LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – The CDC reports the nationwide recall on romaine lettuce is the largest E. Coli outbreak in over 10 years, with 98 cases in 22 states.
The outbreak started in Yuma, Az., prompting grocery stores and restaurants to pull lettuce from their inventory.
But, if you buy locally grown lettuce, you most likely will not run into the same problem.
"Eat local. It's good for the environment. It's good for you and it's good for the community,” The Root Café owner Jack Sundell said.
At the Root Café in downtown Little Rock, every single ingredient that goes out the kitchen is locally grown.
That even goes for the lettuce, so customers don't have to worry about the recent recall.
“We know who grew it and how they grew it,” Sundell said. "I assume that most of the people who eat here know that we source our lettuce locally."
Sundell said the recall on romaine lettuce only highlights the benefits of buying local.
"Every time one of these major food stories breaks then we do find a lot of people coming here making a conscious choice,” he said. “It typically tasted better. Its more nutritious for you because it’s consumed closer to the time it’s harvested.”
Ordering from places like the root allows for transparency so you know exactly where your produce like lettuce is coming from.
"You can get the answers to [your] questions from who grew them,’ Sundell said.
Even though Sundell says buying local can get expensive, he said it can be worth it in the long run.
"In this day and age when an industrial food system means one mishap or contamination source in [Arizona] could affect lettuce all across the united states, local sourcing gives you the assurance that your lettuce came from a safe source and you can ask the questions you need to feel comfortable eating that,” Sundell said.
There has been no reported cases of E. Coli in Arkansas.