The rantings of a curious man in a very strange world

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Toxic Food

The saying “buyer beware” has always upset me, this idea that it isn’t a company’s responsibility to make sure what they are selling will not harm those they are profiting from. A dynamic forms where the consumer is established as an asset within the profit margins of a company, calculated into how dangerous their product can be before losing too many customers to faulty or simply dangerous products. You can see this with cars, cigarettes and food, although it doesn’t feel right for any product, the calculated loss of consumers from food infuriates me the most. We have had to deal with salmonella poisoning in vegetables, mercury and lead in seafood, and brain rotting diseases from cows and guess what, today we have another problem with cows.


Currently there is debate concerning the use of antibiotics in meat. Pork and beef farmers need to treat sick animals with antibiotics, it is understandable and acceptable, but what has been happening is constant supplement of antibiotics in these animals’ diets. Farmers do this because it encourages growth in animals, so they can get more food faster and in turn make more money, the problem is that any antigens that survive will be immune to antibiotics. Because of a constant supply of antibiotics, the gene pool of everything plaguing the cows and pigs will be cleansed of weak, drug vulnerable populations, effectively making the bacon you had for breakfast into a factory for a mega-bug that will be immune to every antibiotic we can throw at it. Personally I’m not sure how the farmers who are practicing this can justify a super disease tomorrow with extra money today.


Alright, as tempting as it would be to pull the fear mongering card and try to scare everyone away from meat I do wish to give both sides of the story. Farmers say the restrictions that have recently been proposed for the use of antibodies would make it so any animals that succumb to sickness would be a loss on their profits, which I would imagine has always been the case. I’m sure that with the money they have they could have paid someone to come up with a better explanation. Ideally we won’t be facing a bovine born super virus, farmers will have to stop feeding healthy cows medicine and we will be able to trust the food industry a little more, personally I’m trying to find an alternative to depending on others for my food.
So for those of you who know of a reason why we should feed healthy cows medicine, please post a comment, even though I’m opposed to it I would like to hear the other side, I can hope that it will make a bit more sense than the current reasoning.

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