Dosed Up on Bugs and Drugs

meatwodrugsimage

Do you know that your meat—turkey, pork, beef and chicken—are dosed up on drugs (antibiotics) to help them grow faster and prevent infection in their overcrowded living quarters? In fact, according the Environmental Working Group (EWG), one of my go to sources for credible info on what’s really going on with food, “Today, pharmaceuticals sold for use on food-producing animals amount to nearly 80 percent of the American antibiotics market.” So what does this mean for the animals and you?

  1. Due to overuse of meds on animals, antibiotic resistant bacteria have spawned in meat; in other words the “bugs” can tolerate the drugs so they don’t get killed off. The prevalence of these “bugs” like super-salmonella or camphylobacter promotes food borne illness and can trigger disease in ways never seen before
  2. Plus, as animals are overdosed, so too are humans rendering important antibiotics often ineffective in treating human disease

EWG recently released a report, Superbugs Invade American Supermarkets. They analyzed research and government tests (the one’s that got “lost” under the to do pile) of supermarket meats and concluded that disturbing numbers of meat tested have incredibly high levels of antibiotic resistant bacteria. I hope you are sitting down…

So, 81% of ground turkey, 69% of pork-chops, 55% of ground beef and 39% of chicken breasts, wings and thighs were found to be tainted with bacteria that could make you super sick—especially young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems. Folks, you are dosed up on bugs and drugs whether you like it or not when you eat meat (unless specified as antibiotic-free).

According to a report from the Pew Charitable Trusts, 2011 marked record high antibiotic sales for meat and poultry, Big Pharma sold 29.9 million pounds of drugs to Big Ag while only 7.7 million pounds went to treat sick humans. This is STAGGERING and infuriating especially given that better options exist proven through the likes of Niman Ranch, Coleman Natural or US Wellness Meats.

Factory farms also known as Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) need to be stopped cause that’s where the problem begins. One of the organizations fighting this fight is Grace Communications Foundation. So newsflash folks, your everyday market meats come from CAFOs and most likely what you chew on when you dine out does as well (unless companies or chefs can convince you otherwise).

As I like to make this unpalatable info as digestible as possible, here is what you can do to avoid the bugs and drugs:

  1. Buy from local farmers that don’t subscribe to drugging their furry friends
  2. Buy organic meats (or from one of the companies listed above)
  3. If you can’t buy organic, choose meats without antibiotics including brands like Murray’s, Free Bird, Bell and Evans or Laura’s Lean Beef
  4. When dining out, ask questions about the meat and poultry you are planning on ordering
  5. And surely dine at trusted restaurants

Choose wisely when it comes to eating animals as it will surely make a difference in your health! And if you want to join the drugless meat food fight, click here to take a stand.

(photo credit: www.meatwithoutdrugs.org)