Is anyone else starting to hyperventilate when they read the newspaper these days? First it was spinach with E. coli, then carrot juice with botulism, egg salad and listeria and lettuce and tomatoes carrying salmonella. Even pet food isn't safe anymore. What's happened to our food chain?
Eating is quickly moving from a sensuous affair to a weekly TV drama. At home my husband and I practice our own version of this. On the nights we make chicken, our kitchen becomes a surgical prep room. Dr. McHusband opens the package with a plastic fork (which can be thrown away rather than left in the sink to infect the other untainted dishes). I prepare to assist, standing by with an open Ziploc at arm's length, ready to seal in the suspect meat. Then there is a round or two of hand washing and the spraying down of counter tops and sinks with disinfectant.
In the wake of all this recent news, I've watched as my small circle of foods slowly tightens. After a few nights in our makeshift operating room, I decided chicken wasn't really worth the hassle.
I was OK with eliminating beef from my diet in the fear of Mad Cow. But now they're whittling away at my veggies. How will I survive without eating leafy greens, I wonder, as I stare down a potentially deadly batch of arugula in my shopping cart?
And it's not just veggies. Last week I distractedly wolfed down a soy cheese sandwich on rye slathered with horseradish sauce. I consider myself a master of the sniff-and-pitch technique. I had a lot of practice in a stint as an assistant manager of a pizza place. My cooks made a daily ritual of sticking a plastic tub of bubbling, thick red pan sauce under my nose and demanding, "Does this smell bad?"
Yet on this particular day my fine-tuned nostrils somehow missed the distinct aroma of mold clinging to my lunch until the last bite was traveling down my gullet. Mold on my delicious plastic-y soy cheese? I felt the offender rumble in my stomach ... or was that panic?
Being a pragmatist, I did what any normal human being in the techno age does and sought information online. That was my first mistake. "Most people are not aware," I read, "that food eaten several days previously can be the cause of food poisoning."
Wait, it would be days before my panic level would go back down to yellow? I spent the rest of the afternoon doing deep breathing exercises and contemplated what lurked inside my dented can of tomatoes.
The Napa Grille in Hyde Park welcomes spring with mussels, Prince Edward Island Mussels steamed in Sauvignon Blanc and garden fresh herbs. The Grille will be adding additional seasonal items in the coming weeks as a part of its new spring menu. ...
MainStrasse Village businesses are gearing up for a SPRING LADIES NIGHT April 27 from 6-10 p.m. Drink and food specials will be available at Chez Nora, Dee Felice, Lucy Blue Pizza, Otto's, Strasse Haus, MainStrasse Village Pub, Fat Shannon's, Mulligan's Pub and Zola's.
CONTACT LORA ARDUSER: larduser(at)citybeat.com