In case you missed it, either because you don't watch the news, don't eat eggs, or like me, both, about 1,500 people have so far been sickened by an outbreak of Salmonella in eggs. A massive recall of half a billion eggs from two Iowa factory farms ensued. I was planning to write my own blog post on this when I realized that others have already done such a good job saying what needed to be said. So instead, I am offering up my list of favorite articles by people I already knew or have just come to admire.
As you might expect, the authors I chose don't include any tips on how to cook your eggs properly to avoid getting sick. (Beware, the "Egg Safety Center" is a front website put up by Big Egg.) Rather, I chose those experts who get to the heart of the matter and the bigger picture: Our concentrated food system driven by insatiable profit, combined with a broken regulatory system held hostage by powerful economic interests. If there's any good that can come from tragedies like this, it's how the dark side of our food supply gets exposed to the light of day. These stories are worth the read, whether you're worried about egg safety, only buy eggs from your local farmer, or don't eat eggs at all, because we must change the system for everyone.
For the overall story and analysis of entrenched politics:
Hellena Bottemiller, Egg Gaps Illustrate Fractured Food Safety System, Food Safety News, 8/25/10
Jill Richardson, Out of Control Egg Producer Flouts Regulations: Consumers Deal with 500 Million Salmonella-Tainted Eggs, AlterNet, 8/25/10
Two by Tom Philpott on Grist, my new favorite Big Ag politics writer:
A ‘habitual offender’ unleashes nearly half a billion salmonella-tainted eggs, 8/19/10
On how cramming hens into cages is both cruel to animals and bad for public health:
John Robbins, How Egg Industry Greed Caused the Salmonella Outbreak, Huffington Post, 8/27/10
Carolyn Lochhead, Egg recall heats up debate over caging chicken, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/27/10
On how decades of deregulation caused this disaster and how to fix the system:
Jonathan Cohn, Reagan, Bush, and Rotten Eggs, The New Republic, 8/25/10
David Kirby, Lessons from the Egg Recall: Cheap Food Makes You Sick, Huffington Post, 8/19/10
Mina Kimes, Egg recall is a golden opportunity to whip food safety into shape, CNNMoney.com, 8/25/10Bill Marler, What if I had a food safety magic wand?, Marler Blog, 8/27/10
On the inevitable PR campaign by Big Egg:
Rupal Perekh and Maureen Morrison: As Egg Fears Mount, Farmers Launch Reassurance Campaign, Ad Age, 8/25/10And finally, it seems fitting to end with this hilarious take on the egg industry's PR campaign by the expert who literally wrote the book on food safety politics; by now, we all need the comic relief:
Marion Nestle, Egg industry response to recalls (in translation), Food Politics blog, 8/26/10
If I missed any good articles, please let me know.
Also, see the video in my previous post of my interview on MSNBC.