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The last several decades have seen the U.S. food production system privatized and deregulated to the point that it has become a menace to public health and a major contributor to climate change. It's amazing that in the richest country in the world it's "consumer beware." It's left to consumers to empower themselves with information to even begin to navigate healthy food choices for themselves and their families.

Some non-governmental, nonprofit groups are trying to take up the slack left by a governmental system which most often represents the interests of multinational corporations rather than the American consumer.

One of the nonprofit groups which has gained consumer trust is Consumer Reports, which since 1936 has published reviews and comparisons of consumer products and services based on reporting and results from its in-house testing laboratory and survey research center.

Please read below the fold for Consumer Reports's findings.

Consumer Reports has recently turned its independent testing laboratory to investigating our broken food production system with a report on the American poultry industry. The results of its testing are unsettling:

  • Every one of the four major brands we tested (Perdue, Pilgrim’s, Sanderson Farms, and Tyson) contained worrisome amounts of bacteria, even the chicken breasts labeled “no antibiotics” or “organic.”
  • Almost none of the brands was free of bacteria. And we found no significant difference in the average number of types of bacteria between conventional samples and those labeled “no antibiotics” or “organic.”
  • More than half of the chicken breasts were tainted with fecal contaminants (enterococcus and E. coli), which can cause blood and urinary-tract infections, among other problems.
  • Enterococcus was the most common bacterium we found, occurring in 79.8 percent of our samples. Next was E. coli, in 65.2 percent of them; campylobacter, 43 percent; klebsiella pneumoniae, 13.6 percent; salmonella, 10.8 percent, and staphylococcus aureus, 9.2 percent.
  • About half of our samples (49.7 percent) tested positive for at least one multidrug-­resistant bacterium, and 11.5 percent ­carried two or more types of multidrug-­resistant bacteria.
  • Of the 65.2 percent of samples testing positive for E. coli, 17.5 percent of the bugs were “ExPEC” bacteria, a nasty type of E. coli that’s more likely than other types to make you sick with a urinary-tract infection.

We take antibiotics for granted. Strep throat, sinus infection, UTI—a quick visit to the doctor, a prescription, and you’re feeling better. But that era is coming to an end because these lifesaving drugs are being overused, particularly in livestock production.

Already 2 million Americans are infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and at least 23,000 die each year. The spread of these "superbugs" is happening so fast the Centers for Disease Control says if we don’t act, our national medicine cabinet will soon be empty.

Join us in calling for immediate action from our nation’s top health officials to stop the overuse of antibiotics!  

Originally posted to beach babe in fl on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 06:18 AM PST.

Also republished by Meatless Advocates Meetup and Daily Kos.

