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Why Do People Worry About Eating Raw Meat But Not Raw Plants?

A question similar to this one came in and it has an implication that is incorrect. Some of the answers reflected this error. The point of the question has to do with why it is healthy to eat raw plants, but it isn’t healthy to eat raw meat.

Keying on the operative word, ‘raw’, since meat comes from animals, it may contain bacteria and parasites that are transferrable to man. Cooking normally kills these. Although a lot of people eat Sashimi, meat is normally cooked, but “worry” is probably not accurate. Most people don’t really think about the health aspects when they cook the meat they consume.

Looking at the broader picture, though, people can also get illnesses from plants. Most often, this is because of E. coli bacteria, though not exclusively. I can’t remember an entire year going by in the past decade when there hasn’t been one and usually several massive recalls due to tainted vegetables or fruits. This occurs far more frequently than recalls of meat, though many people aren’t aware of it.

In fact, in January of this year, there was a major E. coli outbreak in several states and Canadian provinces relating to romaine lettuce.

As of October 25 of this year, North Bay Produce issued a voluntary recall of over 2,000 cases of McIntosh, Honeycrisp, Jonathan, Fuji, Jonamac, and Red Delicious apples, because they may be contaminated by a different organism; Listeria monocylogenes. These apples had been in markets in Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin. The apples had been on the market since early October.

In September, General Mills recalled a large amount of Gold Medal™ All-Purpose Unbleached flour due to E. coli contamination.

The point is that plant products can be dangerous, too. What’s more, the USDA and FDA closely monitor meat and meat products in the US to prevent illnesses from ever occurring. However, they often don’t know that there is an issue with plant crops until a large number of people have already eaten the contaminated produce.

  • Question of

    Do you try to stay informed regarding recalls of fruits and vegetables?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you try to stay informed regarding recalls of fruits and vegetables and other foods?

    • Yes
    • No

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Written by Rex Trulove

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