Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Total Recall

Last week, around 9 pm, I received a text from my friend, neighbor, and fellow mommy Janalle.  "In case you are using formula, certain Simulac has been recalled."  

I had just started giving The Sprout a bottle of formula a day just 2 weeks before in preparation for a trip to Puerto Rico in October.  I wanted her to get used to the formula in the bottle before going out of town, and organic Simulac was the brand I decided to go with.  Within minutes of receiving that text I was online typing in the product number of the formula.  

I thought to myself..."Surely their organic product is not contaminated..." but alas, I was wrong.  In big red letters the website told me that their organic formula had been recalled and that I needed to discontinue use immediately.  My heart sank. I felt sick to my stomach.  Guilt swept over me.  My poor baby had been drinking something that could have made her ill. I felt like a failure in a small way.

A factory in Michigan that made the formula had been infested with beetles and 5 million containers of formula were being recalled because they had bug parts and larvae in them, which when ingested could irritate an infants GI track.  It is a mother's nightmare to know that they had been giving their child something that could harm them.  Nightmare.

How does a factory that produces food for infants become infested with beetles?  How the hell did 5 million containers of formula hit the shelves before this infestation was even noticed?  What the hell does this say about the FDA and government health inspectors?  You would think that corporations feeding our nations most vulnerable citizens would be held to a far higher standard.

I began to think about the employee that found the infestation.  It must have been a terrifying experience, because for there to be enough bugs to contaminate such a huge number of products there must have been millions of bugs crawling all over that factory.

I thought this week I would make a list of all the food recalls that have occured in the USA this year alone.  Then I started to research and realized that for me to list all the food that has been recalled within the past 8 months would take me ages.  It is shocking.  There are recalls of food here in the USA every week it seems.  I will list a few just to give you an idea:

8/7/2120: Valley Meat recalls approx. 1 million lbs of frozen ground beef patties and bulk ground beef products for possible E. coli contamination.

7/20/2010: Perdue Farms recalls approx. 91,872 lbs of frozen chicken nugget products that may contain foreign materials. (what the hell does that mean?  Are they riddled with Italian leather or something? You would be surprised how may recalls I found have to do with "foreign materials" in our food.)

6/18/2010:  Campbell Soup Supply Company is recalling 15 million lbs of SpaghettiOs with Meatballs due to under-processing CLASS 1 RECALL, HEALTH RISK HIGH

5/15/2010: Sampco Inc is recalling 87,000 lbs of beef due to animal drug contaminant - a deworming drug called Ivermectin

Do you notice a trend?  Almost all of the recalls have to do with meat.  What is most shocking to me is how under reported this information is...I mean 15 million lbs of SpaghettiO's with meatballs...a class 1 recall. Didn't hear a word about it...and it is a food marketed to children.

This just validates how as a nation we need to support our local farmers, people who cherish the food they raise and grow, rather than buying our food from heartless factory farms.  Join the Slow Food Movement, hit up your farmers markets, buy local.  

If you want to know more about recalls check out
or if you just want to freak yourself out next time you are looking at the rows of raw meat at the grocery store the weekly recall updates will surely do the trick.

1 comment:

heather said...

dude...that's the exact formula we use too. Organic similac. and i just checked our lot # on our 2 boxes and our lot number is affected...fucking freaky