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7 Really Gross Reasons to Never Eat Meat Again

7 Really Gross Reasons to Never Eat Meat Again

You know the statistics that eating red meat will take years off your life and you probably also know about pink slime. If, for some reason, you’re still hesitating, here are seven reasons why you might want to think twice before eating your next portion of meat.

1.  SUPERBUGS

Thinking about turkey burgers for dinner tonight? You may want to think again.

A recently released report from the Food and Drug Administration found that, of all the raw ground turkey tested, 81% was contaminated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Ground turkey wasn’t the only problem. These bacteria were found in some 69% of pork chops, 55% of ground beef and 39% of chicken.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are known as superbugs. The use of antibiotics on factory farms, in order to bring animals to slaughter faster or to make up for crowded conditions on feed lots, is one of the reasons why antibiotic resistance is on the rise. Government data has revealed that one antibiotic-resistant strain of a germ called Enterococcus faecalis, normally found in human and animal intestines, was prevalent in a wide variety of meats. This means that the meat likely came into contact with fecal matter and that there’s a high likelihood that other antibiotic-resistant bacteria are on the meat as well.

How’s that burger looking now?

2. ANTIBIOTICS

Antibiotics are used in livestock to make them grow faster and to prevent disease. Some 29.9 million pounds of antibiotics were sold in 2011 for meat and poultry production–compared with the 7.7 million sold for human use, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts–and that number has been on the rise.

Dr. Gail Hansen, a veterinarian and senior officer for the Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming, believes the use of antibiotics in animals is out of hand:

We feed antibiotics to sick animals, which is completely appropriate, but we also put antibiotics in their feed and in their water to help them grow faster and to compensate for unhygienic conditions. If you have to keep the animals healthy with drugs, I would argue you need to re-examine the system. You don’t take antibiotics preventively when you go out into the world.

Still want to eat that burger?

3. CLEANING PRODUCTS

School districts and parents had not been aware that some 7 million pounds of meat served up in school cafeterias was coming from scraps of meat swept up from the floor and sent through a series of machines, which grinds them into a paste, separates out the fat and laces the substance with ammonia to kill bacteria, such as salmonella and E. coli.

The end product, known as pink slime, looked disgusting. The puffs of ammonia used to kill the bacterium E. coli really grossed everyone out.

It turns out there’s also another cleaning product used in meat production. According to the website MeatPoultry.com, “99 percent of American poultry processors” cool their “birds by immersion in chlorinated water-chiller baths.”

Yum.

4. MEAT GLUE

What you think is a slab of meat, perhaps a filet mignon, often turns out to be comprised of meat scraps held together with something commonly referred to as “meat glue.” Officially known as “transglutaminase,” the product has its origins in the farming industry, when the natural enzyme was harvested from animal blood. Nowadays, it is produced through the fermentation of bacteria.

The Food and Drug Association has ruled that meat glue is “generally recognized as safe,” and it is required to be listed as one of the ingredients. However, it’s unlikely that any restaurant or banquet hall would list the ingredients of its meat on the menu.

Ever thought of going vegetarian?

5.  CHEMICALS, PESTICIDES, HEAVY METALS

in 2010 the Department of Agriculture’s inspector general condemned the U.S. for allowing meat containing pesticides, heavy metals, veterinary drugs and other chemicals to reach supermarket shelves. That’s because the United States’ standards for testing meat for pesticides and chemicals were so lax that, in 2008, Mexico turned back a shipment of American beef because it didn’t meet its standards for copper traces.

How about a veggie burger instead?

6.  HORMONES

American beef is so heavy in hormones that the European Union has said it doesn’t want it. The European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures says the U.S.’s hormone-heavy beef production poses “increased risks of breast cancer and prostate cancer,” citing cancer rates in countries that do and don’t eat U.S. beef. Perhaps you didn’t know that the synthetic hormones zeranol, trenbolone acetate and melengestrol acetate are a routine part of the recipe for production of U.S. beef.

7. CARBON MONOXIDE

Have you ever wondered why those steaks on the supermarket shelf are so red? That’s because as much as  70 percent of meat packages in stores are treated with carbon monoxide to keep the meat’s red color (oxymyoglobin) from turning to a brown or gray color (metmyoglobin) through exposure to oxygen.

According to Ann Boeckman, a lawyer with a firm representing major meat companies. consumers do not need to worry about being deceived. “When a product reaches the point of spoilage, there will be other signs that will be evidenced—for example odor, slime formation and a bulging package—so the product will not smell or look right.”

Good to know.

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Photo Credit: Nick Saltmarsh

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570 comments

+ add your own
6:10PM PDT on Oct 8, 2014

.

6:27AM PDT on May 29, 2014

thanks for sharing :)

1:07PM PDT on Oct 13, 2013

OFF TOPIC for TAMARA R P; KATHY N; DIANNE D and other like minded individuals out there and you all know who you are.

What are your feelings concerning "pro choice"? Don and I CAN! :-))



8:26AM PDT on Oct 13, 2013

I missed this one before - quick answer.

Watch where you get your meat from! Come on, it's not all like this!

9:01AM PDT on Oct 12, 2013

I do believe that I posted this earlier; but with - as my bride affectionally calls it - my chemo brain, I'm just not certain. So, here goes.

Early man - includes woman too, less someone out there calls me sexist - was a "hunter" (meat, fish, fowl) and a "gather" (plants, fruits, seeds, nuts). Check your teeth. Ask your dentist what particular teeth are utilized for.

That being said EVERYTHING that HE ATE was - you pick - "organic", "grass fed", "cage" and , "range free", "anti-biotic", "GMO", "pesticide" and "additive" free. He had NO CHOICE as to what he ate. He ate what was available.

Today, we can pick and choose whether or not you eat meat, are a "vegan" or a vegetarian"; and like religion, political party, college major, choices of pie (apple, cherry, peach, pecan), or make and type of vehicle you drive etc, these are "PERSONAL CHOICES" and no one should be berated for them. WINE time! Don and I CAN! :-))


11:46PM PDT on Oct 11, 2013

Thank you.

11:45PM PDT on Oct 11, 2013

Thank you.

3:23PM PDT on Oct 11, 2013

Thanks for the article.

9:00AM PDT on Oct 11, 2013

The point is generally well-taken but the really this is argument against eating meat that comes from ":the system", manufactured meat produced by factories posing as farms and using animals who live for the sole purpose of becoming our food.

That mndset, in which we no longer see the animal at all, but rather just a food suplly, will always lead us to preicely where we are.

8:33AM PDT on Oct 11, 2013

thanks

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