Listeria Deaths are "silly" to farmer

PHOTO:┬ácantaloupeHere is the latest outbreak of industrial food contamination in the U.S. 

The Associated Press reported very late on Tuesday that four people have died from an outbreak of Listeria in cantaloupes from Colorado.

"The warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came after numerous cases of a strain of Listeria were reported in six states, including at least 11 from Colorado, 10 from New Mexico, two from Texas, and one each from Indiana, Nebraska and Oklahoma," said the AP.

"The agency said it was the first Listeria outbreak linked to cantaloupe in the United States. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration said it had not recalled the melons while it worked to locate the source."

Um, what?

Why bother recalling them. After all, only four people have died. Right?

"This is really silly. You can get Listeria any place" is what the AP reports one of the cantaloupe farmers as saying. How comforting. To this person, a lack of food safety that killed four people is "silly."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention begs to differ. Here is their recommendation:

"Health authorities asked people throwing out Rocky Ford cantaloupes to put them in a sealed plastic bag before putting them in the trash."

That's right -- what the farmer thinks is "silly" is so dangerous that the CDC says it not even safe to just throw them out -- you have to put them in a bag to contain the listeria from spreading.

Another example of how industrial food production cares far more about money than people. Just for the record, according to the CDC, Listeriosis is a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. The disease primarily affects older adults, pregnant women, newborns and adults with weakened immune systems.

How My Life Has Changed

I hardly know what to say here, life has changed so fast. How? Here's the top ten list:

10. I found out today that my book has hit the Deseret Book nonfiction bestsellers list at #8! I've never been on a bestsellers list before. Happy!

9. More than 200 people have toured my garden, and more people are coming. Feels good to be able to show "Forgotten Skills" in practice.

8. I have learned to carry copies of my book with me everywhere I go. Surprising the places where people want a copy. Thanks!

7. Steven Capp Perry was kind enough to do a half-hour interview with me for FM100 radio, which also ran on KSL radio and several other places, including the internet, (click here to listen to the interview) and that is when I started getting...

6. Fan mail from around the world. Really surprising to get emails from Australia, England, Canada, and all over the U.S. Humbled by the response to the book and media around the book.

5. And I was on television. That was such a crazy experience that one of these days I'll have to do a whole blog about that. For now, just know this -- live TV! No retakes!

4. Book signings! Lots and lots of them! You can see the whole schedule at So great to get to meet fans of the book, and people who buy two, three, ten copies. The record is one woman who bought 30 copies -- yes, you read that right!

3. Sold out signings! My first two Costco books signings sold out completely! The manager of the St. George Costco told me (unsolicited) that I was the first author to sell out a signing there in ten years!

2. I don't know if I should announce this or not, but I'm having a hard time keeping it to myself -- my editor has asked for rewrites on my novel! For those of you not in the publishing industry, this is huge, great news -- it means the second book of my three-book contract might be a fiction novel!! My novel is called "The Given Son" and I hope it will find a home with Cedar Fort. We'll know in a few weeks...

And finally...

1. I've gone into my second printing! My publisher announced the second printing in the third week of my release -- that is how fast the book has been selling! The first printing was 5,000 copies, and the second printing will be 3,000 copies. So excited!

Thank you everyone who has responded to my book. My goal in writing "Forgotten Skills of Self-Sufficiency of the Mormon Pioneers" was to be useful. There is no other book like this in the world -- I've searched high and low. Every photo in the book was taken on our property. This is the way we live everyday. My book teaches the four methods for saving seed from your own garden so that you don't have to buy garden seed, the health and nutrition benefits of baking with pioneer yeast, which is far  better for us than commercial rapid-rise yeast in grocery stores, how to store vegetables without a root cellar, how to extend the garden season so you can eat fresh from your property 12 months a year, considerations for backyard eggs, forgotten recipes.

It's time to be self-sufficient. Thanks for giving my book this chance. :) -Caleb