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  •  Tip Jar (253+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, ctsteve, maryabein, Wheever, pittie70, ExpatGirl, bumbi, dance you monster, Creosote, NonnyO, rmonroe, sunny skies, gchaucer2, oortdust, wintergreen8694, ask, Portia Elm, Marihilda, zerelda, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, HeartlandLiberal, flowerfarmer, tonyahky, mama jo, SeaTurtle, countwebb, JayDean, nuclear winter solstice, Sonofasailor, weck, OleHippieChick, sillia, tb mare, SteelerGrrl, mikeconwell, Azazello, nomandates, deha, Sylv, Greyhound, LaughingPlanet, Cinnamon, ruscle, kartski, VeggiElaine, Matilda, Crider, MarkInSanFran, ovals49, wilderness voice, Radiowalla, Burned, shaharazade, Skyye, divineorder, Sychotic1, Wino, anodnhajo, Bluesee, Mary Mike, GeorgeXVIII, Art Tric, run around, eru, eve, LillithMc, VA Breeze, isabelle hayes, jaf49, Dem Beans, Lily O Lady, lightarty, mrsgoo, catfishbob, bibble, GreyHawk, native, ArthurPoet, maggiejean, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, filkertom, Fury, wader, susakinovember, nellgwen, AZ Sphinx Moth, Annalize5, leonard145b, fiercefilms, Blueslide, tofumagoo, OregonWetDog, AkaEnragedGoddess, rschndr, FlyingToaster, bewild, Born in NOLA, Simplify, nzanne, wayoutinthestix, fixxit, Diana in NoVa, Shockwave, Munchkn, BlueMississippi, pixxer, S F Hippie, dandy lion, snoopydawg, Anima, tapestry, chrississippi, Desert Rose, badscience, 1BQ, allenjo, MrJayTee, Assaf, cskendrick, PatConnors, OceanDiver, dotdash2u, peagreen, DRo, Chaddiwicker, Jakkalbessie, OnlyWords, mookins, Zinman, susans, 3goldens, nailbender, mbh1023, The Marti, quagmiremonkey, SuWho, CA Nana, mystique mist, pvasileff, ChuckInReno, AJ in Camden, translatorpro, Meteor Blades, Bernie68, left of center, Sapere aude, Dolphin99, 2questions, ladybug53, Robynhood too, chimene, SoCaliana, letsgetreal, Glen The Plumber, splashy, Caddis Fly, emmasnacker, catilinus, Miss Jones, rapala, antirove, vigilant meerkat, oceanview, jcrit, Jason Hackman, Carol in San Antonio, Angie in WA State, ratcityreprobate, Lonely Texan, copymark, George3, bsmechanic, rb608, Debs2, poorbuster, Ky DEM, davidincleveland, RUNDOWN, jayden, Nebraskablue, grollen, Mxwll, davespicer, pat bunny, riverlover, figbash, JamieG from Md, mujr, atana, Laconic Lib, Quilldriver, True North, Habitat Vic, Black Max, helpImdrowning, kaliope, bobatkinson, sweeper, betson08, third Party please, citizen dan, Josiah Bartlett, don mikulecky, jessical, james321, Floande, SteveLCo, edwardssl, WakeUpNeo, cocinero, kingneil, indie17, zinger99, stagemom, unclebucky, 417els, sobermom, devis1, BlueInARedState, jck, crose, Anne was here, Jujuree, gmats, Gemina13, greenearth, tecampbell, cablecargal, JanL, TAH from SLC, Australian2, bleedingheartliberal218, jacey, anyname, Tinfoil Hat, kurt, msdobie, dewtx, YaNevaNo, seefleur, Blu Gal in DE, walja, HeyMikey, Proud Moonbat, davehouck, one of 8, Miss Bianca, janatallow, nio, buffalo soldier, blue muon, Oh Mary Oh, justme

    Macca's Meatless Monday

    by VL Baker on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 06:18:48 AM PST

  •  Humans Are Only a Niche Market for Antibiotics. (49+ / 0-)

    They're mostly for livestock. We're calling for an entire industry to largely shut down.

    On the other hand, it's a lot smaller than some other industries humanity needs to shut down.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 06:24:12 AM PST

    •  Why would they need to shut down? (18+ / 0-)

      A big part of the reason that, say, cows, are given so many antibiotics is because they get sick from being fed corn instead of grass.

      So pass laws saying corn-feeding cows is illegal, and they must be grass-fed.  That'd help solve at least part of the problem.

      No need for anyone to shut down.

      •  Turns out (12+ / 0-)

        we are feeding chicken poo to cows.

        What could go wrong there?

        I read they are passing (have passed?) a law banning the use of antibiotics for growth promotion on livestock.  It's been a 'voluntary' program for some years now.

        It's more about going after drug companies to label their antibiotics as illegal for use for growth promotion.  Farmers who use over the counter drugs for growth promotion will be fined.

        Except there is a huge exception - if they're "sick".

        But there is more to this, of course, than anti-biotics.

      •  Livestock are not given antibiotics (19+ / 0-)

        because they are sick (or to prevent them from becoming sick) - the antibiotics alter the composition of their gut bacteria in a way that allows them to grow more rapidly.

      •  the kooky founder of (17+ / 0-)

        Whole Foods, John Mackey,  is a hero in my eyes for taking on the task to define and label meat sold with a humane animal husbandry rating.

        The level 5 1/2 is not yet available but it is the ultimate goal. It means that farm animals who are raised in a level 5 1/2 environment live a completely natural life until their (untimely) death. They stay at the same farm with their relatives and mates for their whole lives, grazing, pecking, what have you on what they evolved to eat. NOT CORN!!!!!!!!
        grass, etc etc.
        They live outdoors and wander around at their farm in the countryside.
        No antibiotics, no hormones, no cruelty.
        Their “meat” has more omega 3’s and less cholesterol.

        The highest level achieved so far is, I think, level 4. That does not include staying on one farm  (I think).
        I’ve quit organic chicken and use level 4 b/c the company that sells organic at my grocery store apparently feeds the chickens soy pellets- checked that on their web site. Chicken that is raised to peck on the ground and eat what chickens evolved to eat are better tasting IMO - not so fatty tasting and cleaner tasting.
        And at least they lived a better life before they meet their end (hopefully quickly and painlessly).

