Monday, April 27, 2009

keeping our eyes on the ball

You know historically, if we couldn’t do nothing right in these United States of America, we could train some of the finest and brightest minds in the world as scientist. This is still true today albeit not to many folk want to be scientist as opposed to rappers, entertainers or pro athletes. And even in light of new intellectual circles the likes of India, China and Brazil are emerging to the top of the coffee as of late.But as far as our being proactive and forward thinking, we seem to sometimes take our eyes off the ball. Let’s take so-called terrorism for example. We have been so caught up in looking for folks with bombs wrapped around their somas that we don’t even move beyond thinking for ourselves. Not to mention we always want to contain them in certain regions as well as certain disposition. My problem is that bombs and guns and airplanes are not the only way to strike fear into the hearts of the affeared – especially us in the west. My diabolical mind has me thinking other wise.

For example, since the peanut contamination in South Georgia, I wave wondered what would be the quickest way to strike terror in the world I live in is to attack my stomach, I just wonder if our intelligence community has thought of this? I mean I was just a child when I first heard of Swine flu. I remember the new because it was in the year of the bicentennial, 1976, and occurred at Fort Dix where a young solider was killed by an influenza not seen since the plague of 1918-19.

Swine flu normally infects pigs, but has been detected recently in people in Mexico, the U.S., New Zealand, Canada, and the U.K... And just yesterday in New York officials stated eight "probable" cases, of swine flu have been documented. And over the past year, we can recant of food contamination -- salmonella found in pistachio nuts; Halal International Processing, a York, S.C., recalling almost 3000 pounds of beef, chicken, goat, and lamb products, and today in Georgia, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today recommended that consumers not eat raw alfalfa sprouts, because the product has been linked to Salmonella contamination.

I won’t even talk about things over the past 3 years. Like On December 4, 2006, health investigators linked an E. coli outbreak that has sickened approximately 22 folk at Taco Bell restaurants in New Jersey and 14 in Long Island And remember not just meat, but that E. coli infections are also associated with sprouts or leafy vegetables such as spinach. That same year three people died and more than 200 fell ill from an outbreak traced to packaged spinach grown in California.

Now I’m not trying to scare anybody (folks who don’t grow their own food) but, if I know this I think so-called terrorist do too, but aint so sure about our homeland security apparatus. Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria are just a few of pathogens that can invade a food product and food poisoning causes about 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and up to 5,000 deaths each year. Listeria is found in soil, vegetation, raw milk, meat, poultry, cheeses (particularly soft mould-ripened varieties) and salad vegetables. I just want to make sure that we think and discuss and talk about such possibilities and that if we really want to secure our homeland, our food should be first and that we can never take out eyes off the ball. Besides folks like aren't NSF types, we cuss, hunt wild turkey on our frams and spend quality time with our kids - being a scientist and 185 IQ or not.


SLC said...

Greedy as I am, I hear you loud and clear. I was pondering about the possibility that this could be an attack, but didn't mention it to anybody since I didn't wanna debate about my thoughts, but this I think is a realistic threat in the future; especially considering how open our agricultural environment is to cheap (and allegedly innocent) labor. I know you're not trying to scare anybody, but I hope you get some people thinking. If it takes fear to accomplish that, Oh well.

Unknown said...

You cover a lot of issues here Torrance, but let me address a couple:

More people want to be stockbrokers than any other profession..sickening as that is..they do make the bucks and they don't have to worry about fucking up..they STILL get bonuses.

The FDA doesn't do squat imho. They release drugs without major testing for contraindications and they don't check out the nations food sources but once every three years..if that. They leave it to the states which usually are not ramped up with the staff or the money either.

And attacking our food chain would be the best way for terrorists to hit millions wouldn't it? Scary shit indeed.

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

Yes, I don't understand why we don't talk about food and water.

I don't even want to talk about how education seems to be an after thought.

I've been thinking of trying my hand at a small garden in the back yard. Now you really got me getting ready to buy a soil kit and get AT IT!

Nicki_nik said...

You know me and and a co-worker (originally from Germany) were talking about this today. She thought that it was a scare tactic that the news media is using to keep people glued to their stations versus actually looking at all the other problems in the world. She does have a point in that regard.

I don't know if this is an attack or if it's a scare tactic (the government likes to keep folks in fear), but it if it were the former I wouldn't be surprised because with the ease of travel and transport of goods across borders it definitely could cause harm to a large amount of individuals without them even realizing it before it's too late to control.

