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Spinach Warnings Lead to Unprecedented Rise in Spinach Blogging

Technorati SpinachSpinach blogging soared over the weekend thanks to the warnings from the FDA that fresh spinach products contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 has been making people sick. One person has died and over a hundred people have fallen ill. Some people sickened by the E. coli have developed a a form of kidney failure called HUS. Spinach blog posts soared over the weekend with about 2,000 posts on Sunday according to Technorati. The graph on the right shows the pattern of spinach-related blog posts over the past 360 days. Normally the number of spinach blog posts ranges from about 200 to 400 daily according to Technorati -- who knew there were that many? But you can see the big spike in posts related to the recent spinach scare on the chart. Here are some highlights about spinach and the E. coli outbreak from bloggers.

  • Accidental Hedonist has posted a faq about the spinach-related E. coli outbreak.
  • Engadget points to futuristic devices like the nanotech napkin and the e-nose that may one day help people identify dangerous bacteria.
  • Veggin Out: "Some grocery stores are pulling spinach off their shelves, but others probably aren't aware of this FDA alert, so you might want to mention it to the produce manager if you're at the store."
  • The Velvet Blog finds a relevant New Yorker cartoon.
  • Annys Shin runs a blog called The Checkout for the Washington Post. Over the weekend a restaurant would not make a sandwich for her editor. "Over the weekend, my editor Kathy tried ordering a sandwich that normally had spinach in it. Rather than make the sandwich without spinach, the restaurant refused to make it at all."
  • The Houstonist is blogging about a truck driver who was allegedly dumping his truck's load of fresh bagged spinach into the San Bernard River.
  • Some bloggers want spinach even more now. Lime writes, "Ever since spinach became Public Enemy No. 1, I feel kind of like Popeye: I want as much spinach as I can get."
  • The fresh spinach products also get distributed to Canada and Mexico.
  • We Like it Raw blogs that organic spinach appears to be in the clear so far. "So far organic spinach looks like its in the clear. We'd probably get sued if we told you to eat it, so we won't. Rather, use your judgment and stay safe." A post on Enviroblog also cites news from Earthbound Farm that "no organic products of any kind" have been linked to the outbreak. But Earthbound Farms is still advising consumers to heed the FDA's warnings. The FDA has dismissed news that organic products are in the clear according to the Associated Press.
  • The Loom explains why tainted spinach and antibiotics are a bad match.
  • Daily Kos is blogging about the subject of factory farm manure.
  • Treadwatch blogs about how companies are using Google Adwords during the spinach crisis. You can see the companies advertising if you search Google for spinach. Blogger Steve Rubel is also covering the spinach situation. He talks about Dole placing Google ads in his post titled, Spinach Needs a Blog.
  • Where the Antelope Roam is discussing bioterrorism: "The latest spinach problem is probably explainable and they will find the source, but it always makes one think about bio-terrorism. In Oregon, we had a group who had settled in a community in the northeastern part of the state. (this was years ago) They actually went into local supermarkets and infected the food. That incident was considered a bio-terrorist act."
  • Modern Commentaries: "I know there's all that stuff about obesity going around, and it's a good idea to eat healthy and eating salads is a good way to do that. But E.coli is a nasty disease that can kill you."
  • Cookin' in the 'Cuse: "The thing about this food safety scare is that the media don't seem to be raising the issue of the vulnerability to our food supply when it is so largely centralized. Despite the nice photos on websites depicting family farms, the majority of conventional and organic bagged spinach sold in this country is produced in California and Mexico--which is pretty odd when you think of how well spinach does when there is a little chill in the air."
  • Official Information: The latest statement from the FDA can be found here. For FDA updates check the homepage or the alerts section. There is also this helpful page which contains only the spinach-related alerts. The CDC has also set up special page about the e.coli outbreak. (via Health News Blog)
  • A spinach blog roundup simply must end with lyrics from Popeye:
    I'm Popeye the sailor man
    Popeye the sailor man
    I'm strong to the finish 'cause I eats me spinach
    I'm Popeye the sailor man
    Just be sure and wait until the E. coli outbreak is declared officially over or you might not be feeling quite like Popeye after you eats u spinach. It probably won't be very easy to find fresh spinach in stores for a while anyway.


  • Posted on September 18, 2006











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