Dr. David Katz

As I write this, there is still uncertainty about the source of the E. coli outbreak in Europe that has killed more than 20 people. Whatever the ultimate conclusion about the delivery vehicle for this deadly bug, however, don’t blame the sprouts, beans, broccoli, cucumbers, peas or radishes, although these and other crops are under investigation. In fact, I encourage a “not guilty” verdict for the entire plant kingdom.

When it comes to public health mayhem from mutant germs, plants are innocent bystanders.

Because we eat quite a lot of meat, quite a lot of meat must be produced. Large volume meat production means large farms, large herds and large, centralized, highly efficient processing plants. At best, this translates into relative neglect of any individual steer, and a relative inability to inspect the quality of every steak.

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