Thursday, March 25, 2010

And the Moral of This Story is: Don't Eat Raw Meat

"E. Coli: Not Just for Carnivores Anymore"
Discovery News (Mardh 24, 2010)

"When the topic of eating meat comes up, on occasion my vegan and vegetarian friends will recite a list of reasons they abstain from consuming the flesh of animals. (Not that they need to justify anything to me; I always assumed it was not because they love animals so much as they hate plants.)

"I am an unapologetic omnivore, but I recognize that there are several reasonable arguments for the health benefits of not eating meat—quite aside from periodic stomach-churning undercover PETA video footage of food farm squalor...."

"...As various nationally-publicized meat recalls have been announced over the years, articles and blogs on vegetarian topics would sometimes cheerfully mention that vegetarians didn't need to worry about such problems. I've heard the same from vegan friends.

"However, it's not true. While undercooked ground beef, in general, contains more harmful bacteria than plants, those who eat fruits and vegetables are also at risk.

"According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in June and July 1997 60 people got food poisoning from eating alfalfa sprouts contaminated with E. coli, and there have been about a half-dozen outbreaks of salmonella infection caused by alfalfa sprouts since 1995. Unwashed, raw fruits and vegetables can be just as toxic as unprepared, uncooked meat. ..."

Which is why we cook (or grill) our meat and wash everything we don't heat beyond what any organism would survive. Well, any organism from this planet ("Titan, Life Without Water, and 'Messing With Old Definitions' " (March 24, 2010))

One of my kinsmen is a strict vegetarian: on doctor's orders. He's had heart trouble, and part of dealing with it is to keep a range of animal fats and proteins out of his food. That, I don't have a problem with.

On the other hand, I'm not about to start apologizing to every apple I eat.


Brigid said...

That would be a lot of apologizing.

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...


Eee-yeah. Although I've cut it down to about 1 per day. ;)

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