Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Greens of Wrath

A student points out Barry Estabrook's new article in Gourmet. It argues that new food safety measures for vegetables -- designed to prevent outbreaks like the recent troubles for spinach, tomatoes, and peppers -- may have unintended consequences.
But good intentions have gone badly awry. In the name of food safety, farmers have reshaped the landscape in ways that, according to critics, have reversed two decades’ worth of environmental conservation. If the new policies are adopted by the federal government—and some say that it is only a matter of time—they will have profound ramifications for small, sustainable growers in postage-stamp fields thousands of miles from California. And there is scant evidence that the standards have actually addressed the real problem.
The article argues that misplaced efforts to prevent cross-contamination from animals have motivated destruction of ponds and woodlands near agricultural land. An accompanying photograph shows a lonely tree in an expansive crop field, all that remains of a windbreak in Salinas County, California.

No comments: