Those of us who care about keeping our food safe and healthy are all waiting with baited breath for the Senate to return from summer recess to consider the HR 2749, the Food Safety Enhancement Act.
As you know from my last blog, I think the best thing about this bill is its title; huge agribusinesses need to make serious changes, and the bill doesn’t support this.
Factory Farming Creates Super Bacteria
When large numbers of animals are raised in confinement, diseases are more prevalent. This translates to a greater reliance on antibiotics. In time, bacteria become resistant to the drugs. In turn, the humans who consume these antibiotic-resistant bacteria find that medications available to us are ineffective.
One study illustrates this point perfectly (and scarily!): A survey of E. coli bacteria isolated from poultry raised in a state-of-the-art confinement poultry operation at a university found that all the bacteria were resistant to the commonly used antibiotics, Tetracycline, Streptomycin and Sulphonamide (Sulphafurazole).
In contrast, all the strains of bacteria isolated from free-range birds were sensitive to the drugs.1
Ask Away for Healthier Food!
All of this confirms my theory that an informed eater is a healthier eater! If you want steak at a restaurant, ask your waiter where the meat comes from – grass-fed from farm to fork is your healthiest choice. Ask your market’s butcher for organic, free-range poultry…if they don’t carry it, maybe they’ll start!
The more you know about the source and origins of your food, the safer you and your family will be. And in turn, you’ll be supporting the small, local producers and manufacturers that need and deserve your dollars.
Stay tuned here for more on HR 2749 when the senate returns from summer recess.
1Ojeniyi, A. A. (1989). "Public health aspects of bacterial drug resistance in modern battery and town/village poultry" Acta Vet Scand 30(2): 127-32.lets say it...