I’ve just spent a few days in California, north of San Francisco. And I ate quite a bit of spinach from a bag–not so eco-friendly–but from California producers and at times, organic, so more “green.” The thought of one recent, and deadly, e.coli scare that was traced to bagged spinach, did cross my mind. So did the likely culprit: run-off from a large dairy or beef operation. California has many of them, especially factory dairies. Nearly all cows have e.coli in at least one of their four stomachs. My geography and my cuisine made an article in a recent Sierra magazine all the more pungent. Since the spinach scare, it says, many producers of bagged leafy greens have taken drastic measures: demanding that their suppliers keep their green fields absolutely devoid of wildlife–if not cows. Reportedly, in California’s Salinas Valley, 90 percent of farmers are eradicating vegetation, draining waterways and lacing the ground with poison (directed at rats, mice, birds and squirrels). E.coli among wildlife is vanishingly rare; among cows it’s run of the mill. It’s a classic case of chopping and blanching without getting to the stem of the issue.