[permaculture] fresh only or frozen as well

Lawrence F. London, Jr. lfl at intrex.net
Sun Sep 17 21:04:30 EDT 2006

Marimike6 at cs.com wrote:

> "heya all....that CNN report raised (briefly with no answer) the question of 
> spinach that is frozen and bagged. Does anyone know if freezing kills or only 
> suspends the e coli bug? I have several bags of frozen spinach and 
> wonder...lynnann"
> Reason would suggest that you want to cook your spinach by immersion in 
> boiling water-- not just by steaming. That way the pathogen should be dead.
> Television reports have pretty much admitted that the total ban on spinach is 
> overkill, and only suggested due to our nervous concerns about the slightest 
> chance of disease. I see no reason why they did not just issue a "cook your 
> spinach" alert.

Because of a reasonably high ratio of laziness, ignorance and ineptitude
or lack of proper facilities and equipment coupled with the fact that the bad strain of ecoli
causes such a bad infection preemptive action and prophylaxis is cheaper than the cure, i.e.
in terms of cost to the consumer, cheaper to throw it out and be safe. The cost to industry
is another matter but since the problem originated with them it is their problem; good idea for the consuming public to 
be open-minded and non-judgemental about the situation, though. It was field washing and disinfecting and packaging that 
caused the contamination; not hard to imagine - they just need better equipment and more, cleaner water as they would 
have back at the production facility. There was also something about raw sewage-contaminated irrigation water also.
It would probably be very difficult to adequately clean crops, grown in those conditions, in the field. After packaging, 
storgage, shipping and time on the grocer's shelves, there would be plenty of time for the ecoli to replicate; add to 
that handling in the kitchen and you have great potential for transmission of the contaminant to people eating the 
produce raw. They saw that strain of ecoli can not be washed off; not even with a dilute chlorine dip? or with some 
other accepted, more benign disinfectant of which there are many on the market?

Lawrence F. London, Jr.
Venaura Farm
lfl at intrex.net
info at market-farming.com
Venaura Farm, sustainably-grown produce & garden handtools
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