New excuses to avoid veggies

Jessica Lewis

Since I don’t eat meat, I always thought the chances of getting sick from the foods I eat was relatively slim. I don’t remember hearing too many stories about tainted spinach when I was a kid. But in the recent years, stories about tainted lettuce, tomatoes, cantaloupe, scallions, spinach and peppers (and those are just the ones I can remember) are all over the news, providing kids with a great excuse not to eat their vegetables.

The danger of eating undercooked meat is obvious, and it’s also pretty gross, but eating raw vegetables shouldn’t be a risky activity. Unfortunately, with more and more of the produce sold in the grocery stores being shipped in from various places around the country and the world, no food is really “safe” anymore.

That is unless you buy from local producers. I think it’s safe to say that none of the food you grow in your own garden or that you purchase at the local farmers’ market is going to give you salmonella unless you marinade it in raw chicken. It might be more work. It might take a little more time, but I like the idea that my son can walk into the garden and pick a tomato off the vine and take a bite, and the only danger is eating a little dirt. I’d be willing to sacrifice more than a little free time for that peace of mind.