Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Food Safety

Preamble: I studied biology and microbiology as an undergrad, I work in medical research, I'm studying for my Master's in (basically) FDA regulations, and I am a BIG nerd.

Okay, kids - in case you live under a rock, I wanted to tell you that there's a recall on ground turkey. To be honest, the FDA is almost recalling a sort of food (for all sorts of reasons) and as food bloggers, it might be a good idea to check their website from time to time: FDA News. The news is generally pretty good about sharing details, but to get the story into the time limit, often details are left out.

In the ground turkey example, I heard on the news that ground turkey was being recalled due to antibiotic-resistant salmonella. The report didn't give company details, product timing details, anything like that. Easy to believe that this could cause panic - which is what usually happens when there's Mad Cow - people get confused, overreact, and the cattle industry crumbles. Now - foodbourne disease is NOT a joking matter, but just be sure to educate yourself about the brands and times affected in these recalls. I happened to have some ground turkey in my fridge that I was using for enchiladas last night. I looked it up online, it was a different brand, and it was packaged outside of the recall timing. Plus - it was still within the "use by" date. And then I opened the package. People - smell your food. Even though this was perfectly safe to eat - it smelled funky as all get out. Completely unrelated to the recall. Antibiotic-resistant and heat-resistant bacterium are on the rise.

So - my two-fold message: knowledge is power (research your food!) and cook your food thoroughly. But if your food smells funny, heat won't really help. Curdled milk, turned meat, anything with mold... these aren't really safe to eat, even without a recall. Be aware and be safe out there! I smelled the meat, threw it out, and went and got new meat. And then the enchiladas were amazing.

Blog that ish!

I've been having some writer's block issues. Not just here - but on my school papers, too. It's a problem. But I have been cooking. And now I have a back-log of recipes to post, especially since I realized today that I haven't posted a recipe since spring... and now it's almost fall. What a tragedy!! I'm working on it! I probably won't get caught up this month (due to 2 papers being due), but once I get into the swing of classes, I'm hoping I can keep up. If nothing else, I will learn to post without a witty story and just a recipe - but that's sort of boring... so maybe just learn to create shorter stories.

I have this rambling problem, see? But I'm going to tell a little story that I'm going to learn from. Once upon a time, I went to a movie with my bestie. Now, at movies they have started to show commercials mixed with the previews. It's horrible. But we saw a commercial, and to be honest I don't even remember what the commercial was about. But basically, some PR person set up two "Hollywood" personalities - they were given a place to live, a car to drive, new phones, and basically saying that their whole lives were a set-up. On the new phones, she told them that they had to "twitter" now - the helpless man-celebrity said "But I don't know how to tweet!" and PR lady responded "That right there? That's a tweet! Tweet that sh*t!" We still laugh about it. And we have no idea what the commercial was about. Advertising at it's finest, folks! Money well-spent...

What's the lesson? Why am I tell you about a pointless commercial where I only remember the punchline? That's a blog post. Blog that sh*t. It's a new level to "This is SO going in my blog!!"

I have writer's block. That's a blog. I'm working on finding the story (the "blog" if you will) in the everyday events. I don't have to write about big stuff, and I am trying to post about the little stuff, too (like, I made pancakes!). 

As a distraction (because I'm having technical issues with posting my recipes...) here are some photos of my weekend trip to Pullman, WA where I watched the Cougs trounce UNLV, and where we had a strict curfew because our sleeping arrangements were confounded by RVs.  

Cougar Football - 'MERICA!!

Giving a newborn baby to a wild animal... seems legit.

This was under construction when I graduated - looks nice now.


Sunset with a polarizer filter...

Stir crazy on the Butte

Trying to make curfew

Driving by the beautiful fields

Just barely made it!