Relationships, not regulations

Bacteria in culture

Bacteria in culture

The strain of E. coli that has recently killed some people is a Feedlot Frankenstein, according to Michael Pollan's important article in the New York Time magazine on Sunday, October 15, 2006:

The lethal strain of E. coli known as 0157:H7, responsible for this latest outbreak of food poisoning, was unknown before 1982; it is believed to have evolved in the gut of feedlot cattle. These are animals that stand around in their manure all day long, eating a diet of grain that happens to turn a cow's rumen into an ideal habitat for E. coli 0157:H7. (The bug can't survive long in cattle living on grass.)

Instead of generating a slew of new regulations, which put small scale growers at a painful disadvantage and suck more farms into the agri-giant vortex, Pollan advocates something simple: Know your growers. Small scale growers may produce food that has some risks, but not much. Pollan's article is an elegant argument for buying and eating local food, for a decentralized food system.