On the front page of today’s New York Times was an article about ConAgra‘s attempts to figure out which of the 25 ingredients in their frozen chicken pot pie had caused salmonella poisoning in an estimated 15,000 people in 2007.
To deal with the problem, they told consumers to heat the pie to 165 degrees, using a thermometer to ensure safety. The Times tested this found it ain’t so easy.
And ConAgra isn’t the only company to be in this position. Other food companies are revamping their food safety notices and instructions in hopes that consumers will be sure to cook food thoroughly and avoid infection. You hear that? It’s in your hands, kids.
What especially creeps me out is that there are so many ingredients in the pie in the first place. Worse, a lot of companies reportedly don’t even know who supplies all those ingredients!
Perhaps I’m hyper-sensitive to that issue right now because I recently read Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food, which explores how all the added nutrients and additives in food have us consuming more and more “edible foodlike substances,” products of food science rather than nature.
Sure, that thing in front of you may look like a loaf of bread, but what’s with the “azodicarbonamide” and “triticale?” I thought bread was basically just flour, water, yeast, and salt.
I know that in our fridge, we have a hearty loaf of Arnold’s Grains & More DOUBLE PROTEIN. Yikes! Wouldn’t it be better to get protein from sources in which nature intended there to be protein? Yet we still bought it because, eh, this is what was on sale this week. Besides, people who follow a vegetarian diet need to get as much protein from alternative sources as possible, right? I hate feeling like I’m being swayed by marketing, but I guess it’s hard to avoid.