Manufactured Spinach

Bag of baby leaf spinach.
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
When I was a teenager, I worked on a truck farm. We didn't grow trucks; we grew produce that was trucked into the city for distribution. There were truck farms all over the country back then. If you went to a local grocery store in the summertime, you could rely on being able to purchase locally grown produce.

I'm reminded of those days because of the current E. coli outbreak. Spinach is being thrown off the shelves in states all over the country, and it comes from one company.

I know I sound old school, but it gives me the impression that the spinach has been manufactured, not grown. The spinach is packaged in California and sold under a number of different brand names. Presumably, this company will eventually figure out how its spinach got contaminated.

They say the mass marketing and centralization of the industry lowers costs to the consumer. But doesn't it make you long for the days when your food was grown nearby ... and didn't come in a plastic bag?

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
By Harry Smith