        Finally people have gotten sick and tired of being had and taken for idiots. Mikhail Gorbachev

        by eve on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 08:59:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nevertheless, WHole Foods chicken was included... (6+ / 0-)

 the 97% in this study.

          •  I talked to the (12+ / 0-)

            butcher at whole Paycheck the other day regarding their chickens. They used to carry Draper Valley chickens a PNW brand from Washington state. The butcher went on a rant that was quite informative about the so called natural food industry. Apparently Draper Valley a local source of good chicken was bought by a large 'natural' poultry giant in Petaluma CA that is buying up smaller local chicken ranchers.  

            I wondered why the chickens at the two so called health food stares in my city had gone from listing the farm source to saying 'Grown in the USA' . The butcher said that the natural food industry has become rife with giant corporations that see the $$$ and are moving in. I see the changes in both Whole Foods and New Seasons. They are both here in Portland becoming supermarkets that are hard to find anything that's either healthy or truly organic or even natural. What kind of organic natural chicken has  half a breast that weighs two and a half pounds.

            Same with bread, it's really hard to find whole grain bread or bread without sugar as the 2nd ingredient. I have now gone back to mainly shopping at Peoples a food co-op that does not carry meat. Today I'm going on a hunt to see if I can find in this city a grocery store that does not sell meat that is labeled grown in the USA. If I can't it's okay because eating vegetarian has always made me feel better and it costs less. Now if I could just find some whole grain breads or cereal. I may be a health food nut but I am a terrible baker.                  

            •  Do you have links for this? (5+ / 0-)
              a large 'natural' poultry giant in Petaluma CA that is buying up smaller local chicken ranchers.
              If so, would really appreciate finding out more.


              "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandies

              by Pescadero Bill on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 01:42:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The butcher is (0+ / 0-)

                my 'link'. I'll ask the butcher at New Season's what happened to Drapper Valley chickens and why there is no longer any information about the source of their chickens other then 'grown in the USA'. Purely anecdotal but sometimes the word of mouth on a 'meat world' level is the reality you are living with. The literal market place is where the reality of 'free market' kicks in.

                Out of curiosity, I looked up draper valley chickens. Not much info other then cheerful we're healthy and local and there web page makes no mention of new ownership. I went deeper and found that they are now owned by Perdue Foods.


                Here's a link from another disgruntled New Seasons shopper.

                Grappling with Ethics: Poultry From Markets to Our Table

            •  Hi shaharazade and pascadero Bill (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kurt, VL Baker, wilderness voice

              I know a little about Pacific NW chicken and labels.  Both states once had local poultry processors, including Drapers, and also had laws that required the state of origin on the label.

              The out of state chicken barons hated the label law and it was rarely enforced. In another life, I wrote articles about abuse of the labeling law.

              Periodic testing in the 1990s showed that locally produced chicken had nil salmonella, compared with 50-60% contamination rates in southern chicken from producers like Perdue, who is the Darth Vadar of the chicken industry.

              First Foster Farms, a big California chicken czar, began buying up many of the local processors such as Fircrest in Oregon.  Foster sold improperly labelled southern chicken under the Fircrest label.

              Perdue now owns Draper.


              You'd hope they still grow and process local chickens at the local facilities.

              But as many folks know, Foster Farms was recently selling poisonous chicken that was actually processed at Pacific NW locations.  Those places once had zero contaminated chicken before Foster took over.

              “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

              by 6412093 on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 09:37:48 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Good local chickens were at one... (0+ / 0-)

              time sold at Seattle area Grocery Outlets for a good price.   When they disappeared I asked why.  

              It seems that Whole Foods bought up all of what they produced and sold them for three times the price.

          •  Home butcherd chicken will have bacteria on (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ky DEM, eve, kck

            it too.  As will wild game.

            All meat must always be handled as if it is lethal.  Because it might be.

            Cook it thoroughly, clean workspaces, avoid cross contamination.  Not really that hard.  In fact, it's actually easier than making sure all the shit off of raw vegetables.

            "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

            by JesseCW on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 04:40:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  am i the only one here who washes chicken? (0+ / 0-)

              Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
              Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

              by TrueBlueMajority on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 05:41:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Safe to assume all meat, fish, fowl & humans... (0+ / 0-)

                ...are colonized & must be washed and either cooked or very carefully prepared to be eaten. ;)

              •  Washing ussualy just spreads bacteria. (0+ / 0-)

                if you have an industrial-ish kitchen it can be a good idea, but in most kitchens splatter hits dish towels and pot scrubbers and gets into the grout and breeds.

