Through our audio stories, videos and photos, we’ve shared the answers to these questions, but to tell you the truth, there’s often much more to tell.
Not castoffs on the cutting room floor. I’m thinking about the extra interviews we couldn’t squeeze in or the angle that went in a whole new direction.
I usually save those tidbits for later, you never know when you’ll need it. Now, we’re giving our excess a chance at the spotlight in a weekly package deal just for you: our new 8-minute podcast Field Notes. Field Notes is our opportunity to dig even deeper into our coverage or explore nuances that our audience brings to our attention.
As host for Field Notes, I’ll interview authors, create new stories from the field, literally, and once in awhile, I’ll invite other Harvest reporters to revisit and update their reporting.
This week, I bring you the issue of food safety from an angle Harvest hasn’t visited before. The new law makes tracing contaminated food back to where it became unsafe--easier, or, in the least, the law will make this a more organized process. For starters, the FDA now has the authority to demand an immediate recall of any product it suspects to be unsafe. Before, they could only gently nudge the industry in that direction.
We have luxuriously safe food in this country. Though, sometimes the way food is processed, packaged and shipped leaves the spinach leaf, salsa or peanut butter wide open for contamination. We, as consumers, seldom see this happen -- unless we do ourselves in... owners of unwashed raw chicken hands, I’m looking at you.
I reported on food safety in December when the new regulation was being debated in Congress. You can find my story on the legislation’s Tester-Hagan amendment here. This congressional footnote exempted some small farmers from the major food safety overhaul.
Check out this video in which McEntire explains how to safely prepare a meal that could fall victim to cross contamination.
But in this first episode of Field Notes, I wanted to talk food traceability. An area that most in Congress agreed needed an upgrade. I enlisted the help of Jennifer McEntire from the Institute for Food Technologists. She’s been fascinated with the science of food since she was a high school grad, and this interest led from studies to the intersection of science and politics right in the thick of influence in Washington, D.C. Her organization helped shape the policy that eventually made its way into the new law. McEntire’s a foodie, but not the type you would expect.
I hope you enjoy the debut of Field Notes. We’ll have a new episode every Friday and let us know what you think, too. Email us at email@example.com.