Antibiotics, Superbugs, and Your Food

Antibiotics, Superbugs, and Your Food


Antibiotic free. You’ve probably seen that label in
the meat aisle at the supermarket. But what does it really mean? Well, you can probably assume that
all the other meat you’ve purchased without
that label contain antibiotics. But is that a bad thing? What makes antibiotics something you
would or wouldn’t want in your food? Antibiotics can be wonderful. You were probably prescribed some
last time you were sick. That’s because antibiotics are a type of medicine that kill bacteria especially bacteria. They cure infections, and without them we would all be
victims of early deaths. But they can only be effective when
used properly. Which brings us back to our original
question – what makes antibiotics something you
would or wouldn’t want in your food? Well seeing as 80 percent of all antibiotics in the U.S. go to farm
animals, they probably are already in it. But why? Well the simple answer is money. Antibiotics help prevent disease in
animals but they also make animals bigger. And bigger healthier livestock means more product to sell without
taking on any more animals. Now this enlargement side effect
started off as just that – a side effect. In 1951 antibiotics were approved for use on animals by the FDA as a means of curbing disease on farms. And it makes sense that if you can
prevent diseases before they start you’d want to use those preventative measures
all the time, right? So that’s what farmers did. But they didn’t realize the negative side effects of overusing
antibiotics. If you use antibiotics once, it will kill as much bad bacteria in your innards as it can. Use the same antibiotic 100 times in succession. And eventually you will start
getting rid of more bad bacteria than your body’s used to. And that leaves an open space where other bad microbes – ones impervious to the detrimental
effects of antibiotics – can multiply and reside. This effectively creates and perpetuates superbugs, or superstrong mutations of bacteria that no known antibiotics can cure. Which is exactly as scary as it sounds. The Center for Disease Control
believes that antibiotic resistance is one of the world’s most pressing public health problems, because when we don’t have the
medicine to cure people from things like
super strong cases of pneumonia or E.coli, people die. And if a superbug starts popping up
in livestock that will eventually be
consumed, anyone eating meat can be a victim
of these dangerous infections. So right now the food industry is at
a crossroads. Antibiotics are incredibly valuable, yet they do come with some risk. How can farmers ensure that they’re
being used and not abused? Enter the FDA. In 2013 the Food and Drug Administration released a
paper that details a plan to eventually phase out the use of antimicrobial drugs in animals. Antimicrobials cover not just
antibiotics, but all microorganisms that we’re able to cure. While the administration can’t ban
these drugs entirely they’re looking towards a
community plan to offset some of this overuse and hopefully offset the growth of superbugs. This plan will require veterinarians to sign off on any antibiotic
treatments with restrictions that those drugs
would only be administered to cure diseases and not for growth purposes. This means that vets need to visit
farms. Which for the one point three
million farms in the U.S., means a lot of vets, making a lot of house calls. Whether this system works or not remains to be seen, but it’s clear that we’re pushing
towards a future with more judicious use of
antibiotics in our foods. Healthy livestock means, healthy humans, and so pushing
towards better practices at the source will
have a reverberation of positive effects all throughout the country. Antibiotic free. It’s a label we should all be paying
much more attention to, as the future of food may mean the end of their overuse.

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2 thoughts on “Antibiotics, Superbugs, and Your Food”

  • Shane the Colloidal Silver man says:

    Colloidal silver is antiviral antibacterial and anti fungus it's the most antimicrobial substance known to man. The best brand is sovereign silver because it has the smallest particle size, .8 nanometers and purest silver ions 99.999 % and pharmaceutical grade water when talking purity here. Colloidal silver cures superbugs. Colloidal silver can be nebulized to cure pneumonia as well, say hello to the superbug destroyer for humanity. God bless hope this helps

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