Aren’t the photos of the little farm and the golden rows of wheat nice to see on the packages at the grocery store? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that were true?
Sadly, as many of us are aware, the truth is a horror film. The Factory Farms or CAFO’s (Controlled Animal Feed Operations) are a nightmare. I hope, by this article, to show you, from scientific research, that the meat from the grocery store is filled with bacteria. Not any old form of bacteria but the antibiotic resistant kind. The kind of antibiotic resistance that has only been dreamed of in sci-fi fantasy novels and movies.
Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria
You think that it’s unreal. Maybe something that you’ve heard of in a book or in a movie somewhere. Bacteria that has demolished out modern medicine. It has circumvented our current ability to destroy it.
When Alexander Fleming brought Penicillin on the scene in 1928 the medical establishment was floored. They began to test and study this peculiar agent. It was killing everything in its path. This included some of the most horrendous ailments known to man.
Even in these early teams of scientists and doctors that were isolating Penicillin to treat disease they found that mutant strains of those diseases were forming. In 1944 when attempting to treat Tuberculosis with a form of antibiotic they noticed mutant strains of the disease (1).
These mutagen strains of disease present an incredible problem. The diseases that are arising are incurable. The mutant bacteria can wreak havoc on your body with no known way to stop it. The Hospital will no longer be able to intervene.
Even with the CDC, atibiotic resistance of genes has been validated and studied. Some of the major work being established in the early 1990’s(2). The point of the matter being that Super Bugs or mutant genes able to defy our modern medicine are alive and well.
It’s Closer to You Than You Think
Most of the population thinks that the widespread problem of Super Bugs or antibiotic resistant bacteria is isolated. In some far away hospital people are suffering from things like C. Diff, Salmonella and E.Coli that cannot be defeated by modern medicine.
I wish that this were the truth. I wish I could happily tell you that only in third world countries is Antibiotic Resisance a problem. I cannot. The truth is that this freak show is a first world problem.
This bacteria may be in the hospital. It may be carried by someone you know. However, it’s most likely not coming from some decrepit shell of a person that has no hygiene. These Super Bugs are being bred in our food supply. Specifically, in factory farms or CAFO’s (3).
How Are These Super Bugs in My Food?
This question might be the first one that comes to mind. How in the heck is there antibiotic strains of dangerous bacteria in my burger. It was one of my first inquiries as I was researching.
The state of the Factory Farm or CAFO in our country is one that we will most definitely look back on in shame. The current environment that these animals are in is tragic.
I must say, I and my family, are not Vegans. I do believe that eating meat is extremely good for the human body. However, I am still an advocate for animal rights. The current condition that these factory farm animals find themselves in is disgusting and deplorable.
Enough of that. You’re not interested in the conditions you want to know why in the world these insane Super Bugs are in your grocery store value pack of hamburger patties.
The answer lies in the therapeutic use of antibiotics in the animals food (4). The CAFO is meant for one thing, to make money. The faster the animal grows with less disease the better for the business.
So, with our health set aside these large corporations are feeding their animals strong antibiotics from birth (4). Much of this practice that runs rampant in the US has been banned in the EU and Sweden (4).
The repercussions of these antibiotics that promote growth and allow horrendous conditions for the animal are massive.
Retail meat in US has been examined to contain over 133 strains of Salmonella. 82% of these bacteria were resistant to at least one form of Antibiotic (3). 6% of the Salmonella in retail meats were resistant to Ceftriaxone. Ceftriaxone being a third-generation antibiotic meant to deal with the problem of Super Bugs (3).
The studies have also shown that these bacteria are transferring from the meat into the human digestive tract (5). This may be alarming but it could not be farther form the truth.
What Can I Do About It?
You must stay away from meat that is not labeled Organic and/or grass fed. I know this may sound drastic and expensive. It may seem heinous to even think about.
If you’re on a budget you should simply eat less meat. It’s the only way. You must avoid the CAFO meat. This problem will only get worse. Some of these studies were from the early 2000’s. The use of antibiotics has only increased.
Here are some things to look for when choosing your meat:
- Labeled USDA Organic
- A Local Supplier/ Farmer
- Antibiotic Free
- Growth Promoting Hormone Free
If this is not available at your local grocery store seek out a local farmer. You best bet would be a local, small farm that can supply you meat in bulk. That can be far less expensive than the grocery store and better quality.
So, in closing, will you ever eat meat from a grocery store again? What was the most disgusting thing you learned above? Please share in the comments below!
- MMWR: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 1993 Aug
- Microbiol. Mol. Biol. Rev. September 2010 vol. 74 no. 3
- Appl. Environ. Microbiol. January 2004 vol. 70 no. 1 1-7
- Current Opinion in Microbiology Volume 6, Issue 5, October 2003
- Current Microbiology, , Volume 62, Issue 5