Last week here I wrote about the new food safety bill, and how the Organic Consumer’s Association is calling for it to include limitations on factory farming.
We all know factory farming is dangerous for the environment, and more and more now, for our health. MSNBC just did a piece about the superbugs in meat, causing 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 ones 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, were animals are in such miserable close quarters that farmers need to use these drugs to begin with?
Here are the ways to keep yourself safe from these superbugs (from MSNBC), other than being a vegetarian, which I heartily recommend.
“Follow these tips to help reduce your risk of exposure to MRSA in meats:
-Look for the USDA organic seal. Organic meat might be less likely to have antibiotic-resistant or disease-causing organisms, as the animal hasn’t been fed antibiotics, hormones to promote growth, or animal by-products. Other labels, such as no antibiotics added, are not verified by independent testing.
-Log on to eatwellguide.org to search for listings of stores and restaurants that offer no-antibiotic-use, grass-fed, or organic meats.
-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.
— Wash your hands with hot, soapy water before and after you prep meat. Never touch raw meat and then your nose, as MRSA thrives on skin and in nasal passages.
— Keep scrapes and cuts covered with waterproof bandages or use rubber gloves. MRSA and other pathogens can use the openings as entry points.
— Clean cutting boards and utensils that come in contact with meat with hot, soapy water to avoid cross-contamination.
— Make it well-done to kill MRSA and other foodborne bacteria: For pork and beef, the internal temp should be 170°F; for chicken, 165°F.”
It’s time to stand up to factory farming and the lobbyists that support it. It isn’t safe for our families, or for the environment. I’ll be looking for ways to support any legislation that stops the unecessary use of antibiotics in factory farms.
[This post was written by Katy Farber]