And living in CA I have to worry about it a lot because we get a lot of migrant workers that come here and no telling what kind of hygeine they have and/or what their true intentions are. Not to think ill of people, but I've learned in life to never put anything past anybody. If one person can think of it I'm sure someone else is willing to put those thoughts to action.

Gives new meaning to food for thought.. :)

E.M.H. said...

This is oh so true. People often over think things instead of looking into some of the most obvious concerns and issues first, i.e. a plot to sabotage food supply vs. plot to bomb an obvious place like the White House. Sometimes K.I.S.S applies...KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID. Thr right answer is not always the most complex one......

Babz Rawls Ivy said...

Popular culture hasn't made being smart SEXY...

If scientist...teachers...were revered as Rock Stars we'd definitely have a different culture....but I digress.

We are in an age of sensationalism in news delivery. We want it to be tantalizing...shock and awe. we want
gory...gossipy...exploitive information. The Swine flu is just the latest in a long line of entertainment being shoved up our asses as news.

I agree, our food supply is more than vulnerable...hell we can't keep it safe within our indutries. Besides there are so many cheaper and more efficient ways to terrorize and tainting food is definitely one way.

Migrant workers aren't the cause of the food production ills in this country. The conditions in which they work are the real culprits. Profit over common safety procedures. Migrant workers are not trying to harm us. Or themselves they only want to work and feed their families like you and I. It is that kind of ignorance that keeps Fox News in business. Again...I digress.

I have no idea as to what the solution is except to say that each us has to look at how we access food. That we have to be mindful in what we eat, meaning we have to be aware of where our food comes from. Food does not grow in Kroger, nor do elves sneak in and deliver it.

When we are mindful and conscious about our food and the handling and producing of food then we can demand that those that produce, package and stock food will take greater care.

A.u.n.t. Jackie said...

Thanks to Hillary Clinton's croonies and lobbiest from the chicken/poultry industry we are now eating vegetables that are being "fertilized" by processed chicken waste...

It's clear to see that the relationship between salmonella and food once you have that piece of information. Prior to the new FDA regualations, chicken waste had to be disposed of, and if you've ever smelled a slaughter house, or seen the conditions that these chicken are raised in, you would know the difference between chicken shit and chicken salad.

raw chicken can kill you, and raw chicken waste from mutated chickens amped up on antibiotics and steroids leaking into our soil being used as "fertilizer" will also contaminate our produce.

I find it interesting that the CDC has been quick to say that the swine flu can't be passed thru eating pork, although they don't know how it's being passed between humans.

I don't even think anyone would have to attack our food source, we have attacked our own food source and the FDA is so succeptable to lobbiest that they really can barely be trusted!

my two cents.

msladyDeborah said...

If a portion of the nation was not reared up on the belief that being intelligent and well educated was a negative racial trait-we might be ahead in the game.

As far as food is concerned. The population of the United States has been in a health related crisis due to food for years in my opinion. Not only is the threat of contamination real. So is over indulgence. Which seems to be a major crisis in our nation. There are a whole lot of folks who are going to eat theirselves to death.

I am a long time urban gardener. It is a lot of work to grow food in the citay. But I will maintain until I die that more of us had better start learning how to do so.
Because we may find at some point in time that it may become necessary to have major control over that aspect of our food production.

As far as chickens and slaughter house animals. I have been moving away from consumming so much meat.
There really is a difference in my opinion between the type of meat and poultry that I was raised on and the mess we are fed now.

I have questioned if the growth hormones used to raise livestock is a part of the reason why so many people are dealing with obesity and other health issues. It is difficult for me to imagine that after spending years chowing down on flesh that was raised for rapid growth due to chemicals that there is no connection.

Of course we may be the last ones to know if there is. We don't have enough scientist and educators to help us understand what is going on.

Saule Wright said...

We've been buying our food directly from a organic farm for a while now. The stuff I've learned about the FDA and the food industry in general pretty much means, to me, that this is a biological attack...the question is, is it foreign or not? The FDA has to know about the deplorable conditions of these packing houses and meat factories. The scarier part is not only do they know, they regulate the shit. They have certain amounts of "bullshit" in the meat that is allowed. They feed the animals food that their system is not equipped to handle, then feed them drugs to make them handle it. Hormones, antibiotics, cornfed animals, puss in your milk, these are all things are the norm in the food industry. So, yeah, its no doubt an attack. How many more are we going to subject ourselves to before we wise up. Check out "King of Corn." Great movie.

Linda said...

