Being Crunchy Isn’t Good Enough

Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead. – Adele

Romaine, I thought I knew you. I thought we would be together forever. But now you’ve gone and broken my heart. I feel like I’m living an Adele song.

Why is my heart broken? The other day, I saw something on Facebook that took my breath away, and not in a good way. Stop eating Romaine lettuce, it said. Every day I see things on Facebook that I should or shouldn’t do. I mostly ignore them because, well, Facebook. But this particular post caught my eye for two reasons: 1) It was posted by a friend whom I trust and who rarely posts anything on Facebook, much less warnings; and 2) It was a warning that came from Consumer Reports. If you can’t trust Consumer Reports, then who can you trust? I mean, really.

Nevertheless, I double-checked because that’s how I roll. My research indicated that Snopes confirmed it and the New York Times added its warning as well. Dang.

Romaine lettuce is believed to have caused a several deaths from E. Coli in Canada and the U.S. Several more folks have been sickened, apparently from eating Romaine lettuce. And here we always worried about the raw egg in the Caesar salad.

Salads – most made with romaine lettuce – are my go-to vegetable. I like most vegetables. I can scarcely think of one I heartily dislike. But Bill doesn’t like many vegetables. However, he will eat salad. Caesar salad. Greek salad. Both made with romaine lettuce.

Why couldn’t it be beets? I could easily live the rest of my life without eating a beet. Or maybe cauliflower. Cauliflower is a perfectly edible vegetable, but I wouldn’t miss it as long as there are still Brussel sprouts. Or that it isn’t made by my sister Jen, who does this wonderful thing with cauliflower, cheese and cream. Mmmmm…. But I digress.

And why doesn’t it seem to be all kinds of lettuce? Oh, they kind of toss out the whole leafy green term, but they really do pick on romaine lettuce. I don’t want to think too much about what is causing romaine to carry E. Coli, but why doesn’t it seem to be true of something I really could easily live without, i.e. KALE? I could live without Kale. For a really long time.

I walked over to my neighborhood grocery store yesterday to buy some things for dinner. Not romaine lettuce, however. I can’t eat romaine lettuce. But apparently the news hasn’t reached Arizona grocery stores, because they are happily offering romaine lettuce…..

And, of course, I planted my own lettuce which I’m certain doesn’t have E. Coli…..

Neither Arizona nor Colorado is listed as a state in which people have gotten E. Coli from romaine lettuce. Still, right next door to Colorado is Nebraska, and they drew the short straw, along with California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont, and Washington.

As for Bill, he isn’t going to be heartbroken when I explain to him that he doesn’t have to eat his vegetables until Consumer Reports gives the all-clear sign.