Surprising Revelation in Hepatitis A Outbreak

A article, “Berries blamed for California man’s hepatitis A,” reveals that the words “organic,” “grower processor,” and “field to farm to family” on packaging did not, in this case, guarantee local produce:

Healthy and health-conscious, the Sozas always inspect their foods and select organic produce. They were surprised to learn that some of the fruit from Townsend Farms of Fairview, Ore., was from outside the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control said the recalled berries included products from Argentina, Turkey and Chile, in addition to the United States.

But the packaging convinced the Sozas the fruit was all-American because it bears the slogans “Grower. Processor. Distributor.” and “Field to Farm to Family, since 1906.”

“It was our distinct impression that these are raised under U.S. standards, especially organic food standards,” Rita Soza said. Read more HERE.

The article noted that Geoff Soza had been frequently mixing thawed, frozen organic berries with his yogurt, and had come down with a case of hepatitis A that was bad enough to put him in the hospital as a potential candidate for liver transplant.

Mark Bittman on “Food Culture Now” in On Point.

This reminds me of a radio show I was listening to last night. Food writer Mark Bittman–who wrote the book, Vegan Before 6,–was interviewed by Tom Ashbrook to talk about food culture in On Point. Asked how one can really know if the food they buy is organic and local, Bittman remarked that sometimes you just have to go “on faith.” I think that, behind that statement was the assumption that you CAN’T always trust labels. And unfortunately, as the recent hepatitis outbreak shows us, “on faith” sometimes just ain’t enough.

See also:
* Why I’m not a Vegan, by Mark Bittman