Amen to that!

We've seen so many pestilents in the last couple of years around here as well.. swine flu, bird flu, food-and-mouth disease..

imo it's because we're all about the money, not caring how many animals are kept together, not caring what they are fed (ground up bones) and having so many that you can't see whether one is sick or not..

That said.. you shouldn't hate on the vegetarians ;) They're the only people actually adressing this problem AND doing something about it.. did you know that if "we" (the west) all became vegetarians, there would be more than enough food left to make the africans fat? ;) Just think of how much them cows eat before they turn into steak.. *lol*

Greetings from the netherlands!

KELSO'S NUTS said...

@ LOVEBABZ: Thanks for your note of sanity to Torrance's excellent post.

[I am assuming by "migrant" worker, the writer meant "immigrant" because there are very few intinerant agricultural and livestock workers these days when ADM and CARGILL account for greater than 50% of production]

Boy, oh, boy. From Panama, I see just what this is. But for the record and I will vouch for this personally, Latinos' hygiene is no worse than Americans' is and probably quite a bit better because the ministries of health take a much more prospective role than their US counterpart and in the interior so much less food production is mechanized so personal hygiene is a must. But good old fashioned bigotry is popular everywhere!

No, it's not the fault of Central-American immigrants. Sorry. Though it's possibly the fault of GAY MARRIAGE. LOL.

Or maybe it's THE CLINTONS' (AND MIKE ESPY'S AND RON BROWN'S) FAULT? I think I understand the connection there. The Rose Law Firm and Ron Brown represented Tyson Corporation and the company's lobbyist was successful in persuading Mike Espy to introduce a bill-of-attainder about a zillion years ago. And Hillary Clinton worked for Rose. Brown and Espy were in Bill Clinton's cabinet and Tyson was a large donator to all of the Clinton efforts. And to Barack Obama but who's counting!

Of course, if there's one person in America less popular than "the Hispanic" it's Hillary Clinton, so that's plenty safe ground. I could be wrong about this, but last time I checked, the 2008 Democratic Primaries and Caucuses were over and Obama beat Clinton in a photo-finish and went on to be elected President Of The United States Of America easily over McCain.

And this is not President Obama's fault. Or President Calderon's fault. Or ADM's. Or Cargill's.

Torrance lays out the whys and wherefores very nicely. Inattention and lack of oversight work as well or better than any conspiracy.

Yes, Barack Obama's the president while there's a chance of a pandemic. In a 1-Party K-Street system, if a president has 65% approval ratings, I don't think his fans need to worry too much.

If anything, if I'm anyone from Calderon to Rudd I'm pretty worried Obamas' going to blame me!

CraigJC said...

Trust, if they wanted to get us like that, unfortunately, they could. Which is why I'm close to growing my own fruits, veggies and leaving meat along.

Mz.Bria2U said...

striking terror thru our stomachs...yikes!!

@Dusty, I agree with you. They release the same damn drugs that gets recalled after people starts dropping off like flies! instead of suing the pharmaceuticals why aren't the families suing the FA instead?

Call me paranoid, i don't give a fig-I don't put much weight into the latest epidemic, near pandemic, pandemic, high security alert level bullshit the government releases to the public. I believe as someone's German friend said (in an earlier comment) it's a damn scare tactic. I wash my hands, use tissues etc so I'm not going to trip off of this 'Swine Flu' bs, just like i didn't trip off of the MRSA outbreak. Speaking of which-what is the latest on MRSA???

nicki nicki tembo said...

who's stock 'bout to go up?

Rich Fitzgerald said...

Here you go, making sense again.

Glen Antoine Palmer said...

SARS. Bird Flu. Ebola-the flesh eating virus. The coverage would have you thinking that the world was on the verge of a pandemic. With a population of over 300 million people in the U.S., there still hasn't been the type of "outbreak" to warrant talks of closing borders and bio-terrorism. Just read a story that the regular ole flu bug kills 36,000 per year and 13,000 since January. Swine flu just sounds sexy enough to sell, but it is the regular flu that is killing folks. More attention should be focused on out food and water supply and not trumped up threats. Remember that filthy factory that had the contaminated peanuts. Umm...yeah...I would rather some time put into checking my jar of Jiffy than the latest sexy scare craze.

Vee said...

I'm with Craig! my aunt told me that years ago before all this nonsense really kicked off, that she was gonna start growing all her vegetables in her back yard!!

Nikki Wadley said...

We are considered one of the most obese nations so why not attack our food?

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