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Safe and homegrown

June 15, 2008

Re "Attack of the killer tomatoes," Opinion, June 11

You say industrially grown tomato, I say salmonella. Tomato, salmonella, spinach, E. coli: Is it time to call the whole salad bar off?

Well, not quite, but the latest cases of tainted produce give further evidence that we must simplify the complex food chain connecting field to fork. Tim Rutten's column correctly points out that the more links there are in the chain, the greater the chances that disease and adulteration can find their way into it.

I was encouraged, if not amused, to read that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had given home-grown tomatoes the all-clear in its recent tomato warning. With gas and food prices hitting historic highs, it is time that our government made even stronger statements about the healthfulness and desirability of home-produced foods in society.

As a home-grower, I know of no better flavor-enhancer than peace of mind.

Roger Doiron

Scarborough, Maine

The writer is the director of Kitchen Gardeners International.

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