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Petrified Or Paranoid?

Jim Prevor’s Perishable Pundit, January 25, 2007

The Mercury News is headquartered in San Jose, not all that far from Salinas. They have a columnist named Kim Boatman who has a bit of a problem:

Tempted by a spinach salad heaped with goodies at a local pizzeria the other night, I succumbed. Eating your veggies shouldn’t feel akin to bungee-jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, but I felt a little giddy with the risk, real or imagined.

The Pundit is tempted to say she needs to see a psychiatrist since irrational fear is an illness. Even during the actual week or two the tainted product was in the market, the odds of getting seriously ill from spinach was infinitesimal.

Yet this columnist claims her children are literally petrified:

“Anything green will kill me,” my 9-year-old announced last week, staring suspiciously at a lovely salad of mixed greens, mandarin orange segments, walnut halves and crumbled blue cheese. Normally, I’d dismiss his suspicions as a bit of what passes for dinner theater at my house, but I understood how he feels.

The columnist is asking her readers:

“…I wonder if Home Plates readers are eating bagged spinach again. Is your confidence restored? Do you eat and worry? Are you carefree? Or are you simply cooking with spinach instead?”

The question for the industry is how many consumers are still holding back on purchasing spinach? And what are they substituting? And how long will this effect last?

The fact that the industry still doesn’t have a plan in place and that the issue keeps coming up in the papers doesn’t speed the process along.

You can read her column here.

She is asking for recipes and reassurance. Maybe whoever does the cooking in the households of some spinach farmers might want to reassure her about eating spinach and send along some choice recipes to boot.

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