                If you're all sparkly and stainless without clutter, it can be a good idea, so long as you clean up thoroughly.

                "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

                by JesseCW on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 11:30:52 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  i've heard that said before (0+ / 0-)

                  i still feel better washing the chicken

                  Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                  Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

                  by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 11:44:48 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Check out the link about the danger in washing (0+ / 0-)

                    chicken before cooking.  Work done by Drexel Univ.

                    •  that is bizarre (0+ / 0-)

                      who in the world runs water on chicken and lets it splash all around like that?

                      by that theory you should never wash anything, even your own hands, because droplets of water will only cause bacteria to spread around!

                      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

                      by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 09:25:15 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You don't see the water droplets, they aerosolize (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        wilderness voice, HeyMikey

                        and carry the bacteria with them to nearby areas.  According to studies
                        ( "Washing and soaking studies did not decrease the bacterial level present on the surface of whole chickens or beef, therefore consumers that wash meat are not necessarily reducing the levels of bacteria, but are increasing the likelihood of contaminating surfaces and hands."
                        So as Prof. Quinlan says, why do all of that work?

                        When you wash your hands, you generally use a soap that is antibacterial.  Prof. Quinlan answers the "why wash your hand question" in this nor article:

                        •  I don't use antibacterial soap (0+ / 0-)

                          and the link does not specify antibacterial soap

                          i wash my chicken parts with soap.  the skin has got slimy stuff all over it.

                          i don't see any of these studies refer to washing carefully with a small steady trickle of water that does not splash every which way, using soap and rinsing the soap thoroughly.

                          if soap cleans my hands it will clean the chicken.

                          of course it is idiotic to just splash water on chicken and then shake it.   (i pat mine with paper towels and lay it on a paper plate, all of which are discarded immediately).

                          Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                          Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

                          by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 10:41:15 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

          •  that’s interesting. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I’m curious, though whether the pasture roaming chickens were tested or just their regular chicken b/c the pasture roaming are sold by Vital Farms whose chicken is rated level 4 for  the humane animal husbandry.
            So it’s a more normal life with more normal food - pecking the ground, less stress and more open space.

            I started buying their pasture roaming eggs and called Vital Farms in Austin to ask a few questions about how they raise their chickens and care for them.

            I used to buy their organic eggs but now I buy their pasture roaming eggs without the organic label - they’re expensive enough but 1 buck cheaper. than the organic.
            One day I’ll call them to find out if the extra buck just pays for the organic label.....

            Whole Foods is far from perfect.
            The consumer needs to always stay on their toes and be discriminating if possible,
            But I shop there.
            I quit the occasional visit to Kroger after I saw their letter to the idiot Governor Perry (TX) asking him to veto the Lilly Ledbetter Bill which he did.
            Macy’s also sent a similar letter - I prefer to shop in not for profit resale shops when I can.

            Finally people have gotten sick and tired of being had and taken for idiots. Mikhail Gorbachev

            by eve on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 05:27:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  wonder about Smart Chicken? (0+ / 0-)

            "Forever is composed of nows." Emily Dickinson

            by Leftovers on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 06:51:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  For those of you who use butter. (6+ / 0-)

          Grass fed cattle produce butter that is higher in omega-3 fatty acids and lower in omega-6 fatty acids. The 3 version is less inflammatory to the system.

        •  Just ate 5+ Whole Foods pork sausage. (0+ / 0-)

          Delicious. Local. And it was on sale!

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 08:31:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Cattle are not fed antibiotics because they (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mystique mist, Roadbed Guy

        got sick from being fed corn instead of grass.

        Please use legitimate and recognized agriculture, veterinary and food science.

        •  Be The Expert You Claim To Be! (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lonely Texan, VL Baker, JesseCW

          So then, why are cattle fed antibiotics? Seems kind of troll-like to refute with no facts, eh?

          Give us some "legitimate and recognized agriculture, veterinary and food science," instead of being a snipey critic.

          What sort of environmental 'truth' are you enforcing?

          (Sorry, but that Twitter handle seems a bit pretentious to me.)

          You meet them halfway with love, peace, and persuasion ~ And expect them to rise for the occasion...

          by paz3 on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 02:01:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Kinda noticed that myself (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VL Baker

            plus the comments. Maybe its identification for payment.

