This month, I’d like to talk about the little critter you see in the photo to the right. I’m doing this for a couple reasons. First, as a new dad, it’s my right to brag about the new baby. Second, I wanted to introduce you to your newest future customer.   
Baby Gazdziak

If he’s anything like his sisters, he’ll start off small, with shredded chicken or cut-up hot dogs. He’ll likely share their fixation on chicken nuggets, and there will come a time where he won’t eat any meat unless it’s been breaded and dipped in ketchup. The girls outgrew that phase mercifully and now devour almost anything, so hopefully he will do the same.Sean Thomas Gazdziak was born on November 29, 2011, with more hair than his dad and a healthy set of lungs. He’s already got a way with the ladies, which will be sure to haunt me in about 16 or 17 years. Currently, he’s on a liquid diet, what with the whole not-having-any-teeth thing, but that will change soon. Then comes one of my favorite parts of parenthood, which is helping him explore the world, one new food item at a time.

I never used to believe in the concept that “it takes a village to raise a child,” but then I had a child. As parents, my wife and I will make sure Sean’s getting a nutritious diet, but we’re depending on others that the food is safe. We’re trusting that the processors have done their job and followed their food safety plan to the letter. We’re assuming that the supermarket or restaurant employees have been properly trained in food-handling steps.

Eventually, he’ll ask the same question that his sisters did: “Why do we have to kill animals for meat?” Then I’ll have to explain to him that some animals are raised by farmers to be turned into food for us to eat, but those animals are treated well and don’t suffer. Again, I’m trusting that the producers and packers out there continue to do the moral thing and treat their animals with dignity right through the point of slaughter.

I’m not going to become so paranoid about pathogens that I won’t allow my son to ever eat a hamburger (though I will make sure they’re well done). The food executives I’ve met certainly aren’t willing to disregard safety for the sake of profit. They’ve been honest and concerned about the quality of the food they’re selling to the public. I feel safe in placing the well-being of my children in your hands. May you never lose sight of that trust that your customers have given you.


Sam Gazdziak