Quantcast

Long distance considerations

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

Qapla

Conductor
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
1,189
Location
Gator Country Florida
In some cases the field and irrigation water, or contaminated runoff from animal farms, not processing.
In some cases ... not all cases - and that does not explain botulism in mushrooms

A huge greenhouse farm in Madison County had a major outbreak, and need to be shut,
it wasn't because of the plants, it was the people that worked there.
The same has been true of the meat processing plants that closed due to C-19 ... it wasn't the meat, it was the people who worked there
 

the_traveler

Conductor
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
26,008
Location
Whatever siding I'm sitting on!
Maybe you should watch more news ... there has been a shortage of "pickers" for farms due to C-19.

Here in our area one county have a huge spike in C-19 cases when the pickers showed up to harvest. Not only did it have an impact on the local population exposure, it also hampered the harvest of several farms
I’m only guessing, but there’s a good possibility that most of those workers are not vegans. They may have chicken wings or a ham sandwich or a hamburger for lunch.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2014
Messages
2,861
I have been trying to go more vegetarian (I have eggs every morning for protein so can’t go vegan), and I gave up red meat ages ago. But I have also given up all other meat and chicken since the meat packing plant problems, and I feel much better physically. I am planning on continuing that even after the virus is gone.
 

PVD

Conductor
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
4,804
Location
NYC/Queens
Botulism is a soil dwelling anaerobe. It grows in the absence of oxygen. It produces an extremely powerful toxin. Proper processing (heat and/or extreme pressure) is the defense. It's why we were always told never to eat anything from a swollen can. But in microdose form the toxin has interesting uses...BOTOX
 

Qapla

Conductor
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
1,189
Location
Gator Country Florida
The point is ... all sorts of foods have "concerns", not just meat!

Most of the outbreaks that have been associated with the various foods were not from the actual product, it was from the people who handled it - be that meat or veggies.

It was not the result of what the workers ate for their diet, either. It was them passing on some sort of contaminate due to them being contagious and/or not following proper sanitation procedures.

Let's not blame the meat or the veggies -
 

PVD

Conductor
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
4,804
Location
NYC/Queens
Usually, it is the people at fault. We eat products that require certain measures of care. Raw lima beans can be dangerous. A little bit of cooking takes away that danger. We eat zillions of potatoes and potato product, but if it has green tinged skin it can make you very sick. Pork can carry worms that cause trichinosis, again proper cooking. The common thread is us and our actions.
 

flitcraft

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
550
E Coli is a gut bacteria in animals/humans....how it gets on crops is on us............
True, but it's really hard to avoid it getting into crops. You need serious fencing to keep mammals out of the fields--that's how organic Odwalla apple juice got contaminated with e coli--mammals in the orchards. And it's well nigh impossible to keep it out of irrigation water, unless the water is 100% contained from reservoir or well to fields--and other than home gardeners, I don't think that is possible. Any produce that you eat uncooked--or that comes into contact with something uncooked--is a potential source of e coli, which is why lettuce, scallions, cilantro, parsley, etc. have been such common vectors of serious food poisoning.

And don't get me started on sprouts! Sprouts simply cannot be made safe from contamination, because the seeds cannot be sterilized (or they won't grow into sprouts) and they have to sprout in warm, moist conditions perfect for bacterial growth. I miss 'em; I'm old enough to remember when hippie-health food restaurants slathered alfalfa sprouts on every sandwich!

I don't eat raw veggies anymore unless I've grown them myself, and I grow my lettuce and herbs in 5 foot tall trays to keep mammalian critters out.
 

flitcraft

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
550
BTW, the e coli that you hear about causing serious food poisoning, E Coli 0157, is not found in the human gut. It is found in the guts of cattle, deer, sheep, etc. So, unlike hepatitus, which can be spread through lack of human hygiene, e coli in vegetable produce is typically the result of large mammal contamination of irrigation or wash water, or in some cases through inadequately composted steer manure or 'visiting' deer. So don't blame farm workers, whatever they eat!
 

PVD

Conductor
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
4,804
Location
NYC/Queens
E Coli in meat, however, is usually introduced in the butchering process, particularly in ground beef. Part of the reason cooking to proper temp is so critical.
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
2,069
I do apologize and it appears Amtrak has hidden the real page that had the specifics of the kosher meals or I am too dense to find it now. However, I found PDF files that show in more detail the breakfast meal and the lunch dinner choices from amtrakfoodfacts.com. The page I previously saw had just a summary of the four meals and was on the Amtrak site.