          •  It is even more troll like to refute (0+ / 0-)

            long-established agricultural practice with bullshit explanations. . . .

            The reason antibiotics are given to livestock is to increase their growth rate, not to keep them from becoming ill or protect them from being fed the "wrong" food.

          •  They are fed antibiotics (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ender, claude

            as a previous poster said mostly to make them grow larger but also to preemptively stop them from getting sick.

            They are herd animals. Like humans. Think about it.

            But this whole thing is misleading. Everything you eat, touch etc is laden with bacteria. You know what you do with chicken before you eat it? Something that kills bacteria..... involving heat.

            A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

            by cdreid on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 06:52:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  not only are bacteria present everywhere, (0+ / 0-)

              some of them live inside humans and symbiotically help humans digest food.  A human can't, for instance, digest lactose products without having certain lacto-bacillus critters on board.

              Humans have evolved this marvelous device called an "immune system" that lets them live around all the filth of existence.

              But an immune system must be used to work effectively.  It must encounter bacteria to develop antibodies to bacteria.

              Excessive, phobic cleanliness is actually unhealthy in some ways.

              People have learned to cook food sufficiently over the ages for very good reasons; they lived longer if they did so.  "Tea" is almost universal in human cultures because humans figured out that water ought to be boiled before consumption.  Most humans still live with this fact in their daily existences.

              Despite the desire to live in complete unconsciousness, without having to be responsible for their own actions,  and with someone else  to blame if that doesn't quite work out for them,  it remains essential to be responsible for one's  own actions.  Like, being aware of what you are putting in your own mouth, or where you are about to put your foot down on your next step.

              Annoying,  I know,  but that's how life works.

              don't always believe what you think

              by claude on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 07:38:07 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  It's actually the grains that cause all sorts (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Angie in WA State

        of health issues.

        Corn helps to fatten them up faster and alter the taste of the meat.

        "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandies

        by Pescadero Bill on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 01:55:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Then they need to be shut down! (4+ / 0-)

      Heaven only knows, we need to get government back into the science and manufacturing game.  Most pharmaceutical research is done in NIH and academic labs, anyway.  They're just appropriated and the last step built upon by private industry.

      Antibiotics are a public good.  They need to be manufactured and regulated both like one.

    •  There's a disease that's killed over a billion (3+ / 0-)

      It's tuberculosis, a slow-motion scythe through the developing world that used to be how one out of four folks in the developed world died too.

      The difference: antibiotics.

      Oh - drug-resistant and now extremely drug-resistant TB strains are proliferating.

      This is a disease that is present in two going on three billion people worldwide.

      We already know what happens in the severely drug-resistant cases: Death within 18 months, tops. Most fatalities within six months.

      We'll have to start having a lot more kids to make up for the immense upward surge in mortality because no one's going to be worrying about OVERpopulation anymore.

      And see: drug resistance.  That's going to apply to the so-called developed world of the future, too.

      We are returning to a health care regime more akin to the 1890s than the 1990s. This is an era where one out of four Europeans died of TB.

      That pattern of mortality will be returning.

      Civilization will continue, but it will have a lot more children and bury a lot more of them.

      •  Tuberculosis is terrible but I think you may have (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pescadero Bill, JesseCW, Subterranean

        slipped a decimal point? WHO says

        In 2012, 8.6 million people fell ill with TB and 1.3 million died from TB.
        Lots of good info at that link.

        Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

        by Wee Mama on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 11:30:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Um (0+ / 0-)

        this probably has a hell of a lot more to do with poverty and WHO gets healthcare and what kind than anything.

        You go to a 'third world' nation and the people who get treated arent getting full runs of the super antibiotics. Theyre getting a bare minimum of the cheapest thing on the market. Likely donated and likely from.. 'less perfect' runs.

        Secondly the drug resistant strains arent because joebob gets fed antibiotics like they are candy when he's sick. It's more likely because buffy's doctor throws the kitchen sink at her when she gets the sniffles .. and generally gives her anything she asks for. You wont see a lot of people in the dominican republic being pumped full of super-antibiotics

        This is just another shady psuedoscience attempt to attack anyone who doesnt live off o f rice.

        Oh and little tip about vegetarianism. In the countries where the non-meat intake is very high.. researchers theorise the people are getting their protein from... insects, insect parts, pest waste/hair etc. Yummy huh

        A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

        by cdreid on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 06:58:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  cdreid's ignorance is making me cry (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wilderness voice

          Read the press release summarizing the opinion of the head of the Centers for Disease Control. Antibiotic resistance is becoming a crisis, and their use in rearing food animals is part of the reason.

