Colorado Farmers Struggle With Spinach Ban

By: McKenzie Martin
By: McKenzie Martin

Grocery stores aren’t selling any spinach and so in turn the farmers aren’t able to sell it either...and that’s causing major problems for farmers like Dave Petrocco.

Petrocco is a third generation spinach farmer in Brighton Colorado...his family's been farming the same land for 93 years and never before has their produce been banned. Petrocco says he has 225 acres of spinach...healthy looking spinach that he says there's nothing wrong with.

"My wife fixed some for supper last night...there's not a thing wrong with the spinach," He said.

But Petrocco's crop along with crops all across the nation have been banned from stores.

"People are getting the impression that spinach is not good and that’s not’s a mishap in one situation," He said.

And if the ban isn't lifted soon Petrocco will have no choice but to get rid of everything he's already harvested.

"Spinach has probably another ten days of life to where its acceptable to the marketplace...if the ban isn't lifted by then we'll have to destroy it," Petrocco said.

And as long as spinach stays off the shelves Petrocco's financial loses will continue to grow. He says he's already lost $25,000 to $30,000 dollars and if he can't market the rest of this year's crop he could be out $150,000 to $175,000 dollars.

Petrocco says he only sells bundles of fresh spinach so he doesn't understand why he's being included in this ban which originally only affected bagged spinach.

Federal officials in California are still trying to pinpoint the source of the E-coli and are waiting for test results from farms and packing plants there.

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