From the douchebag files

Some people are lawyers and specialize in rhetoric. It’s that Plato thing.

Some of us submit our opinions to cat scratching peer review, take our lumps and get better.

There’s this bunch of lawyers who say they’re Defending Food Safety.

Probably the worst blog name since Maple Leaf’s “Our Journey to Food Safety Leadership.”

One of them, Shawn Stevens ( wrote on Oct. 22/09 that each year, American families eat somewhere in the neighborhood of 328.5 Billion safe meals – and countless more safe snacks. While any illness or death linked to the consumption of food is one too many, the fact remains that (at three meals a day) you and I are 20 times more likely to die this year from pneumonia or drowning than from a food-borne illness. Although not perfect, the statistics are quite impressive.

As the Sloan song says

When you find you’re a conformer
Take pride and swallow whole

Stevens goes on to say,

As consumers, we are inundated by media “fear-mongering,” and made to believe that with each meal consumed, we draw closer to the precipice of some fathomless tragedy. We are also taught to be suspicious and wary of the people who have dedicated their lives to ensuring that our families are fed, and that our food is wholesome.

You see, food safety is a complicated and dynamic issue. It is easy to be a cynic. It is easy to attack others with the benefit of extended hindsight. It is easy to simplify things to a level that a third grader would find devoid in both substance and fact. The real challenge, however, lies in embracing a reasoned and proactive approach that not only recognizes the limits of technology and science, but, at the same time, within these limits, best reduces the risks most likely to occur to the greatest extent possible.

Dude, you just failed my intro class for most horrible and unsubstantiated metaphors.

But why not reference  our paper, Where does foodborne illness happen–in the home, at foodservice, or elsewhere — and does it matter? Because that would conflict with your world-view?

In any event, for those who continue to ignore science and reason, who contend that food safety is the responsibility of food producers alone, and who wrongly proclaim that food safety is only as simple as “not eating poop,” I say this: given the statistics, what goes into one mouth is often far less harmful than what comes out of another.

I e-mailed the lawyer in question on Friday about the don’t eat poop line, and he decided not to answer. Seriously I don’t want to know what is coming out of his mouth.


Food safety infomercials still suck

I got up at 4:45 a.m. Sunday.

Just habit, how I roll, watching No Country for Old Men in the background, which really does improve with repeated viewings, like most Coen brothers movies.

While scouring the Internet I came across probably the worst infomercial ever. Bill Marler, your competition ain’t going to be knocking down the doors any time soon.

This Florida law firm has its own Internet infomercial. I’m thinking Dan Ackroyd selling a Bass-o-matic.

“What kind of bacteria do you hear about?

The most common is the E. coli virus.

The E. coli virus was linked to Taco Bell shredded lettuce …

Another bacteria that can cause foodborne illness is the salmonella virus.”

Douche alert: Lawyer host — even I got my hair cut. And telling viewers to “shop at places with reputable reputations” is not a real mastery of the English language.