Have you been playing ostrich, head in the sand, hoping that your slow eating habits mean you are safe from all the peanut recall madness? Amazingly, it is a story that is not going away any time soon–and not just because peanuts and peanut products have a long shelf life. And not just because even companies like Clif (the, er, slowest bars you can find, if a bar can be considered slow) have recalled so-called “organic” products. The story is not going away, because as we all know, the story is bigger than just peanut butter. More so even than other recent food safety stories of late, this one has revealed major cracks in the system: the inherent hazards of food production on this scale, what happens when big greedy jerks ignore initial findings of illness, the too-big job that the FDA has, etc.
Americans love peanut butter: ever had a friend in the Peace Corps write to you begging for a care package…of peanut butter? or maybe you yourself headed off to the other side of the globe, happily ex-patting and exploring new tastes until one day you woke up with a insatiable longing for…peanut butter? For a quick article on the history of Americans and peanut butter, click here.
Celebrity blogger: It’s not what you think. Food safety lawyer Bill Marler is, as you can imagine, in great demand these days for his legal services, as well as his expert opinion on what went wrong and how. Check out his blog for an inch-by-inch account of the entire debacle.
What’s been recalled: For a complete list of recalled foods, click here.
What it means for food banks: Not good. Food Banks, already suffering from low stocks. are having to trash potentially hazardous products.
What it means for schools: As of February 3rd, reports that over 400 schools in California, Idaho and Minnesota had been sent peanut products.
Inside the Congressional Food Safety Hearings: Check out Obama Foodorama’s blogging about shadowing Bill Marler through the hearings, including positive feedback on food-friendly Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro. While you’re at it, check out DeLauro’s post on HuffPo.