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Is Salad a Safe Bet? Think Again…

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Let me set the scene for you. It was a long day. I was in training from 10:00 a.m. –  5:00 p.m.  Got home and was neither hungry nor in the mood for cooking. My husband was not in the mood for cooking either, just hungry. Knowing that he dare not ask me “What’s for dinner?” he ran down the street to our favorite Greek restaurant and brought home a lamb gyro, soup, French fries, and a Greek salad. I opted for the salad because the fruit and veggie food group is the only one that appeals to me right now. I plowed through about half of it, enjoying the contrast of the crisp cold lettuce with the soft sharp taste of the feta. Feta…FETA! Noooooooo!

What have I done! I was just with the OB Coordinator last week. I can hear her. “Now honey, no soft cheeses like brie, blue, or feta.” How much had I eaten? Was the bacteria from the cheese attacking the baby as I was sitting there staring at the half empty take-out container? What if this one total brain dead moment caused permanent damage to my baby?

Sensing my panic and in a state of disbelief, my husband stopped mid-bite, a bit of sauce hanging off his lip. “Uhh – I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking.” (Bless his heart – he’s so sweet and I wasn’t angry with him – it was my careless eating.)

Think. Think. OK. Calm. Let’s be real – at the price of the salad, we’re probably not looking at imported feta. Call the restaurant.

So we did, noting it was probably the strangest call they took all day. Husband on the phone: “Yeah, hi. I have a question about your food. Is your feta cheese pasteurized?” Pause. “Really? OK” To me: “She said they get this question a lot. She’s double checking with the kitchen.” Me: “They get this question a lot?”

Good news friends. The cheese is domestic and made from pasteurized milk. Let’s face it: if the cheese was unpasteurized, the likelihood of any damage resulting from this one incident is probably minuscule. But the whole incident makes me think of how my entire life is not about me anymore.

Every decision I make or thing I do, consciously or unconsciously, affects a tiny human who is relying on me to nourish and protect it. This is serious business.

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