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Posts Tagged ‘vegetables’

Sprouts to Blame for E. Coli Outbreak

June 10, 2011 Comments off

medpagetoday

Despite no positive findings of Escherichia coli on sampled produce, German officials have determined that bean sprouts are the source of the deadliest outbreak in recent European history.

“It’s possible to narrow it down. It’s the sprouts. However, it’s not yet been possible to detect the pathogen on this product,” said Reinhard Burger, chief of Germany’s national disease control center, during a press conference in Berlin on Friday.

Burger said that the pattern of the outbreak, which has sickened 3,082 and killed 31, has led them to conclude that the source of E. coli is an organic farm in Bienenbuettel, Germany, which is about 70 miles south of Hamburg, the epicenter of the outbreak.

It is possible that no traces of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) will ever be linked to the outbreak, as most of the suspected sprouts have been consumed or thrown into the garbage after spoiling, German officials said. However, the hunt for the bacterium is not over.

“Of the 18 samples taken [from the organic farm], eight Read more…

In U.S., Salmonella Is On the Rise While E. Coli Retreats

June 7, 2011 Comments off

usnews

TUESDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) — As a deadly new strain of E. coli in Europe makes headlines, U.S. health officials announced Tuesday that salmonella, not E. coli, remains the biggest foodborne health threat to Americans.

Click here to find out more!

In fact, while rates of several types of foodborne illness — including E. coli — have been falling over the past 15 years, there’s been no progress against salmonella infections, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While infections from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157 (the strain of most concern in the United States) have dropped almost in half and the rates of six other foodborne infections have been cut 23 percent, salmonella infections have risen 10 percent, the agency said.

“There are about 50 million people each year who become sick from food in the U.S. That’s about one in six Americans,” CDC director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden said during a noon press conference Tuesday.

In addition, about 128,000 people are Read more…

Drought worsens fears of inflation

May 31, 2011 Comments off

peopledaily.com

A rare drought that has wreaked havoc in central and southern China is expected to send grain prices soaring as experts predict the worst disaster of its kind in 50 years could offset the government’s efforts to curb inflation and threaten its annual CPI target of 4 percent.

Five provinces in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River – Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Anhui and Jiangsu, a major grain-producing region – have suffered the most serious drought in decades.

The drought had affected 34.8 million people, over one million livestock, and 3.7 million hectares of farmland as of Friday, causing direct economic losses of 14.9 billion yuan ($2.3 billion), the Ministry of Civil Affairs said.

As farmers struggled to find new water sources for their crops, many fishing boats found themselves grounded as the river and lakes shrank, and residents in the region found the prices of vegetables, rice and aquatic products rising.

“Prices of some fruit and vegetables have increased to 6 yuan per kilogram on Tuesday from 3.6 yuan last week,” Jin Zhengsheng, 50, a resident of Kunshan, Jiangsu Province, told the Global Times.

Huang Xianyin, 41, a villager from Xinjian county, Jiangxi Province, also noticed the hikes.

“It’s not only vegetables. Read more…

EU ministers scramble to deal with cucumber crisis

May 30, 2011 Comments off

expatica

EU agricultural ministers Monday struggled to come to terms with a deadly bacteria outbreak suspected of stemming from contaminated cucumbers that has already killed 12 in Germany.

“One problem with Spanish cucumbers, and all of Europe is trembling,” Belgium’s minister Sabine Laruelle said on the sidelines of an informal meeting in Debrecen, eastern Hungary.

At least 12 people have died in Germany following an outbreak of enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) found on imported cucumbers.

And several hundred more are being treated in hospitals for the highly virulent strain of bacteria, which can result in full-blown haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), a disease that causes bloody diarrhoea and serious liver damage and which can result in death.

Around Europe, other cases — real or suspected — have been reported in Denmark, Sweden, Britain, the Netherlands, Austria, France and Switzerland, all of them apparently stemming from Germany.

Dutch agriculture minister Henk Bleker said Read more…

Stink bugs hit fruits, vegetables, field crops, also go into houses

April 14, 2011 1 comment
Lansing, Mich. —

A female version of the brown marmorated stink bug.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) reported the coming of Asian stink bugs in January, and a report Monday morning said they are confirmed in Ingham, Eaton, Genessee and Berrien counties.

They do not bite or sting, but well, they do stink.

And, as is a big concern to the MDA and producers, they ruin fruit and other crops.

“Exotic pests such as the brown marmorated stink bug pose a serious threat to the economic health of Michigan’s $71.3 billion agri-food industry and our 53,000 farmers,” said Keith Creagh, MDA director. “MDA and Michigan State University researchers will work in concert to both identify control recommendations for our agriculture community, as well as monitor this pest’s spread in the state.”

For those who like to get technical, they are the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) or Halyomorpha halys (Stål).

The complete story appears in the Tuesday, April 12, 2011 edition and is available at coldwaterdailyreporter.mi.newsmemory.com.Report Asian stink bugs

BMSB superficially resembles several common species of stink bug native to Michigan. To distinguish them from other stink bugs, look for lighter bands on the antennae and darker bands on the membranous, overlapping part at the rear of the front pair of wings. They have patches of coppery or bluish-metallic colored punctures (small rounded depressions) on the head and pronotum. Those who believe they may have the pest should contact the local Michigan State University Extension office at (517) 279-4311.

For more information on brown marmorated stink bug, one can visit http://www.michigan.gov/mda.

Food prices to skyrocket, riots could follow, suggests USDA

March 2, 2011 Comments off

http://www.naturalnews.com/031545_USDA_food_prices.html

(NaturalNews) When the upswing in commodity prices eventually makes its way throughout the food system in mid-to-late 2011, food prices are sure to spike with levels potentially reaching those of 2008, announced U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) economist Ephraim Leibtag at the agency’s annual Outlook Forum. And if conditions escalate rapidly, there is also the potential for food riots and other civil unrest.

The USDA is predicting a 3.5 percent increase in food prices in 2011, which is about twice the overall inflation rate but less than the 2008 increase, according to a recent Reuters report. In 2008, food prices rose 5.5 percent, which represents the highest increase since 1990. But the possibility of food prices dramatically rising in 2011 like they did in 2008 is a definite possibility.

“Given that it’s still earlier in the year, I’m prone to be conservative on the side of the forecast,” said Leibtag. “It’s a possibility,” he added, concerning the likelihood of massive inflation in Read more…

Mexico’s Big Freeze – 80-100% of Crops Damaged, Expect Shortages and Higher Prices

February 11, 2011 1 comment

Kevin Hayden

I received an email from a reader regarding Mexico’s freeze damage over the last few weeks.  In summary, large-scale producers of foods, such as Sysco, have sent out emails to major vendors explaining that there might be shortages of row crop foods due to freezing temperatures that hit Mexico.  It goes on to say that Florida is normally the ‘Plan B’ as they grow many of the same varieties, but they’ve been hit hard by freezes as well and have lost most of their orange orchards.

It also details that expected shortages could be counted on 30-60 days from now and that Mexican farmers are still unsure of their next step – do they they try and quickly replant, hoping for a late March-April yield?  Or disc the fields and wait?  Other information coming in states that many of these crops have doubled, tripled or even quadrupled in price.  For example, a carton of tomatoes went from $6.95 all the way up to $22.95 in one week.  And that’s just one example!

This WILL affect your food cost and supply.  If you’re not going to your local farmer’s market, now is the time to make friends and Read more…