Sunday, October 26, 2008


October 26 2019

That's what Arch Angel's maman said on the phone. He's in the hospital in Montreal. He's has a tremor in his hand for a couple of weeks and his girlfriend finally convinced him to go to the doctor. At the hospital they sat down to write an endless list of foods he ate regularly and it was traced back to a brand of breakfast cereal he likes. They're doing testing, but the damage might be irreversible. Papa Pan is beside himself he's so angry and scared.

Who would poison breakfast cereal? I don't understand how this sort of thing can happen on such a large scale?

Next week is Halloween and my "kids" - all of them from the adult to the 12 year old LOVE Halloween. They're too old for me to use the "sugar fairy" on. (When they were little they could leave their candy for the fairies and get a toy in exchange) I can't control what they eat anymore and I'm terrified, what if some of this cheapo candy I know they'll eat is tainted?

I remember the day I stopped buying meat "from away". There'd been e-coli on spinach and listeria recalls scattered over the news for a few years at that point. Dog food killed dogs. Baby formula from China was found to contain toxins. My mom called and left a message that Costco chocolate coins were tainted with melamine. It was exactly the kind of thing we would have gotten "as a special treat" for Wild Thing because he was totally into playing pirates at the time. Well I hadn't bought any of those coins Thank God.

But the next time we were in Costco Papa Pan bought some expensive deli meat, I think it was some kind of Italian ham. We were at home a few days later and he fed me a piece while I was cutting garlic to add to spaghetti sauce. As I chewed I was overcome with this fear that it was toxic. I didn't know what was in it let alone the country the food came from. It was if the weight of the entire processed food distribution system came crashing down around me and I was terrified of meat I didn't know well enough to say "This cow grew up here in Nova Scotia". Recently it's been "This cow pastured in Baxter's Harbour and Lance not only raised it, he was there for the butchering and sold it directly to me with a smile"

Well now it's the entire processed food industry we need to be aware of. It isn't just things like meat and dairy. It's dry goods like pasta, breakfast cereal, and flour. It isn't a matter of reading ingedient lists, its a matter of being suspicious of everything we don't understand completely.

I don't understand processed food well enough to give it to my family anymore. Not with any sense of safety. I'm even afraid of the box of salt.

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