Local equals safe – with some exceptions

Fluid leaking from a garbage truck in the streets of Tularosa, New Mexico, tested positive for E. coli a few days ago.

The vehicle was inspected after residents noticed the leak.

Tularosa Mayor Ray Córdova then inspected the vehicle and smelled something extremely foul coming from it.  That’s when he told residents to take samples of the fluid so he could send it off to a lab for testing.

Those tests came back positive for the E. coli bacteria…

On Thursday Alamo Disposal owner Art Cardiel said the leak came from a crack in the truck.  However he also said believes the E. coli is coming from the bacteria in people’s trash and not the truck itself.

"In this area, a lot of people grow their own fruit because there’s a lot of water," Cardiel said.  "Now how am I supposed to have any control over what I put in my truck that comes out of their trash cans?"

The owner of the company, Alamo Disposal, has been given 10 days to fix the leak.

In the meantime, this fluid can continue to leak into people’s gardens, contaminating produce – “fresh and local” produce.

Local producers tend to be more careful because it is often their own families, friends and neighbors who will eat the produce.

Be on the safe side, stock up now on local tomatoes, peppers and other fresh produce and preserve them for the winter.

Be on the safe side? Really? What if there’s a truck with E. coli-contaminated fluids leaking around?


Fairmont Hotels & Resorts to go green via local food sources

According to the Nation’s Restaurant News, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is the latest hotel and food operation to jump on the locally grown/organic bandwagon. 

North America’s largest luxury hotel company, perhaps best know for its Lake Louise and Banff properties, announced Aug.22 that it would revamp all of its menus by the fall to incorporate locally grown, sustainable or organic ingredients "wherever possible."

Serge Simard, vice president of food and beverage for the chain, was quoted as saying, "Our guests are very savvy, experienced diners, and they also are becoming more conscious of how their consumer choices affect the planet."

Fairmont indicated that it would complement the menu overhaul with the adoption of programs like inviting guests to visit the farms where their hotel’s food was grown, or accompanying chefs on shopping trips to local green markets.

Here’s hoping Fairmont’s savvy diners take this opportunity to ask the hotel’s producers and retailers what practices they’ve adopted not only to reduce their environmental footprint, but also, to reduce the risk of foodborne illness — don’t eat poop.