It’s funny how something simple, like getting food poisoning, can really make you change your perspective on what you eat.
Our diets are what some folks would call restricted.
No eggs (ok I sneak hard boiled eggs when kiddo isn’t looking. I love those stupid things and I am not allergic like he is)
With these restrictions I read labels religiously and often do my own baking. I more often than not cook/ prepare all our meals but snacks and lunches I sometimes grab store prepared pico or salads.
Until this week anyway.
Wednesday out of nowhere my youngest (almost 3) got this strange look on his face and exorcist-style projectile vomited all over both of us. Holy hell. I cleaned us up changed everyone’s clothes and got him a drink of water…only to have the whole thing repeated. Shortly after that I started feeling “off” and pretty much like I had a fire burning in my stomach. Not cool. The day went downhill from there.
Moms can tell you nothing sucks more than taking car of a vomiting child when you are sick yourself. He bounced back within 24 hours it took me a full 48 and three days later my stomach still doesn’t completely trust me.
I know it wasn’t a virus as it came on fast and went away pretty quick as well. Plus nobody else in our house got sick. So I started looking at what we ate that nobody else did.
Now guacamole is one of those stupid easy things to make but it is even easier to just grab from Whole Foods. That and pico I buy fairly regularly. Add some organic tortilla chips and you have an easy lunch or snack that is toddler friendly and healthy.
Unless if course it makes you sick.
It really has me distrustful of food prepared by anyone but myself. Were hands and utensils clean? Work surfaces sanitized? Was just one ingredient contaminated or was the finished product improperly stored? There isn’t any way to find out.
Yesterday we went to the Denver County Fair which was super fun (and ok gotta brag…little guy won a blue ribbon for the veggies he grew). We stopped for lunch at one of the vendor booths because she offered gluten and dairy free food. She had nachos with cashew ‘cheese’ I was pretty excited about that.
Until we sat down to eat.
The cheese was room temperature. I noticed her touch the outside of her crockpot when she was serving. She knew it too but served it anyway. It was $6 it tasted good and had enough jalapeños that I hoped would somehow kill any bacteria or whatever may have sprouted in the not hot temps. We survived without incident but it bothered me in other ways.
The food industry is run by people. Even looking past the horrors of WHERE a lot of food comes from…
In humane practices
The storage and preparation of what we eat really comes into question. Humans are lazy creatures who sometimes don’t take into consideration what cutting corners or not following basic health codes could do to a consumer. I think most people would be horrified to discover not washing their knife or cutting board sickened a child. I also think things like that don’t really occur to them when they don’t follow basic guidelines or go ahead and serve things they know better than serving.
As consumers we really eat at our own risk. I’d bet 99% of contaminated food isn’t intentional it’s pure human error. How much are you willing to gamble on how safe what you are eating is?
You can eat “healthy” and organic all day LNG and still get food poisoning for contamination.
For now I am gonna improve my personal odds and wash and prepare everything myself. I am going to extra thankful for the meat hubby put in our freezer and the vegetables from my garden.
Convenience foods are not convenient if they make you sick.