About Romaine Lettuce Killing Us

The Right-Wing Food Chain

As many of you might have noticed, country-wide, all Romaine Lettuce has been pulled from the grocery stores, all salad mixes with Romaine included. For those of us with a Cesar Salad addiction, this torpedo’ed some Thanksgiving menus. It was Romaine this time (and spinach the time before) but it could be any crop. 

Anyway, Wired Magazine has a feature article up on what happened, and you might be shocked Shocked SHOCKED!!1! to learn that those onerous Obama-era regulations that Prznint Stupid proudly cut were involved and the safety of our produce will not get any better anytime soon, you know, because of reasons.

Full disclosure: in California, I was part of the first community garden in the state to use reclaimed water. The water was tested multiple times per minute, automatically. It’s not rocket science, it can be done, but there has to be political willpower (and money) to do it. So, in other words, more people will die before America will address this. It’s such a damn shame.

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12 Responses to About Romaine Lettuce Killing Us

  1. Since a Troo Trumpanzee don’t eat that hippy libtard ‘vegetable’ stuff, even if they die, it’s still triggering the libs, and worth it.

    Betcha they’ll pass “onerous regulations” in a heartbeat if we try to sue the fucking farmers for poisoning us..


  2. donnah says:

    Yeah, the Republicans’ disregard for human life (that isn’t a fetus) continues. So a few people died from e coli, meh, it’s about the bottom line and the company’s freedom from those ridiculous health safety regulations. So a few recalls, a few glitches in production that cause deaths…it’s a shame and all, but not their fault. They can’t afford to cover all of those rules and regulations, so Trump helped them out.

    It’s always about the money.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ming says:

    It’s pretty standard to monitor a handful of field water quality parameters in real time (pH, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen, oxidation-reduction potential, turbidity, biological oxygen demand, etc.), but real-time monitoring of bacteria such as E. coli is still in its infancy. Current practice requires that samples be sent off to a lab for analysis. It typically takes a day to culture the bacteria and turn around the results. That said, there’s a new generation of electrochemical sensors in development that can provide real-time data. They use an electrode that is nano-engineered to detect the specific metabolic activity of E. coli but not other bacteria. It’s pretty amazing technology that seems like rocket science to me. None of this excuses the cuts to Obama era safety regulations, however, the science of real-time bacteria detection is not that cut and dried yet.

    My disclosure is that I’m a working water quality scientist married to an organic vegetable farmer when not shit-posting puppy pictures and rants about the latest dumb-ass right-wing outrage.

    Liked by 2 people

    • tengrain says:

      Ming –

      Wonderful news, indeed. My point is that in California, that program reached scale to do it in a community garden, and I could look at the water quality moment-by-moment being used in the garden; I think specifically it was checking nitrogen salts levels (but my memory grows dim on the details 5+ years later) as a leading indicator of contamination? Does that make sense?

      This was one of the Obama shovel-ready projects from the Recovery Act, btw. Money well-spent.



      Liked by 2 people

      • ming says:

        Yes that sound right. Field sensors for nitrogen species are definitely readily available. Nitrogen is a nutrient that can be used an indicator of fertilizer residue and other contamination like raw sewage. It is part of the metabolic pathways for many bacteria but not necessarily a direct indicator of their presence. That said, I’m more of a metals guy than a waste water, ag, or bug specialist so I’m in a little bit in over my pay grade here.


    • MDavis says:

      I had an opportunity to get training to be a water quality technician (crash of 9/11, retraining funds) but picked a different, and probably less effective, course.More than once I’ve regretted not going the water reclamation route. That stuff will always be necessary.
      I ended up avoiding it, however, because of an immune-deficient household member. I figured it would be darn tough to clean up sufficiently after every day to avoid bringing home enough contaminants to kill that person. One slip, I thought, and it’s over. Turns out he had a bout with e coli without my input, and survived, but remembering that aspect of the decision kind of relieves the regrets.Thanks for being in that water quality area, though. Someone needs to do it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jim says:

      If that’s a technology that’s promising, you would think companies would be supporting it.


  4. skinnydennis says:

    Kiss your lettass goodbye.


  5. Dennis Cole says:

    So what if there’s Ptomaine in the Romaine? You pays your money, and you takes your chances. Oh, and good old Sonny Perdue has a list of the offending rendering plants that gave us the contaminated turkey right before Turkey Day, but he’s not sharing it with the Press. Worried about Fake News blaming staunch Rapepublicon donors, I suppose.
    No need to worry, with all these great people in charge of the agencies that are there to keep us safe. How many times must Donny remind us he’s put only the best folks in those positions of power, and that they only have the greatest profit potential in mind? Err, I mean the health and safety of most of us. The white ones, anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. osirisopto says:

    There’s no need to worry when enough people die the company with the tainted lettuce will go out of business and be replaced with a new company that will sell tainted lettuce, and when people die from eating that shit they’ll go out of business and be replaced.

    Eventually someone will decide to grow lettuce that isn’t tainted, if there’s enough money to be made of course. If not then you just have to hope you’re not the one to die next time. So what if it’s your kids or Grandma. It’s a sacrifice someones got to make in order to keep the Capitalist(r) system running and that might hurry along your inheritance, or leave you with more dessert for yourself.

    It’s the Libertarian way, donchaknow.


  7. Sirius Lunacy says:

    Slightly off topic – Per my docs instructions I have been taking something called Azo for a urinary tract infection. It has turned my urine into a bizarre, ghastly orange color. I now have a theory on where Hair Furor gets that uniquely colored tan. It involves Russian pee hookers taking Azo. It would be irresponsible not to speculate.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. But it’s only the bagged romaine. I’m still seeing the regular, fresh, heads of romaine & I’m buying it & eating it & not even getting a gut ache. Maybe it’s local, I don’t know, although it’s way past growing season here in WNY. But you never know. There are indoor growers now. Farmers are learning from the weed growers.

    Bagged salad is always a gamble. It’s the processed food of the produce section & that should tell you everything.

    It’s not just the romaine lettuce. Lots of our food is bad. Half the seedless cucumbers I look at are rotten. Avocados are rock hard or too soft to use.

    Why is our food so bad? Anyone asking these questions?

    When I was a kid, I was told that people in the USSR & Communist China had bad food & they suffered for it. Long lines for basics & all that. Now I go to the store & I see bad food & empty shelves. I think … what happened? Who’s suffering now?


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