According to the FDA, melamine, the chemical responsible for the illness and death of hundreds of cats and dogs and the illness of thousands of Chinese children (and the death of four others), is safe for adults as long as its in small doses.
Of course, this is the same FDA that is unable to keep our food and drug supply safe, according to this 2007 FDA report, in spite of the fact that their mission statement explicitly states that “the FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation.” Now, I realize that there are serious issues with the economy, but I can’t help but wonder how it is that we can freak out if a bank fails and make it a campaign issue, yet the safety and security of our food supply is mentioned as a footnote in nearly every news source. In fact, an April 2008 USA Today article reported that only 1.3% of the food we import is every actually inspected to insure our safety, and that even with that small a sample, food that is unfit for human consumption is found on a regular basis. Quite frankly, I’m surprised that neither side of the political spectrum has decided to make this a safety and security issue, but then again, how many of us are have made it a point to stay that connected to our food?
Once again, I find myself grateful that I have chosen to live in accordance with the 100 mile diet. (Granted, I do cheat a little… coffee and bananas, for example, aren’t grown within 100 miles of Denver.) Yesterday I made my usual stop at the Abbondanza farm stand in Lafayette to pick up my order of raw milk from Windsor Dairy after stopping by the Boulder Farmers’ Market. The majority of the food I eat and feed my family is local and organic, which means that I am thankfully able to ignore the many food recalls. I know that the food I serve to my children and that I eat myself is safe. Does it cost more? A little, yes, but it’s worth it to know that when we sit down to eat at my house, I’m not risking my health, or the health of anyone at my table.