAgra could not pinpoint which of the more than 25 ingredients in its pies was carrying salmonella. Other companies do not even know who is supplying their ingredients, let alone if those suppliers are screening the items for microbes and other potential dangers, interviews and documents show."

Photo :Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times
"Banquet pot pies sickened thousands with salmonella in 2007. The corporate parent, ConAgra Foods, and others have decided to leave the “kill step” to eliminate pathogens up to the consumer’s cooking at home."

Interesting that this article is located in the Business section, and not, say, health.

I cook from scratch because I'm a good cook, not because I choose to permit business to shift responsibility for knowing where the ingredients come from, and how they are tested and processed to me!

The problem though, is that contamination is not simply in prepared foods, so maybe my crowing prideful sanctimoniousness is premature.

The recalls of Peanut Butter a while back and White Pepper last month leave me in a quandary. And as a from-scratch cook, (with prideful expertise in chicken with peanut sauce) should I install a lab in my basement?

1 comment:

Chuck B. said...

Good questions. I enjoy gourmet cooking and our family usually is having a dinner prepared from scratch. I gotta say that as my kids get older I am doing more from scratch, not less.

Their new school will require packed lunches, so we bought a deli slicer which means better cold cuts (bison roast sandwhiches on a croissant...yum!). But also we watch the Food network show "Good Eats" which is pulling us further from processed foods.

Interesting fact, my kids' teachers have commented on how my son and daughter are larger, perform faster, and grasp concepts better than their peers. We've been asked if we tutor them. I just smile and say we cook from scratch so they actually like their veggies!