Breakfast:

Lunch/Dinner choices:
Salmon - http://amtrakfoodfacts.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/AMTRAK-SDG-020620-33.pdf
Chicken - http://amtrakfoodfacts.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/AMTRAK-SDG-020620-32.pdf
Beef - http://amtrakfoodfacts.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/AMTRAK-SDG-020620-34.pdf

I should have checked that I gave you the right link and would have found that it appears to have disappeared.
Thank you! Those meals actually look quite good!
 

PVD

Conductor
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
4,804
Location
NYC/Queens
Taste is so subjective... I am not a vegan, but my diet (pre lockdown) shifted towards a much higher percentage of vegetarian eating. There is a large community of devotees of Sri Chinmoy near me, and one of their beliefs is vegetarianism. They run some really good restaurants and a pleasant coffee shop. Sadly, I lost the one 2 blocks from where I live, the building was torn down, and they reopened at UN Plaza., not close to meOf course, many dishes are vegan, or vegan optional. Anyone who can't find something that tastes good on their menus needs a taste-bud transplant. Coming from someone who still enjoys the occasional ribeye, or pastrami on rye!
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
20,280
Location
Austin Texas
I find it interesting that people who do not eat meat, cheese, butter, eggs, etc. try so hard to make their vegan food taste so much like these things.



And many of the E.coli outbreaks came from lettuce and other plants ...
This!!
 

Qapla

Conductor
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
1,189
Location
Gator Country Florida
Don't get me wrong. I am not against anyone being vegan or increasing the amount of vegetables in their diet. Our family enjoys a wide variety of vegetables and fruit. We also enjoy beef, pork, chicken and fish (well, I am not fond of fish that much ... but I do like fishing for them). Our meat tastes like meat and our veggies taste like veggies ... and we like it that way!

My point was, I have heard of many "vegetable based dishes" touting that they taste like pork/beef/bacon/etc - but I have never heard of someone saying that their steak tasted like broccoli, asparagus, lettuce or any other veggie.

If you want to eat veggies - why not be proud of the fact that they taste just like what they are - not that they taste just like chicken.
 

flitcraft

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
550
I'm surprised that the kosher meals aren't vegan, honestly. Vegan food is all parve anyway. You can cover a lot of ethically based dietary restrictions in one fell swoop--kosher, halal, vegetarian--with a vegan menu. No need for multiple special menus on that basis. Allergy issues are a different matter, though. Unfortunately, there are so many kinds of allergies that I don't see Amtrak creating allergen-free menus. But, at the very least, every meal should contain a full list of ingredients, so that people who need to avoid various allergens--lactose, gluten, peanuts, or whatever else--can check for themselves as to whether a food can safely be eaten.
 

Qapla

Conductor
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
1,189
Location
Gator Country Florida
Unfortunately, there are so many kinds of allergies that I don't see Amtrak creating allergen-free menus. But, at the very least, every meal should contain a full list of ingredients, so that people who need to avoid various allergens--lactose, gluten, peanuts, or whatever else--can check for themselves as to whether a food can safely be eaten.
I agree - it is fairly impossible to offer a menu that no one has any allergy to something. However, in addition to offering the complete ingredient list so those with allergies can make an informed decision about what to or no to eat - there should be at least some (or one) offering that avoids the most common allergies - like gluten, peanuts (or other nuts) and dairy.
 

flitcraft

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
550
If you want to eat veggies - why not be proud of the fact that they taste just like what they are - not that they taste just like chicken.
Food is as much a cultural issue as a nutritional issue. People who grew up eating a meat-based diet may still want to enjoy the mouth-feel and texture of comfort foods they grew up with, even while not eating meat. In Chinese Buddhist culture, the cuisine is strictly vegetarian, but they make elaborate 'faux' meats like roast duck, complete with crispy 'duck' skin, 'faux' pork, etc. For them, these dishes are part of their heritage cuisine, and they respect that heritage by developing versions of Chinese traditional dishes that adhere to their ethical dietary restrictions--as I discovered back in the 1970's in Taiwan when I stayed for a few days at a Buddhist monastery and was surprised that they were serving meat in the dining hall--except of course it wasn't!

