We all know factory farming is bad for the environment, and we’re finding more and more evidence suggesting it’s bad for our health, as well. MSNBC just published a piece about the superbugs in meat; they found that superbugs cause dangerous and sometimes lethal viruses in the people who work in slaughterhouses and meat processing plants, and in surrounding areas. Read the article for the full story.
I was shocked to read that anyone can buy antibiotics without a prescription and add them to feed for farm animals. Often, these are the same drugs we take when we are sick. Is it any wonder viruses are becoming resistant to these very same, overused antibiotics?
And why should we be allowing factory farming in the first place? In these farms, animals are in such miserable close quarters, which lead to the spreading of disease and the resulting dependency on antibiotics.
Aside from being a vegetarian, which I heartily recommend, here are some ways to keep yourself safe from these superbugs (from MSNBC):
1. Look for the USDA organic seal. Organic meat might be less likely to have antibiotic-resistant or disease-causing organisms, as the animal hasnít been fed antibiotics, hormones to promote growth, or animal by-products. Other labels, such as no antibiotics added, are not verified by independent testing.
2. Log on to eatwellguide.org to search for listings of stores and restaurants that offer no-antibiotic-use, grass-fed, or organic meats.
3. Stock up on nonmeat protein sources such as beans, lentils, and tofu and swap them in for meat now and then. Visit prevention.com/veggies for recipe ideas.
4. Wash your hands with hot, soapy water before and after you prep meat. Never touch raw meat and then your nose, as MRSA [a type of bacteria infection resistant to most antibiotics], thrives on skin and in nasal passages.
5. Keep scrapes and cuts covered with waterproof bandages or use rubber gloves. MRSA and other pathogens can use the openings as entry points.
6. Clean cutting boards and utensils that come in contact with meat with hot, soapy water to avoid cross-contamination.
7. Make [your meat] well-done to kill MRSA and other foodborne bacteria: For pork and beef, the internal temp should be 170įF; for chicken, 165įF.
Itís time to stand up to factory farming and the lobbyists that support it. It isnít safe for workers, consumers or the environment.
Click here to take action against the use of antibiotics on healthy farm animals.
Green Options Media is a network of environmentally-focused blogs providing users with the information needed to make sustainable choices. Written by experienced professionals, Green Options Mediaís blogs engage visitors with authoritative content, compelling discussions, and actionable advice. We invite anyone with questions, or simply curiosity, to add their voices to the community, and share their approaches to achieving abundance.
By Katy Farber, Green Options