Tag Archives: Organic

Meat contaminated: US meat contaminated with staph bacteria

And the Republicans want to cut funding for Food Safety inspections?

From the LA Times:

Meat in the U.S. may be widely contaminated with strains of drug-resistant bacteria, researchers reported Friday.

Nearly half of all meat and poultry sampled in a new study contained drug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus, the type of bacteria that most commonly causes staph infections. Such infections can take many forms, from a minor rash to pneumonia or sepsis. But the findings are less about direct threats to humans than they are about the risks of using antibiotics in agriculture.

Researchers from the Translational Genomics Research Institute, a nonprofit biomedical research center in Phoenix, analyzed 136 samples of beef, chicken, pork and turkey from 80 brands. The samples came from 26 grocery stores in five cities: Los Angeles, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Flagstaff, Ariz., and Washington, D.C.

About half — 47% of the samples — contained S. aureus, the researchers reported Friday in Clinical Infectious Diseases. Of those bacteria, 52% were resistant to at least three classes of antibiotics. DNA testing suggested the animals were the source of contamination. The research was funded by the Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming.

“The fact that drug-resistant S. aureus was so prevalent, and likely came from the food animals themselves, is troubling, and demands attention to how antibiotics are used in food-animal production today,” said Lance Price, lead author of the study and director of TGen’s Center for Food Microbiology and Environmental Health, said in a news release.

Antibiotics are routinely given to livestock to promote growth and prevent disease in crowded pens. Last summer, the Food and Drug Administration urged the meat industry to cut back on antibiotics use over concerns that the bacterial resistance bred in stockyards makes antibiotics less effective in humans.

About 11,000 people die every year from S. aureus infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and more than half of those deaths are from the hospital “superbug” methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA).

The direct risk to meat consumers – a staph infection from the meat — can be reduced by cooking meat thoroughly and washing all foods or surfaces that come in contact with raw meat. But the wider danger is to public health—that antibiotics will become increasingly ineffective in humans.

via Meat contaminated: US meat contaminated with staph bacteria – latimes.com.

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How Western Diets Are Making The World Sick : NPR

This article from NPR is further evidence of the harmful effects of the modern diet.

I really think this is going to be a bigger story as the current generations age and life expectancy drops…

This crap that passes for food now just isn’t good for you!

But, again, the Corporations control the government that frequently subsidizes the practices behind this trend.

I can’t say it often enough:  Buy local food, buy seasonally produced food and buy organic food whenever possible….

And encourage your representatives to support these healthy and sustainable practices instead of subsidizing Monsanto….

In a conversation on Fresh Air, Patterson tells Terry Gross that the effects of urbanization are making people everywhere in the world both fatter and sicker.

“Type 2 diabetes historically didn’t exist, only 70 or 80 years ago,” says Patterson. “And what’s driven it, of course, is this rise in obesity, especially the accumulation of abdominal fat. That fat induces changes in our receptors that cells have for insulin. Basically, it makes them numb to the effect of insulin.”

For a long time, the human body can compensate — the pancreas secretes even larger amounts of insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels. But over time, the pancreas begins to fail to secrete enough insulin, and that is when diabetes develops.

He explains that the increase in abdominal fat has driven the epidemic of diabetes over the last 40 years in the developed world — and that he’s now seeing similar patterns in undeveloped regions that have adapted Western eating patterns.

Patterson explains that in his Canadian practice, where he takes care of indigenous populations near the Arctic Circle, there is a marked increase in the number of diabetic patients he sees.

“The traditional Inuit culture of relentless motion and a traditional diet consisting mainly of caribou, Arctic char, whale and seal has been abandoned over this period of time for Kentucky Fried Chicken and processed food and living a life very similar to ours,” he says. “[They’re] spending a lot of time in front of a glowing screen.”

Part of the problem, says Patterson, is that it’s so much cheaper for processed food to be flown into the Arctic Circle than fresh food.

“There’s no roads or rail access to any of those communities,” he says. “So a 4 liter jug of milk can cost you $10 or $11. But there’s a very clear parallel between that and the inner city. In poorer neighborhoods in North American cities, fresh food is either not available or extremely expensive compared to — on a calorie-by-calorie basis — compared to fast food available on every street corner.”

MORE:   How Western Diets Are Making The World Sick : NPR.

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Think tainted Chinese pork is scary? Check out the nearest supermarket meat case | Grist

It’s becoming more and more obvious to me that we need to eat locally produced food and organic food.  It’s important to know where your food comes from- and hopefully the local farmer who produces it.

God knows what the big box and grocery store meats have in them….

Let’s not even think about McDonald’s and the fast food industry…

Over in China, the nation’s burgeoning pork industry has been been busted for churning out meat tainted with an illegal and quite dodgy growth-enhancing chemical, The Washington Post reports. The banned chemical, clenbuterol, is said to “reduce a pig’s body fat to a very thin layer and makes butchered skin pinker, giving the appearance of fresher meat for a longer time.” When people ingest it from eating the resulting pork, they suffer “symptoms such as a quickened heartbeat and headaches … and, in rare cases, die.”

