E Coli

Spring Has Sprung!

Greetings on this sunny morning, fellow foodies!

Spring has sprung, and in the spring this blogger's fancy turns to the Bellevue Farmers Market Opening Day: Thursday, May 12. Once again we meet in the parking lot of First Presbyterian Church from 3-7 p.m. Saturday markets kick off Saturday, June 4, in the parking lot by Washington Square (same location as last year) from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Glory be!

For those of you food producers who might be interested in a booth at our Market, it's not too late to apply! For those of you marketgoers who have been wanting to get more involved, it's not too early to volunteer!

In the meantime, while the apples in the store grow increasingly mushy and we watch the migration of asparagus season from Mexico northward to California, I bring you the week's interesting food tidbits culled from Twitter.

  • Curious where your milk or other dairy products come from? This fun website can tell you! I learned my Organic Valley milk (bought at QFC) hails from Swan Island Dairy in Portland, Oregon. My Darigold sour cream from Boise, Idaho. I'd love to hear where some other brands come from. Why isn't Organic Valley milk that is sold in Washington coming from Washington dairy farmers???
  • If you're concerned about antibiotic use in industrial farming, this Wired article is worth a read. It seems "chickens, chicken meat and humans in the Netherlands are carrying identical, highly drug-resistant E. coli — resistance that is apparently moving from poultry raised with antibiotics, to humans, via food." Yeeks! While the Netherlands feature "conservative human antibiotic use, [they also have] the most liberal agricultural antibiotic use of any EU member," (italics theirs) and in the Netherlands, "the percentage of E. coli that was found in the guts of chickens and was carrying ESBL went up five times over between 2003 and 2008." Best to skip the buffalo wings in Amsterdam, then.
  • Speaking of E. coli, Food Safety News reports that "phage-based EcoShield" might be the next step in fighting E. coli contamination. E. coli being a bacteria, why not sic bacteriophages (bacteria eaters) on them? These naturally-occurring viruses target, infect, and kill bacteria. Very old-school and new-school, low-tech and high-tech at the same time. Sounds promising, but for now, cook that beef, whether grain- or grass-fed to the recommended 160F.
  • And finally, I've been trying to do more olive oil in the diet, but my next bottle of "yellow" vegetable oil will probably be safflower. Researchers at Ohio State claim a daily dose of safflower oil "improved such cardiovascular health measures as high-density lipoprotein, the 'good' cholesterol; blood sugar; insulin sensitivity and inflammation in obese post-menopausal women who have type 2 diabetes."

That's a wrap. Now get away from your computer and go enjoy that sunshine!