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You Are What You Eat

No More ‘Eat Your Veggies’ from Mom
Author: Cesar Froylán

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.