Slow Food Seattle Book Club: Poisoned by Jeff Benedict
Our May book club selection is Poisoned: The True Story of the Deadly E. Coli Outbreak That Changed the Way Americans Eat by Jeff Benedict.
This will be an active, open conversation and all are welcome – please come even if you haven’t had a chance to finish the book! We’ll be meeting from 6-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 10th. Roy Street Coffee and Tea is located at 700 Broadway East. Limited free parking is available in the lot below.
Interested in food safety? Curious about how the common, yet sometimes deadly E. coli bacteria shows up not only in ground meat, but also strawberries, spinach and sprouts?
Join the Slow Food Seattle Book Club for a discussion of Jeff Benedict's Poisoned: The True Story of the Deadly E. Coli Outbreak That Changed the Way Americans Eat. Benedict tells the story of the 1993 E. coli break-out in Jack in the Box hamburger meat through main characters nine-year old Brianne, who came close to dying and still lives with the impact of the episode, and Bainbridge Island-based lawyer, Bill Marler, who took on her case as a young lawyer.
"Over a period of a few weeks, more than 700 cases scattered across four Western states; four children died gruesomely, with bleeding intestines and kidney failure. But Mr. Benedict, a lawyer turned journalist, pays relatively little attention to the story’s medical complexities; his focus is the gruesome and complicated legal tangle that ensued. Nowadays we are all too familiar with the practices of giant processing plants, but back in those innocent times it was all new and appalling — the poorly regulated slaughterhouses, the batching of meat for grinding, the wide distribution of product, which maximized the spread of any contaminant." -- Abigail Zuger, M.D., New York Times, June 27, 2011
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Author, Jeff Benedict (left) and attorney, Bill Marler (right). Photo: WSU Photo Services[/caption]
Poisoned is as relevant today as it is to the 1993 story it tells. Just months after the book's 2011 publication, another E. coli outbreak, this time in Germany, was traced back to salad vegetables.
"Although much more is known about food safety now than in 1993, the book speaks to our times. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that six more strains of E. coli will be banned from ground beef. That move follows pressure from Marler and represents a step forward in the fight for safe food, which is what "Poisoned" is all about." -- Lynne Terry, The Oregonian, September 24, 2011
Please join us! If you haven't had a chance to read the book, find an excerpt here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/28/health/28excerpt.html?_r=1&ref=views#
About Jeff Benedict
Jeff Benedict is a contributor for Sports Illustrated and a writer for SI.com. In 2011 he launched Inspire Books, his own book publishing imprint. He published Poisoned: The True Story of the Deadly E. coli Outbreak that Changed the way Americans Eat under the new imprint. Poisoned is Benedict's tenth book and critics consider it his best. The New York Times called it "the full literary experience of a medico-legal thriller in a work of nonfiction."
Benedict was born in 1966 in New London, Connecticut. He has a Bachelor's in History from Eastern Connecticut State University, a Master's in Political Science from Northeastern University, and a J.D. from the New England School of Law. He previously practiced law in Connecticut, where he has spent most of his life. Today he lives in Virginia where he teaches Writing and Mass Media at Southern Virginia University and lives on a Civil War-era farm with his wife and best friend Lydia Benedict and their four children. http://www.jeffbenedict.com