With all the talk of E. coli in the news, this week I figured I would focus on the health aspect of reducing meat consumption.  Because E. coli is a bacteria that lives in the intestines of animals, it’s safe to say that spinach contaminated by cow poo, most likely from a factory farm, is the ultimate culprit.  An excerpt from the cdc.gov website is below.  I have included additional information on other heath issues caused by meat production. 

In other news, this week, one of our fellow "Veg-4-a-Day" folks has moved on to greener pastures…Hot-Lanta!  Have a safe drive Ziffer!  I bet you’ll be able to find some good vegetarian options while traveling.   The recipe this week is Peppery Artichoke Pitas and, I’m kicking some ass at fantasy football.   Also, World Vegetarian Day is October 1st, just thought you’d like to mark it on your calendar so you could tell your friends!



Excerpt from the CDC.gov website on E. coli

"The organism can be found on a small number of cattle farms and can live in the intestines of healthy cattle. Meat can become contaminated during slaughter, and organisms can be thoroughly mixed into beef when it is ground. Bacteria present on the cow’s udders or on equipment may get into raw milk.

Eating meat, especially ground beef, that has not been cooked sufficiently to kill E. coli O157:H7 can cause infection. Contaminated meat looks and smells normal. Although the number of organisms required to cause disease is not known, it is suspected to be very small. "




-          The USDA estimates that 70% of all foodborne illnesses in the can be traced to contaminated meat.


-          In 1996, the USDA collected ground beef samples from meat processing plants around the and determined that 7.5% of these beef samples were contaminated with Salmonella, 11.7% were contaminated with Listeria monocytogens, 30% were contaminated with Staphylococcus Aureus, and 53.3% were contaminated with Clostridium perfringens.


-          A 1998 study conducted by Consumer Reports revealed that 71% of store-bought chicken were contaminated with Campylobacter and/or Salmonella.


-          The largest meat recall in history (27.4 million pounds of poultry) occurred in 2002, after an outbreak of listeriosis killed 20 people and sickened 120 others.


-          Meat from pasture-raised animals is lower in calories and "bad" omega-6 fats and contains more of the "good" omega-3 and CLA fats that help fight disease and promote good health.


-          Free-range chickens have 21% less total fat, 30% less saturated fat and 28% fewer calories than their factory-farmed counterparts.


-          Eggs from poultry raised sustainably on pasture have 10% less fat, 40% more vitamin A and 400% more omega-3’s.


-          The USDA estimates that between 1970 and 2000, average daily calorie intake in the increased by 24.5%, or about 530 calories.




This Weeks Recipe- Peppery Artichoke Pitas (good for lunch)


Peppery Artichoke Pitas

Makes 6 servings 

Start to Finish: 20 minutes  


  • 1 15-ounce can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 13-3/4- to 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and cut up
  • 1/2 cup torn mixed salad greens
  • 1/4 cup bottled creamy garlic salad dressing
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 3 pita bread rounds, halved crosswise
  • 1 small tomato, sliced  


1. In a medium bowl combine black-eyed peas, artichoke hearts, mixed greens, salad dressing, and pepper. Line pita bread halves with tomato slices. Spoon artichoke mixture into pita bread halves. Makes 6 servings.

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