The Apocalypse...Caused by Meat?

Meat eating is a big deal. Diets like Paleo are gaining ground and involve eating plenty of meat and vegetables like our omnivorous ancestors. My friend, who was a weight loss counselor, told me she saw “much quicker results from clients who incorporated lean meats in their diet for protein.” And face it: who doesn’t want to eat a steaming hot filet mignon if it’s given to ya? Thing is, when you have “factory food,” mass-produced chicken or beef, the conditions for raising it are far from ideal. (Think chickens stuffed into a dark barn sitting around in their own feces.) According to the documentary Food Inc., thousands of cows go into one burger. If one cow is sick or contaminated with E. Coli, well, the chances are that it’ll spread quickly. When you have so many cows in one patty, the chances are greater for infection. According to the article “The Post-Antibiotic Era,” “30 million pounds of antibiotics [were] sold to agriculture industry in 2013.” This is 73% of all antibiotics sold. 30 million pounds. And we are all ingesting that. The article goes on to quote Dr. Arjan Srinivasan:
For a long time, there have been newspaper stories and covers of magazines that talked about "The end of antibiotics, question mark?" Well, now I would say you can change the title to "The end of antibiotics, period." We're here. We're in the post-antibiotic era. There are patients for whom we have no therapy, and we are literally in a position of having a patient in a bed who has an infection, something that five years ago even we could have treated, but now we can't.
The biggest culprit? Our livestock. When we buy conventional, factory-farmed meat – hell, probably most meat unless labeled otherwise – we’re ingesting those antibiotics. The result? Antibiotic-resistant superbugs. This sounds like the beginning of a Michael Crichton book. While we think about the end of the world being an asteroid impact a la Armageddon, or nuclear war or even global warming, we tend to ignore these imperceptible little organisms that can wreak havoc on our bodies. I’m not here to monger fear. I want to open the dialogue: What are we to do? I think about the many times I’ve gotten sinus infections and UTIs and how I was given antibiotics for that. I shudder to think how one tiny ailment could blow up into something potentially life threatening. Personally, I always buy eggs that come from chickens that weren’t fed antibiotics. Is it more expensive? Yeah, but when you consider it as part of your health budget in addition to the food budget, it’s not a bad thing. Honestly, sometimes I feel it’s safer, easier, and even cheaper to use vegetarian options. It helps me eat more vegetables. Documentaries like Forks Over Knives also posit that we eat far too much animal protein. Think about it: sausage and eggs for breakfast, turkey sandwich for lunch, and meatloaf for dinner. Perhaps we can stop eating so much meat. If not, let’s consider where the meat comes from. Let’s consider the upbringing. It’s the cost of better health in the long run. Try buying local beef or local eggs. Research good, ethical brands of food. Always keep a dialogue open about your food and its source. No harm in that.   [caption id="attachment_30262" align="alignnone" width="300"]Courtesy of Courtesy of "Give a Shit About Nature"[/caption] Sources: Food, Inc.

Forks Over Knives

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