Something similar could never happen here, right?  Well, the poultry industry quite legally laces its feed with arsenic — for similar reasons. Traces of arsenic do end up in chicken meat, in the poisonous “inorganic” form. And the pork industry regularly doses pigs with ractopamine, a growth enhancer that the USDA allows even though its own research shows that it stresses pigs out. The European Union and, yes, China ban ractopamine, worrying that it harms people when ingested.

Then there’s “non-therapeutic” use of antibiotics so popular among the four or five companies that dominate our meat industry.  Eighty percent of antibiotics consumed in the United States go to factory animal farms, the FDA recently revealed. One of the main functions of this pharmaceutical barrage is to promote growth. The problem with routine antibiotic use on farms, of course, is that it gives rise to all manner of antibiotic-resistant pathogens, which then can break out of farms and infect the human population (i.e., us).

There’s a growing consensus among U.S. food-regulatory and public-health agencies that industrial meat’s addiction to antibiotics endangers the public. The latest: the USDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have collected data showing that antibiotic overuse in meat factories “could be exposing Americans to bacteria like Escherichia coli and Campylobacter that have become resistant to antibiotics,” The Wall Street Journal reports.

Hat tip to DailyKos where I orignially saw this…

MORE:   Think tainted Chinese pork is scary? Check out the nearest supermarket meat case | Grist.

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Groundbreaking New UN Report on How to Feed the World’s Hungry: Ditch Corporate-Controlled Agriculture | | AlterNet

More evidence in support of Local Food and Organic crops….

There are a billion hungry people in the world and that number could rise as food insecurity increases along with population growth, economic fallout and environmental crises. But a roadmap to defeating hunger exists, if we can follow the course — and that course involves ditching corporate-controlled, chemical-intensive farming.

“To feed 9 billion people in 2050, we urgently need to adopt the most efficient farming techniques available. And today’s scientific evidence demonstrates that agroecological methods outperform the use of chemical fertilizers in boosting food production in regions where the hungry live,” says Olivier de Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. Agroecology is more or less what many Americans would simply call “organic agriculture,” although important nuances separate the two terms.

Used successfully by peasant farmers worldwide, agroecology applies ecology to agriculture in order to optimize long-term food production, requiring few purchased inputs and increasing soil quality, carbon sequestration and biodiversity over time. Agroecology also values traditional and indigenous farming methods, studying the scientific principals underpinning them instead of merely seeking to replace them with new technologies. As such, agroecology is grounded in local (material, cultural and intellectual) resources.

A new report, presented today before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, makes several important points along with its recommendation of agroecology. For example, it says, “We won’t solve hunger and stop climate change with industrial farming on large plantations.” Instead, it says the solution lies with smallholder farmers.

via Groundbreaking New UN Report on How to Feed the World’s Hungry: Ditch Corporate-Controlled Agriculture | | AlterNet.

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The Organic Elite Surrenders to Monsanto: What Now?

Scary stuff…

But then, I’m not a fan of Whole Foods…

They are Republicans in Green Clothing…

I’m just hoping Deep Roots does get their new store here in Greensboro and offers more local food options…

And there is still the Farmer’s Market….

And Earth Fare…

I really don’t trust Whole Foods or the Big Business Organic companies anymore…

In the wake of a 12-year battle to keep Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered (GE) crops from contaminating the nation’s 25,000 organic farms and ranches, America’s organic consumers and producers are facing betrayal. A self-appointed cabal of the Organic Elite, spearheaded by Whole Foods Market, Organic Valley, and Stonyfield Farm, has decided it’s time to surrender to Monsanto. Top executives from these companies have publicly admitted that they no longer oppose the mass commercialization of GE crops, such as Monsanto’s controversial Roundup Ready alfalfa, and are prepared to sit down and cut a deal for “coexistence” with Monsanto and USDA biotech cheerleader Tom Vilsack.

In a cleverly worded, but profoundly misleading email sent to its customers last week, Whole Foods Market, while proclaiming their support for organics and “seed purity,” gave the green light to USDA bureaucrats to approve the “conditional deregulation” of Monsanto’s genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant alfalfa.  Beyond the regulatory euphemism of “conditional deregulation,” this means that WFM and their colleagues are willing to go along with the massive planting of a chemical and energy-intensive GE perennial crop, alfalfa; guaranteed to spread its mutant genes and seeds across the nation; guaranteed to contaminate the alfalfa fed to organic animals; guaranteed to lead to massive poisoning of farm workers and destruction of the essential soil food web by the toxic herbicide, Roundup; and guaranteed to produce Roundup-resistant superweeds that will require even more deadly herbicides such as 2,4 D to be sprayed on millions of acres of alfalfa across the U.S.

via The Organic Elite Surrenders to Monsanto: What Now?.

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