yesterday's sunday new york times front page article is a good look at the trail of e. coli and exposes flaws found in the inspection system of ground beef. it also gives a disturbing look at a young women who is paralyzed after being stricken by e. coli in 2007. i think if you take the time to read the entire article, you will hopefully begin to understand how people put themselves and their families at risk when buying food products such as ground beef from unknown sources. there is risk on many levels in our food system, particularly the large mass producers and processors in the beef industry. while my intention here is not to get on a soap box and chastise the industry, i do however encourage you to really think before making that next food purchase whether it be at your local supermarket, big box retailer or local restaurant or farmers market. you have the right to choose by voting with your dollars. ask where they get their beef (product) from, how it was raised, what it was fed. if they can't tell you, you probably shouldn't buy it. even if they can tell you, you should consider the source. the beef industry is particularly deft at marketing, coming up with catchy phrases as "american chefs selection angus beef." as if this is approved by chefs that have made this their choice. it couldn't be further from the truth. they also add confusion by making you believe that if it is "certified Angus," that it is the best quality. this only refers to the breed, it has nothing to do with the conditions it was raised in or processed in. cheaper is not always better, more expensive is not always better. however, shouldn't what we buy to put into our bodies be a priority? beef shouldn't be so cheap that anyone and everyone can afford it.