Some Things You Should Know About Lettuce and Avocados

This won't take long, but I just wanted to turn your attention to two stories we ran in Heated that shed some interesting (somewhat concerning) light on two beloved vegetables: lettuce and avocados. I find stories like this fascinating and important even when they're obscure, but when they have to do with ingredients that we use all the time, I can't help but share them.

Anyway, the first story, from Lisa Rab, is about E. coli in lettuce. As you might remember, there was an outbreak (romaine) just before Thanksgiving, and it wasn't a freak occurrence (there have been four in the past two years). E. coli are deadly bacteria that live in the guts of cows, but as it turns out, the FDA doesn't have the authority to collect samples from factory farms (often the source of these outbreaks) without the owner's permission. This is totally insane, and Lisa explains why.

The second story, from Jen Karetnick, might hit close to home for those of us obsessed with Haas avocados (the ubiquitous kind that's grown in California and shipped to grocery stores all over the country). As Jen points out, Americans are consuming these avocados at an unsustainable rate, especially considering the droughts and wildfires that can hinder agricultural production in California. There is somewhere we can (should) turn, though, if we're willing to give it a chance. There's a case to be made for far-less-popular Florida avocados, and Jen makes it below.

Some food for thought, anyway. See you Friday.


Cattle are a known source of deadly E.coli, but the government doesn’t inspect feedlots for the bacteria.


Should we be turning to Florida to get our avocado fix?


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Questions, comments, brilliant suggestions? Just want to share the recipe for your grandma's potato salad, or your mom's meatloaf, or your uncle Drew's three-day 100-percent rye loaf (yes, please)? Don't hesitate to reach out anytime.