          If you want to be a Democrat I think you need to believe in science and the government more than you believe in punching hippies.

        •  Tuberculosis is treated (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VL Baker

          with a combination of 4 unique antibiotics not used elsewhere, taken for at least 6 months.  Meds such as isoniazid and ethambutol.  The problem of drug resistant tuberculosis arises from incomplete treatment.  This can easily happen in 3rd world countries with inadequate resources, patient supervision and education.  Tuberculosis is not even vulnerable to the commonly used antibiotics so overuse of those is not relevant to TB.

          The problem of other drug resistant bacteria, such as MRSA, has arisen from their evolutionary response to antibiotics.  80% of abx are used in livestock production and resistant bacteria have been found downstream of such operations in waterfowl and the like.  So misuse of abx in livestock is definitely part of the problem.

  •  In the recent Baker book on Cheney & Bush, (21+ / 0-)

    Bush goes to Russia, 2002, to talk nuclear arms reduction and terrorism, but Putin is mad. He tells Bush there are two types of chicken processing plants in the U.S.: one for chicken  sold in the U.S. and one for chicken going to the Russians.

    Apparently we all are getting the chicken going to the Russians now.

  •  Eat pork! (3+ / 0-)

    Mmmmm, bacon porkburgers!

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 06:44:24 AM PST

  •  Somewhere, once upon a time, I heard (13+ / 0-)

    That bacteria and salmonella in chicken was no big deal, because cooking the meat until there was no pink left kills anything that was there.  At the same time I heard you shouldn't lightly cook steak rare, or eat "cannibal burgers" of raw beef, for the same reason.  But cooking thoroughly makes the beef and poultry safe.

    Any comment to this?

    "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

    by Navy Vet Terp on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 06:45:10 AM PST

    •  We Always Rinsed Poultry w White Vinegar (15+ / 0-)

      after I heard a food safety expert on a Martha Stewart program say that it's as germicidal as household bleach.

      What I don't know is the extent of bacteria within the meat.

      It's moot for me now because I've developed an intolerance for poultry in the last few years. I wonder if antibiotics could've been a factor in that?

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 06:49:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  IMHO, entirely possible (20+ / 0-)

        I've given up on chicken in the last few years because even though I've always "overcooked" all meats at temperatures high enough to [allegedly] kill all germs, nothing kills the taste of the meat.  I fry meats like Mom did, put chicken pieces in water for thawing.  My shortening is the same as my mother used, I rolled the chicken in flour, sprinkled salt on it for cooking..., but a few years ago chicken started tasting ghastly.  I can only attribute the horrid taste to antibiotics and/or whatever else they're feeding chickens in those huge poultry farms.  The good chicken like Mom made were those we raised from chicks we got in the spring and butchered in the fall, with each bird thoroughly washed before it went in the freezer for winter food.  the last two times I made a roast turkey I had the same feeling of revulsion at the flavor of the meat, so I haven't eaten turkey in years either.

        About 1991 I made hamburger the usual way, like I learned from Mom, and gravy from the drippings, exactly as Mom taught me umpteen years ago.  I used to make excellent gravy from beef drippings, even if I do say so myself.  Suddenly, I got deathly ill with vomiting and diarrhea about twenty minutes after I ate, and a three day migraine started about the same time.  Thinking I must have gotten tainted meat somehow, the next week I bought a new package of ground pork with an expiration date a few days ahead, immediately cooked up more burgers and gravy when I got home (the meat didn't have a chance to spoil, in other words)..., with the same result.  I waited a few weeks to eat hamburger & gravy again - after checking to make sure the expiration date was clearly ahead, meat was a nice pink color, it smelled fine when I opened the package, and I prepared it as soon as I got home from the store.  Same thing: got deathly ill.

        I have not eaten beef since.

        A couple of years after that there was publicity about too many antibiotics and/or other medicines fed to cattle in feeder lots, and at the time I thought that was probably the reason I had developed an allergy reaction to beef.  I don't remember when, but also read that bones and leftover unusable parts of cattle were burned, ground up, and mixed with whatever foodstuffs was being fed to cattle (cattle are herbivores, so feeding them burned bones and meat just has to be totally unhealthy).  Plus which, the burnt/ground up bones from cattle with Mad Cow Disease was among the charred stuff fed to cattle.

