I really like to eat meat, but it’s beginning to look like I just have to become mostly vegetarian. Fortunately we can get free ranged “good” eggs from neighbors and by summer we hope to have our own chickens.
…. One thing we can visualize, however, is poop. Yeah, feces, that smelly emission that represents everything we fed our bodies that couldn’t be used. There’s a reason why both people and animals try to keep their living and pooping environments as separate as possible: feces is laden with bacteria that can make us sick. This makes it hard to understand why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants people to eat it.
No, they’re not suggesting we serve up turds on a plate, but it’s pretty close. You might be surprised to learn that many in the conventional agricultural industry feed farmed cattle something known as ”poultry litter.” This feed additive is nothing more than chicken feces, feathers and uneaten chicken feed collected from the floor of crowded chicken cages and broiler houses. Because it’s cheaper than even GMO corn and soy, cattle operations purchase around 2 billion pounds of poultry litter each year.
Sure that’s gross, but as we mentioned earlier, most people don’t care how “gross” their meat is. The truly shocking thing about the FDA’s approval of this practice is that it’s a direct violation of laws meant to protect American beef eaters from a deadly disease known as Bovine Spongiform Encepholopathy, or Mad Cow Disease.
… See, both the chicken poop and uneaten pellets of chicken feed found in poultry litter are likely to contain beef protein, including ground-up meat and bone meal, something that’s perfectly legal to feed to chickens but completely illegal to feed to cows.
“The primary source of infection is feed contaminated with the infectious prion agent, such as meat-and-bone meal containing protein derived from rendered infected cattle,” explains the USDA’s own website. “Regulations from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have prohibited the inclusion of mammalian protein in feed for cattle and other ruminants since 1997 and have also prohibited high risk tissue materials in all animal feed since 2009.”
Although the “US Food and Drug Administration wisely banned the practice of feeding the remains of dead cows to living ones back in 1997…the agency has never prohibited feeding those same remains to chickens and other poultry, nor does it currently prohibit feeding poultry litter to cattle,” explains Mother Jones.
When it comes to home cooking, I’ve only purchased organic meat in recent years. The organic Australian pasture fed ground beef at Safeway is about $6/lb until mid January and then it’ll probably cost around $8 again. I’ve been making exceptions to my organic meat only policy for restaurants because no amount of money will buy me HEALTHY meat with the possible exception of Chipotle, where they only use meat without antibiotics, hormones, etc.
23,000 Americans Die from Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs Each Year
According to a landmark “Antibiotic Resistance Threat Report” published by the CDC11 in October 2013, two million American adults and children become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year, and at least 23,000 of them die as a direct result of those infections. Even more die from complications. The resulting cost to the US health care system? A staggering $17-26 billion annually.
According to the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA), just one organism—methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA—kills more Americans each year than the combined total of emphysema, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, and homicide.12 This death toll is really just an estimate, and the real number is likely much higher. The true extent of superbug infections remains unknown because no one is tracking them—at least not in the US.
Hospitals here are not required to report outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, unlike in the EU where they are at least making efforts to track them. The US is in desperate need of a surveillance program for reporting and tracking this growing threat.13 But what we’re seeing is the evolution of bacteria. Basically, microorganisms have learned to teach each other how to outsmart the best pharmaceutical drugs we have to offer, and they are winning the battle.
The Price You Pay for Cheap Chicken…
Consumer Reports14 also issued a December 2013 report on this issue, revealing that a whopping 97 percent of all chicken sampled across the US harbored serious disease-causing bacteria, many of which are resistant to antibiotics. According to the article:
“It’s unrealistic to expect that the uncooked chicken you buy won’t contain any potentially harmful bacteria. That’s one reason we advise you to prevent raw chicken or its juices from touching any other food and to cook it to at least 165˚ F…Yet some bacteria are more worrisome than others—and our latest tests produced troubling findings. More than half of the samples contained fecal contaminants. And about half of them harbored at least one bacterium that was resistant to three or more commonly prescribed antibiotics.”[Emphasis mine}
Last October, a nationwide salmonella outbreak15 occurred, courtesy of infected chicken originating from Foster Farms. The antibiotic-resistant strain of salmonella, known as Heidelberg, sickened close to 300 people in 17 states. Of those infected, 40 percent required hospitalization—twice as many people as typically require hospitalization due to regular salmonella. So what can you do to protect yourself and your family from this scourge? According to Consumer Reports:
“’Our tests did not find brands or types of chicken breasts that had less bacteria than the rest. At the moment, the only way to protect yourself from becoming sick is to remain vigilant about safe handling and cooking… Still, there are good reasons for selecting chickens raised without the use of antibiotics. Buying those products supports farmers who keep their chickens off unnecessary drugs, and that’s good for your health and preserves the effectiveness of antibiotics. Chickens without antibiotic resistance to salmonella and other dangerous pathogens can’t pass antibiotic-resistant bugs on to you,’ says Robert Lawrence, M.D., the Center for a Livable Future Professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.”
I expect that at least 90% of the people who KNOW that they are literally eating shit continue to eat SHIT because they don’t have enough brains to not purchase conventional meat.
It takes the government nanny to keep people from eating SHIT.
What a country …