No More ‘Eat Your Veggies’ from Mom
E-coli. This word has been on everyone’s mind
recently. Many use it, but don’t really know what it
means. Escherichia coli, commonly known as E-coli, has
impacted not only our local economy, but also our
local field workers.
E-coli is a bacterium that is found in mammals’ lower
intestines and it causes illness in humans. For adults
it takes about 24-72 hours after inhaling it to cause
illness. In kids it sometimes requires
Some of the symptoms of the E-coli infection are:
diarrhea, stomach cramping, gas, vomiting, loss of
appetite, abdominal pain and fever. Even though
symptoms clear up by themselves after 1-3 days,
serious complications occur such as dehydration and
prolonged diarrhea. If dehydration from diarrhea
occurs it is essential to take electrolyte solutions
to re-hydrate the body again due to loss of fluids. A
good way to hydrate yourself is by taking sports
drinks. Many sports drinks contain electrolytes.
The E-coli epidemic has not only affected people
physically, but economically. In Watsonville, where
the rent is over the roof, residents that used to work
in the spinach and lettuce fields are now in need of
work because the companies have fired them. Many
Watsonville residents face unemployment status due to
the spreading of E-coli.
A former Watsonville resident said that the pressure
for paying rent, but not finding work, was so hard
that he had to move to Sacramento. The pay cut on most
of the spinach and lettuce field workers had an effect
on how people lived. They were being paid less than
usual; they only worked four or five hours a day with
the minimum wage.
“I think it is bacteria that is found on cow waste,”
said Sergio, now a Sacramento resident, when asked
what he thought E-coli was.
Most of the people that worked in that field got fired
or quit their jobs due to the lack of work. They were
forced to cut and throw away all of their
vegetables. “We would only work for a couple hours and
that was it,” Sergio said.
Watsonville, being an agricultural town, can suffer
economically and healthily. Watsonville residents
should be aware of what is going on in their
community. The E-coli problem is a big concern that
everybody should know about. Small things such as
infected spinach or lettuce can have a major effect on
your life and your family’s life.