I personally believe that, by and large, vegan food is better when it doesn't mimic non-vegan products--if you use tofu to replace ricotta cheese in a lasagna, it's bound to be a disappointment because you're expecting ricotta. But, as the cookbook writer Deborah Madison once said, "Let tofu be tofu and you'll be amazed at how good it can be." But I also understand that many people prefer to eat foods that they are familiar with. Different strokes...
 

the_traveler

Conductor
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
26,008
Location
Whatever siding I'm sitting on!
To be honest, I don’t care for vegetables all that much. But I do use them all the time for dishes.

You may have heard the survivalists on “Naked and Afraid” go looking for Heart of Palm. I use it all the time to make things like Pulled Pork and Crab Cakes and Lobster Salad.

And many say, “Where do you get protein and calcium?” I probably get more of both than most people do.
 

PVD

Conductor
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
4,804
Location
NYC/Queens
One of the items I order is called "Satay Chicken Wrap" It uses soy "chicken" They make it with fresh greens, shredded carrot, and a marvelous peanut sauce. In a million years no one will ever convince me it's chicken. I don't know why they should try. I for one would order it regardless.
 

20th Century Rider

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
706
Location
Oregon Coast
Hi! I am contemplating a long distance trip from Trenton, NJ to Tacoma, WA in mid-September. I'd take the train out and fly back. Based on anyone's past and recent experience, I have a couple of questions:

1. I have enough points to book a sleeper car for the first half of my trip. I have the option to take a Northeast regional to WAS with an hour and a half to wait before the Capitol Limited leaves. Is this a reasonable amount of time? The other option I have enough points for is to take the Pennsylvanian to Pittsburgh and board the sleeper car on the Capitol Limited there.

2. I've been keeping up with reviews of the flexible dining menu. While I don't mind the breakfast options, the other food might not be what I'm looking for. Are the café cars still open on the LD trains, and can sleeper passengers go buy food/snacks to bring back to their rooms?

Thanks! I should be making up my mind in a few days and would appreciate any responses.
Some suggestions for you:

1] Change in WAS! Your sleeper accommodation gets you into the lounge there. Don't change in Pittsburgh as the change is in the odd hours of the night. Better to board in the afternoon and sleep right on through. You will also go through some excellent scenery and historic sights as you are enjoying dinner.

2] Check out Pret A Manger in the WAS station... website says open 7:30am to 3:30pm. DO pick up one or two meals to go... chilled meals... and they remain good for several hours after purchase. Delicious food and healthy food for around $10 per meal. Travel Advisor reviews support this suggestion... much much healthier and tastier than anything you can get on Amtrak.

3] Call Amtrak and see if they will let you order a special meal such as Kosher or vegetarian. These are better quality than what's on the flex menu. Such offerings are sketchy due to poor service and covid. REMEMBER, YOU ARE PAYING FOR THESE MEALS.

4] Better for your health to skip the heated meals; ask for extra dessert... which you may not get. The salad is so small its not worth discussing here, and they never seem to have an extra.

5]I don't recommend flex meals because:

a] Carcinogenic properties of Polyethylene Terephthalate plate when heated.
b] Sodium at unhealthy level.
c] Waste is not recycled or reused.

There is no reason why you can't have a delightful trip. And if you desire the included alcoholic beverage, the Corona Beer is a great choice!

maxresdefault.jpg
 

the_traveler

Conductor
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
26,008
Location
Whatever siding I'm sitting on!
I believe that the FDA requires disclosure of the 8(?) most common allergens.
I agree that they should, especially for “hidden” ingredients. But some are so obvious, their postings are stupid!

While reading the warnings, I learned a couple of things. Did you know that peanut butter cookies contain peanuts!:eek: Or that almond milk contains almonds!:eek:
 

Devil's Advocate

Conductor
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
11,544
Location
Texas
Out of the usual dietary groups vegans seem to have the least amount of wiggle room. I think most of the confusion comes from the relative newness of veganism and the difficulty it places on friends and family with a conventional cooking background. Restaurants also struggle with finding practical methods for making vegan meals from easily obtainable ingredients. I personally eat all kinds of meat because that's how I was raised, but at this point around 90% of my meals are meatless because it's healthier for me and better for the environment. Most of the meat I do eat is used as a flavoring rather than a main course.
 
Last edited:
Top