Homegrown and without a doubt
This is a section of our vegetable garden. We're lucky enough to live in the middle of the Berlin yet we're able to grow our own lettuce, tomatoes, beans, carrots, cucumbers, potatoes, onions, beets and herbs. Thanks to my husband's Green Thumb, we can eat homegrown vegetables for most of the summer.
Our garden is especially convenient now because there is no signal that German health officials understand the source of this deadly strain of E Coli. First it was Spanish cucumbers, then it wasn't, then it was bean sprouts, now it's cucumbers again. The point is, too little is known to rule out any raw vegetable and that is making some people go loco.
I know some Berliners who won't as much as look at raw vegetables and others who shrug it off and say they won't let such a small probability of infection make them change their lives.
We had guests last weekend who spent about 80% of their visit thinking up theories about where and how the bacteria could have come from.
I do have to say, when I first moved here I was shocked that no one used gloves in supermarkets and delis. When I saw bakers pick up a loaf of bread with their bare hands, my jaws dropped. I also cringed when I saw people put their veggies directly on the conveyor belt at the supermarket, claiming that they didn't want to waste a bag. "But that belt is dirty," I'd say. Then the defense was that vegetables could be washed and peeled. But then I noticed many health conscious people not peeling their carrots and cucumbers because all the nutrients were supposedly in the skin!
Luckily, times have changed and since the outbreak of The Swine Flue, I do see more food workers wearing gloves. But I can tell it is not culturally ingrained yet. At my food co-op, there are plastic gloves near the bread shelves but no one ever puts them on. For some reason, Germans seem to like to be able to touch that multi grain bread they're about to buy? More importantly, glove wearing doesn't seem to come all that naturally to all employees.
While I was deciding which bread to bag, I watched a co-op employee shelf all of the freshly baked loaves with his bare hands, decide they should be shelved differently, then re-shelf them, again without gloves. I sure hope he washed his hands after his last trip to the loo. . .