        I'm sort of doing okay with pork products.  I can still eat bacon and sausages as long as they don't contain MSG. Pork chops are okay, but nothing to write home about since the meat doesn't taste like it used to when I was young.  There's not much in the way of flavor.

        I highly suspect I could maybe eat beef and poultry if the animals were raised on a farm and fed good food (grain for both, free-range grazing, nice clean hay for cows) like we did when I was young and lived on a farm, but since it's only me and I don't have a large freezer to store frozen foods, I can't buy meats in large quantities.  On a Soc Sec income, the cost would be prohibitive.

        So, as is, I can live without beef or poultry, but once I found out antibiotics and junk food were given to cows and chickens and turkeys, I made the immediate connection between antibiotics/junk food fed to those animals and the flavors of the meats (thoroughly cooked) that have become such ghastly-tasting fare, and the resulting food allergy reaction I had.

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 07:36:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  increasing sensitivity to poultry MAY be a CORN (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        sensitivity developing, as there's a large percentage of most commercial feeds that is corn these days... my husband's mother and sisters had this dx'd in the last 2 decades....

        "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

        by chimene on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 03:09:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not trying to disagree (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW, Roadbed Guy

          just stating what has happened to my taste after 67 years. It has changed. I eat less red meat because of my teeth. The only way I will eat another chicken or fish is if it is force fed to me.

          I got one of my mothers old recipes that was my favorite and cooked it 40 years later. Tasted Like Crap. I think just getting older changes many things although NOT all.

          •  In that case, you'll probably want to take (0+ / 0-)

            all due measures to avoid internment at Gitmo, where force feeding is all the rage.

            In the rest of America, less so (as of yet, at least!!)

          •  funny about that, ain't it? (0+ / 0-)

            I've noticed all sorts of things different now that I am that age you mention.

            Teeth are a big issue, but teeth are a big taboo, especially if you haven't got those (artificially) gleaming whites to flash around to demonstrate your socio-economic status.

            don't always believe what you think

            by claude on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 07:53:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Safe...and not worth eating! (6+ / 0-)

      You like your burgers and steaks cooked until they're tough, dry, grey and dead?


    •  Yes, you can thoroughly cook it out- the problem (25+ / 0-)

      is in unintended (and unknowing) cross-contamination. The chicken pack leaked on the counter and it wasn't noticed when the kid put his apple down and then picked it up again. Or even simpler: Robin Cook's (spoiler alert) Toxin explains how one person could get one bite of undercooked burger from the edge of a barbecue that fully cooked everything else. Burger is the culprit because germs are ground in. Steak Is fine rare if it's well-cooked on the outside.
           Personally I have had salmonella "once". But let me tell you that I am a fully grown 'robust' individual who had weight to spare. When I say "once" I mean diarrhea so loose that you are leaking in between the actual trips you need to make to a bathroom every hour and a half for half an hour. For a week and a half. God forbid my grandkids (or anybody's kids) should get this. I can easily see how it would not be survivable.

          On the other hand, I used to be the official sterilizer for a virus-research laboratory. We used these chlorine bleach, rubbing alcohol, then citric acid then clean water to clean our surfaces. At home you don't need to do that, but it's a really good idea to wash the glassware first with a squirt of alcohol in HOT HOT HOT soapy water, then soak the silverware in it, before washing anything with cooking grease. Rinse these things with the hottest water you can stand and let them air dry, separated. (Also, boil or replace your toothbrush once a month.) Thanks again I love a chance for a public service announcement.

      We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

      by nuclear winter solstice on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 07:43:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yup - cross contamination is it (5+ / 0-)

        The brain dead media always blames the victims for undercooking their chicken, but that is unlikely. The contamination resides on the surface.  It's the counter, the sink, the knife used to open the package, and anything else that comes in contact with the uncooked meat.  And then the sponge that is used to clean up after, and the spray that spreads things around in the dishwasher.  Unless you are prepared to use bleach to clean up as in your lab, you are vulnerable.  

      •  Sponges. (5+ / 0-)

        So, you've just carefully washed everything in ascending order of grease and bacteria, beginning with glasses and ending with pots - or, in my home, a final swipe at the counter when all else is done. I may then rinse the crumbs off the sponge, but not much more.

        But tomorrow, I start again, using the same sponge, carefully washing everything in ascending order ...

        You get the gist.

        Is a new sponge every day the only way? Or...?

