Attack of the tomato killers.
Um, this has been bugging me for days, and I don't know why it's taken me this long to work up a rolling head of steam, but there you are. It's 5:25 Wednesday morning, and I woke up annoyed.
Why are Americans addicted to crisis? The disproportionality of the way people react to news events is staggering.
Remember a handful of years ago when there there was much hue and cry about banks raising ATM fees? Well, the bank would glean what amounted to a small percentage of what you'd withdrawn from the ATM, yet that percentage pales in comparison to federal, state and local taxes which virtually double the price of gasoline. How about the fact that you have to work until May for the US government before you get to keep what you earn for the rest of the year? RILLY? You're going to gripe about giving Wells Fargo an extra $2.50 when you withrdraw $200, but you'll give the government a pass on a relationship which in other arenas of business would be called usury or indentured servitude? No, they'll slog on, thinking "one day, massah gonna set me free" and meanwhile they are all moral outrage about a few dollars. Give me a break.
So, the crisis of the moment involves tomatoes. If you watch the news, then apparently half the country is freaking the hell out about tomatoes and salmonella poisoning. McDonald's is going all drama-queen on us and will not be serving tomatoes for the immediate future.
Because, um, everyone knows tomato farmers inject tomatoes with salmonella. Or they use salmonella for fertilizer, right?
It's called "washing" the tomatoes and using clean cutting implements, morons!
If you keep a clean work surface, use clean knives, wash the fruit thoroughly and keep the cut fruit at an appropriate temperature, then you won't have salmonella growing on it. How hard is that?
So instead of these restaurants which have sickened people with their unclean practices cowboying up and having a little tighter quality control, they'll make a big public show of stopping using tomatoes in their products, as if the tomato farmers they are crippling are to blame for sick customers.
Grow up. Wash your food. Clean your damned kitchens. Buy tomatoes and eat them-- they are good for you.
The sad thing about common sense is that there's nothing common about it any more. We'll sit with our asses snugly ensconced in our hellbound handbaskets and babble fits of righteous indignation about teacup tempests. Our lives are so insulated from real peril that we collectively have no ability to discern what are real crises and what are just the senseless events which simply will happen on occasion.
[Update - Hols informs me that she read that the salmonella was in the soil and thus the tomatoes are imbued with the pathogen, though only in the round and Roma varieties. Meh. There I go, half-cocked and full of bull. *snort*]