Farmers Markets

by Christine O’Brien

There’s not much I love more than hitting the farmers market early every Sunday morning. Checking out the bounty of the local harvest—and dreaming of the dishes I’ll cook up—is a favorite weekend activity.

And eating local could very well be a key to our health. I told you why late last year, when Listeria outbreaks illustrated that a long journey from farm to plate increases the chances of food becoming contaminated. The more stops a food makes, the higher the risk of contamination.

Well, I guess we were the only ones paying attention to the lesson, because here we go again.

CBS News recently reported that sliced apples sold to McDonald’s and Burger King are being recalled due to…you guessed it…a possible Listeria contamination.

No illnesses had been reported as of the recall, but Listeria bacteria had been found on equipment used to process the “apple products.”

And isn’t that just a perfect illustration of the problem? It’s not an “apple,” it’s an “apple product.” Picked in one place, sliced in another, sold in yet another…Once they’ve made that many stops, it’s shocking that the whole lot isn’t contaminated!

I’ll stick with my whole apple picked from the orchard a half hour drive from my home and driven straight to the farmers market that’s just a 5-minute walk away from my front door.