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I was recently reading an article in SELF magazine about recent health scares resulting from contaminated food. The article highlighted the experience of Jenelle Dorner, 32, a woman who has suffered the extreme results of bacteria-laden chicken 14 years ago. Today, the Bloomington, IN woman has developed a condition called gastroparesis, where the food she eats is not able to get to her intestines to be digested. She can only eat her "food" through an IV.
Obviously, Dorner's case is an extreme one, but it makes me feel so icky about the foods we put into our bodies. How can eating become a harmful activity? It doesn't seem like something so delicious could bring with it so much doubt.
But can we worry too much? I looked at some of the comments that followed the SELF magazine article, and several readers felt that we are going into a frenzy with food fears. One reader wrote: "Food hysteria has gotten out of control. We can't be scared of EVERYTHING."
I don't think we should be scared. But I do think this article points to an issue that we cannot ignore. Remember the salmonella-infested tomatoes and jalapenos of this past summer?
And what about the speculation that actor John Travolta's son's death was possibly related to a condition caused by chemical exposure? No, it's not food-related, but it does make you think about what we are putting into our environment—food included—and how it affects our health.
I'm curious: Do recent outbreaks of food borne illnesses make you worry about what you are eating?