One of the definitions of news is that it's information that has a direct impact on our lives. Property taxes going up in the town in which you own a home? That's news. A tornado warning has been issued in your neck of the prairie? That's news. There's a sniper loose in your neighborhood? Picking off your neighbors as they mow their lawns and wash their cars?
You're starting to get it, aren't you?
Two months or so ago, there was news that certain batches of Peter Pan peanut butter were contaminated with salmonella. America was alerted. We were told to check our shelves. If the number 2111 appeared on any jars of Peter Pan we had...
DON'T EAT IT!!!!!!
We didn't learn that until three weeks after I had eaten some peanut butter from a contaminated jar we had purchased ( Bingo. It had that number ) - probably at Wal-Mart. I'd experienced stomach pain and severe diarrhea while we were on vacation in Florida. Ironically, I experienced these symptoms on a casino boat which offered a buffet lunch. We steered clear of the buffet because we had heard that a lot of people get sick after eating buffet meals on cruise ships.
I'm fine now, but what I was experiencing that day was salmonella.
Now we've stopped purchasing wet dog food. More than 60 millions cans and pouches have been recalled. Dogs and cats are dying. Vets are getting myriad calls from concerned pet owners.
So there's two national news stories that have had a direct impact on us. And they both have to do with contaminated food. Terrorism? Cutbacks in the FDA budget? Who knows? All I know is that these food stories are definitely on our radar screen.
Anna Nicole? Not unless she died after eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.