Spinach Concern

Spinach Concern
By: Holly Brantley

CHESTER, IL --The thought of eating bagged spinach might have you feeling a little weak. But, there's at least one town in the Heartland where spinach is still a symbol of strength...in a can.

Of course, Chester, Illinois is the home of Popeye...A character who relies on spinach and it's muscle building powers.  So, now folks in Chester hope to pump up support for their hometown icon's favorite vegetable.    

"He is synonymous with spinach," said Laurie Randall of the Popeye Museum.
Randall moved to Chester 12-years ago because she thought it was only fitting to share her Popeye collection with the muscle bound sailor's hometown. One of the most popular items is spinach.
"We ship it everywhere. Where else can you get Popeye Spinach," said Randall.
But, what would the spinach spokesperson say about contaminated cases of his favorite vegetable?
"It's a very sad thing, but Popeye would say keep eating your spinach. It helped him get out of a lot of bad situations," said Randall.
"He'd say keep eating your spinach," said Bill Farmer. "Spinach makes you big and strong."
Farmer sells corn and other items to tourists who stop in Chester. Farmer says a few cases of tainted spinach won't spoil Popeye's image, or stop folks in Chester from eating their vegetables.
"I eat spinach every day. I had spinach for my super last night and the scare of eating spinach hasn't bothered me none in the least," said Farmer.
Terry Hunt agrees, "It's just like a lot of American traditions. I don't think they should mess with him."
But, for Popeye fans who are still a little queasy at the thought of eating spinach, just be like Wimpy, and eat a hamburger.