Sen. Florez of California needs an editor and a fact-checker

When I was about 13-year-old, my attempts at writing included starting sentences with, “Well, …”

At some point I received some direction from knowledgeable editors, and I read Strunk and White, The Elements of Style.

Sen. Dean Florez, D-Shafter (Kern County), the majority leader in the California state Senate wrote in the The San Francisco Chronicle yesterday that,

“Short of raising our own vegetables and meats, a worthy but impractical goal in a nation now more urban than rural, how can each of us ensure that what we eat is not only nutritious but safe?

"Well, we can begin by adopting the mantra of the Slow Food movement and make a habit of buying from our local farmers. … To make our food safer, we need to begin with the soil itself. We know that the modern factory farm is to blame for more and more virulent strains of microbes. All that corn and grain fed to cows have changed the chemistry in their guts, allowing harmless microbes to evolve into the deadly ones.”

Anyone raising their own food is equally capable of poisoning that food. Buying local does not mean safe. And to say that dangerous bacteria like E. coli O157:H7 evolved from factory farms and corn is to ignore science and hop on the most populist of bandwagons.


Sen. Florez also uses the ubiquitous “we” as in “We know …”

Who are these we? I wrote an entire book with a dude who I had to break of the “we” habit. And looks like I need to revisit my own rules about using “air fingers” or “dick quotes.”

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time