Let’s make ’em add pop-up thermometers

When the last big salmonella outbreak was being hammered on the news 24/7, I tried yet again to sell a piece on how the whole burden of eating safely has been shifted to the consumer in the last few years. What made it most timely was the absurdity of the current situation: How in the hell do you thoroughly cook peanut butter for self-protection? No buyer bit, so I was a little surprised to see the same notion finally deemed front-page news. Leaving aside the sloppy copy-editing (one more time: potpie is one word), it mostly seemed to be a roundup of uh-huhs that built to yet another consumer freakout crescendo. I skimmed it, my consort studied it, but I didn’t see much mention of the biggest reason why processed food is increasingly unsafe. It’s too fucking cheap. How can a parent think a 79-cent meal is going to be fit for a one-year-old to eat? As the saying almost as old as caveat emptor goes, you get what you pay for. These days it could be a ticket to the hospital.