More American than apple pie

peanut-butter1

It’s been a rough start to the year in so many ways.  For better or worse, most of the developments have been somewhat predictable, based on what we knew when 2008 ended and 2009 began.

But you and I didn’t know what was happening at the Peanut Corporation of America.  CEO Stewart Parnell was clearly aware of the salmonella outbreak in P.C.A. products.  And, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration now grants full disclosure of the risks through its dedicated Peanut Product Recall site.

Investigative Reporter Diane Dimond opines that Parnell is guilty of giving no regard to the impact of his decisions.  In the case of the peanut, the fact that P.C.A. determined to “let loose” the tainted products to schools, nursing homes, and manufacturers was exacerbated by the inaction of the FDA.

While new cases of contamination are slowing, the damage has been done.  We now know that the outbreak has caused hundreds of sicknesses, is likely responsible for at least 9 deaths, and has a likelihood of lingering for another couple years.

It seems a good time for NPR to recall America’s love of peanut butter.  It is certainly ironic to note peanut butter’s beginnings as a health food in the 1890’s.  I prefer chunky to creamy myself and still find myself eating it almost every day.

As with all things, this will pass.  In the meantime, let’s assume that George Washington Carver is spinning in his grave somewhere.  After all, the 300+ uses he discovered for the peanut never included poison.

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~ by acm213 on February 28, 2009.

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