The last episode of the meat industry prat 2, intended to sum up the toxic effects meat and dairy has on our bodies, is here! Today we will look at antibiotics and some bacteria.
I think the use of antibiotics is a very important aspect that needs to be examined by anyone planning to consume meat and dairy. Should we consume meat and dairy from animals that live with constant intake antibiotics and hormones ? Can resistance spread to such a degree that we no longer will be able to cure simple bacterial infections, plunging us back 100 years of medical evolution? I would say that no, stop eating dairy & meat it is not healthy in most cases, and yes, bacteria can go resistant to all treatments we have, we must stop this madness that is the meat industry!
Previous episodes can be found here:
Antibiotics is made to kill bacteria while not harming the cells of the host animal. We consist of as much bacteria as we do human cells, so there is a big issue with consuming antibiotics. Obviously we kill our gut flora and give bacteria both in humans and animal industries, the possibility to go immune to the antibiotics of choice.
The antibiotics enables animals to be raised closer to each other and in less sanitary environments. The biggest use of antibiotics is not therapeutic but instead preemptive when we look at the meat industry. 15 million tons a year is distributed to animals in the US alone.
The antibiotics is distributed with water and food on a steady basis, which makes them gain weight faster and of course, fight of bacteria. This is an aspect that many miss, that some antibiotics are simply used promote weight gain.
I bet that the antibiotics we drink in milk and other dairy products along with meat, are a big factor in causing the fast rise in obesity that recently occurred. Avoid products containing antibiotics, especially if you have children to feed.
The story about milk and how beneficial it is for kinds is not true any longer if it ever where.
FDA has now reacted and banned the use of antibiotics for growth purposes only, 1 year ago more or less, in article GFI #213. When FDA steps in you know there is problems lurking!
This is very good thou, but it only affects the applications directly stating that the antibiotics is planned to be used as growth promoters. The use of antibiotics is still just as high and I think that we still have to avoid meat that has antibiotic of any sort in it, to change the market climate for meat and force farmers to change the way we produce meat.
This is not the sort of issues we should leave to the government, they are to easily influenced by money and the interests of corporations. Changing the meat industry is nothing they would do without extremely good reasons, I assume, so we must stop supporting it.
Labels to look for and to distrust when looking for antibiotic free supplements
This has also given rise to many fake labelings claiming e.g that no antibiotics were given to promote weight gain, intended to make customers think that antibiotics is absent. The animals still receive large amounts of antibiotics to fight diseases, so it is just a matter of for what reasons you distribute the antibiotics. It is masked as only disease fighting but the coctails given can still promote weight gain. The label says “no growth promoting antibiotics”
Another example: the “antibiotic free" label
USDA can still be payed to give a certificate proving that no antibiotics truly were used, it should look like this;
It contains the USDA mark, otherwise you could check for private certificates from e.g global animal partnership.
Common bacteria in meat products
Even with the high levels antibiotics, bacteria is constantly found in meat from supermarkets and over 120,000 Americans is hospitalized each year, due to food with bacteria or toxins produced by the bacteria.
Eliza Barclay, author of "In Meat Tests, More Data Tying Human Illness to Farm Antibiotics", in The New England Journal of Medicine found that 80% of all samples harbored resistant bacteria. FDA did a similar study and found resistant E.coli strains in 53% of all chicken meat sampled and 9% carried salmonella. I would advise you to avoid meat that comes from industrial sized farms, they all use antibiotics.
E.coli and Salmonella
Salmonella and dangerous and even deadly strains of E.coli is found in meat from time to time. Even though humans have E.coil of their own in the guts, there are different and much more deadly strains. One is known to produce shiga like toxins, which is not a good idea to consume at all.
Shiga like toxins, also known as vero toxin
The toxin simply resembles the shiga toxin, thereof its name. If you get a resistant E.coli infection that produces the shiga like toxin, you could be in a bad situation, and the more resistances it carry the worse off you are. All you can do in the worst case is pray for survival, but the shiga like toxin lower the odds of that. Even without bacterial infection, there are risks of kidney failure and damage to lungs and the central nervous system when food poisoned with shiga like toxins directly from the meat.
Salmonella infections is nothing pleasant but not as dangerous, it can in most cases be slept off. It can still be dangerous children and those with compromised immune systems.
Always treat meat, especially chicken, with care. Meat harbors bacteria, that is just a fact. You could even use gloves, just like I do in the laboratory when working with bacteria. Cook it long and well so no bacteria survives. After 10 min @ 100 C or more, no bacteria lives, neither should their spores. Bacteria form spores when conditions is to harsh, an emergency reaction to ensure survival. The spores can live in dry conditions, are resistant to radiation and can live for very long periods without degradation and will spawn again when conditions are more favorable, inside you perhaps.
Clostridium difficile and toxin genes
A classic to be found in meat along with salmonella and hostile E.coli strains is Clostridium perfringens and this is no joke. Even in cooked meat, the spores can infect us and rapidly develop to gastroenteritis, a deadly condition.
Every year 1.8 million children under the age of 5 is killed by gastroenteritis, which can be triggered by a many different toxins, among them, the mentioned clostridium bacteria. Most likely in the third world, but resistance makes it spread to more and more regions.
When you cook food and use the thermometer be sure that you achieve over 85 C or the spores will still be active after cooling again and you do not want this.
There are many more interesting and very dangerous bacteria spreading to humans via meet and dairy but I think the point is made, meat is not a safe thing to eat any longer.
Wildlife is not safe either.
The wastewater from animal farms are emitted into the environment, where animals live of course. These animals can spread diseases to humans, mostly birds and critters. Large animals are hunted for the meat so they can also be a source of concern. The water also contains MRSA or VRE bacteria, methicillin resistant staphylococcus / vancomycin resistant enterococci, which are then spread to humans via the mentioned animals.
I wrote about bacterial resistance recently and it is now considered a major health hazard to humans, and some think that we will see a post antibiotic era, where bacteria no longer can be killed with toxins.
I talk about the wildlife here as well, e.g Doe & deer from Ontario was found to carry MRSA, pretty strange for wildlife that never encounters society? Not when you think about all the pollution from our meat industry!
Summary of Tips
1. Go vegan, the greatest and safest tip.
2. Avoid meat with antibiotics, look for real labels, USDA certified or similar.
3. Avoid dairy with antibiotics & hormones
4. Cook meat to AT LEAST 85 C core temperature, or spores will be active or bacteria still alive!.
Following step 1 or step 2-4 will cause meat manufacturers to produce better meat, since they must listen to the markets demand. It will also enable you to eat meat free from antibiotics(don't eat hormones either), there are resistant bacteria in the meat anyway. The purpose of this post, to make everyone think twice prior to supporting this industry blindly, along with informing everyone about the dangers!
Following the steps will slow down the immune acquisition seen in bacteria all over the world, it only takes bacteria 2-3 years now to go resistant vs new antibiotica. It might happen much faster as well, until we actually find the resistant strains i should say, it might be an almost instantaneous adaptation, that spread until we detect it!
If you truly care about animals and the future of humanity, you would do best in going vegan, since healthy meat or not, the animals suffer, water is going to waste and soils is being eroded and rendered useless 15 times faster then by growing crops!