Tina Ruggiero | Nutrition Expert, Cookbook Author and Spokesperson
Apr 18, 2007 by Tina Ruggiero
Michael Straus says
Apr 18, 2007 at 1:34 pm
You can’t be serious about pinning food-borne illness on organics. Does Burson-Marsteller (your sponsor) have a client with interests in trashing organics? Your comments lack factual basis and are irresponsible.
J. Haney says
Apr 18, 2007 at 6:37 pm
I was disappointed about your commentary indicating that organic food is a source of food contamination. I have seen no science on this yet. Can you provide a source since I’m now concerned.
I’m already concerned with the recent situation with peanut butter contamination. Those were large-scale commercial operations, where one would think quality control would be superior.
Apr 24, 2007 at 6:26 pm
Michael, Thank you for your passionate comment. I enjoy discussing issues such as the above with someone like yourself. Being President of a marketing agency vested in advancing sustainability — not to mention having roots on a successful, organic dairy farm — gives you the credibility to offer a valuable perspective. If you read my blog entry more closely; however, I havent pinned foodborne illness on organics, more so, the increased consumption of fresh produce. One reason that outbreaks in produce are on the rise is because people are eating more fruits and vegetables than they did 20 years ago, and this is something I applaud. As a Registered Dietitian, I want people to eat more fresh produce. Further, no one I know is interested in trashing organics, and I, personally, am a huge advocate of the category. The bottom line, Michael, and I think youll agree, is that this is not an organic vs. conventional issue, but an issue with production, handling and transport, all of which can be improved on both sides of the border. Given my more detailed point-of-view, Id love to read your thoughts about food inspection, agricultural practices and potential ways we might be able to reduce contamination at the source.
Apr 25, 2007 at 10:15 am
As you most likely read in my reply to Michael, the rising number of outbreaks can be attributed to the increased consumption of fresh produce, not organically-grown food, per se. Foodborne illnesses such as those recently attributed to tomatoes, lettuce and spinach, underscore the need to prevent the contamination of produce, and its a top priority for the Center of Disease Control (CDC). During a press conference hosted last week by the CDC, they stated the organization is working to strengthen its ability to quickly detect and identify foodborne illnesses, since the faster contaminated products can be detected, the more quickly actions can be taken to protect the consumer. In the meanwhile, theres no reason to fear eating fresh foods. The United States has one of the safest food supplies in the world, and manufacturers are continuously being proactive to ensure that safety runs the entire continuum from farm to fork.