One Month from Today.

The silverback (male leader) of the Habinyanja gorilla family in Bwindi Impenetrable forest (in the mountains of southwestern Uganda) looks on as we sit with his 18 member family. Photo by Kerri Leonard.

We’re back from our trip, and as we continue to revel in the wonderful memories from our adventures (like sitting with gorillas in the mountains of southwestern Uganda), we’re also shifting gears and getting ready for the release of our book. So, we’re spending the weekend getting some recipes, lesson plans, and plenty of other extras ready for our new Web site (which will launch soon). If you haven’t done so yet, please click on the link and pre-order your copy of “On a Dollar a Day: One Couple’s Unlikely Adventures Eating in America“.

However, even though we’re hard at work, I couldn’t help but feel the need to post about some odd food news that came across my desktop yesterday.

In a study  released earlier this week from the International Journal of Food Microbiology, beverages from fountain machines, like the kind you fill your cup with at fast food joints, could very well be squirting out fecal matter with your drink. That’s right, fecal matter. The research looked at 90 drinks from 30 different soda machines in Virginia and 48 percent contained colriform bacteria, or fecal matter.

“More than 11% of the beverages analyzed contained Escherichia coli and over 17% contained Chryseobacterium meningosepticum,” according to the abstract of the study. “Other opportunistic pathogenic microorganisms isolated from the beverages included species of Klebsiella, Staphylococcus, Stenotrophomonas, Candida, and Serratia.”

While the concentrations of these contaminants weren’t strong enough to hurt most people’s systems, the mix of bacteria, whose origins are entirely unclear (even to the researchers), is enough to keep me from drinking from these machines for a little while. I don’t drink soda very often anyway, but this is even more reason not to.

Have a wonderful weekend.

– Christopher



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5 responses to “One Month from Today.

  1. jen

    do you think that the water that comes out of those machines have it as well?

  2. Carla

    Does e-coli, etc., automatically equate with “fecal matter”? I’m asking because the abstract of the study mentioned the bacteria but hedged on where researchers thought the bacteria came from, although that may not be an unjust conclusion.

  3. jen


    ill actually go read it now.


  4. That was spot on! I could not have done that better at all haha. Hate to admit it though 😛

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