        The number of children and teens killed by guns in one year would fill 134 classrooms of 20 students each. (Chlldren's Defense Fund, 2013)

        by nzanne on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 10:01:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I use scrubbies in the HOT water but I never use a (5+ / 0-)

          sponge or dishcloth at all.

          I use heavy-duty paper towels for that final wipe-down and discard them, yes.
               At the lab the big tables & counters etc. were sprayed with the bleach solution (10% bleach/90% water) and wiped with paper towels too. I personally use Bounty select-a-size because they are heavy enough but can be small. Chlorine kills almost anything on surfaces. And so does citric acid (in fresh lemon juice for example), and lemon juice also kills both sperm and the AIDS virus upon contact. That's one of those facts that the media fails to mention when they say be afraid, be very afraid and definitely buy the next antibacterial soap you see.

          We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

          by nuclear winter solstice on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 11:57:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I use a new dish rag for every chore (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Carol in San Antonio

          and wash a basket of them every week.  I have always washed glasses first and then in descending order. I also change the water if it gets too much use.  From now on I will bleach my kitchen and then go over it with vinegar.  

          Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

          by tobendaro on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 02:56:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Amen, brother! (10+ / 0-)
        "...I used to be the official sterilizer for a virus-research laboratory..."
        I'm an old "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" geek.  Imagine what imagery popped into my mind about telephone cleaners.

        But I digress...

        Good old bleach and water can de-tox a wide range of stuff.  I use a half-cup or so in my dishwater whenever I'm handling chicken.  The counters get a bleach-and-water wash-down (I have scads of ruined tee-shirts to prove my enthusiasm for bleach as a sterilizer).

        For that matter, when I was on active duty and going through chemical warfare defense training, bleach was what we were taught to use as a field-expedient method of inactivating various chemical warfare agents.

        Bleach = good.  Dishwasher = better.

        A small amount of bleach can sterilize drinking water (makes a good alternative to iodine, which makes me itch).

        However, never--ever--use just a little bleach to sterilize the fish tank.  If you do, take the fish out first.  Trust me on this one.

        "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

        by DaveinBremerton on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 10:28:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  True, but think about it a minute (4+ / 0-)

      Yes, no bacteria survive  the cooking process. And you dont have to bake/boil meat to death to exterminate them all. Eggs are a little riskier because many recipes call for barely cooking them. But I dont think most cases of food poisoning come from cooked meat OR eggs but from touching  the raw product and then touching something else thats never exposed to heat and contaminating it. Thats why they make a big deal out of things like dont use a knife to carve raw chicken and then use the same knife to slice vegetables. And dont cut up veggies on the same cutting board right after youve been slicing up a chicken on it or forming burger patties, with no cleaning step in between,

    •  Cooking is good (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VL Baker, kurt

      But it doesn't entirely solve the problem.

      Consumer Reports is composed of human beings, not gods, so they're not perfect, but I believe they're quite trustworthy. If they published this article, they sincerely believe the level of contamination is problematic, and you ought to take that seriously.

      Cooking kills most of the bacteria, but it isn't guaranteed to kill all of them, unless you really cook the crap out of it. Which is possible. We're talking half an hour of cooking after it's reached 160 degrees throughout. But most people, for most recipes, do not cook poultry that thoroughly.

      Sure, all meat from all sources has some bacteria on it. The amount of dangerous germs living in your muscles is infinitesimal, unless you have a serious infection. The same is true of healthy cows and chickens. There are huge amounts of dangerous bacteria living in the gut of a healthy animal. If you slaughter the animal slowly, carefully, and skilfully, very few of them will have a chance to contaminate the meat.

      The two reasons we should be worried about modern mass-produced chicken are:

      1) Many of them are raised in such crowded, unhealthy conditions that they become injured and/or ill, increasing the chance that they will contain much higher than normal amounts of dangerous bacteria.

      2) Modern meat-packing plants slaughter animals on an assembly line at a truly frantic pace, and the FDA is planning on letting them increase the pace, decrease the amount of inspection, and turn inspection over to factory employees rather than FDA employees. In these conditions, ill or injured animals are not properly culled out, and the slaughtering is done with such speed that everything splashes everywhere, one bad animal contaminates hundreds of others, and gut contents (shit) is splashed all over everything.

      For these reasons, the amount of dangerous bacteria present in mass-produced poultry is likely to be much higher than that in a wild duck you shot, or a chicken you raised and slaughtered yourself (assuming you know what you're doing).

      If there's a low amount of bacteria to begin with, you can cook a chicken normally, kill 99.9% of the bacteria in it, and the remaining few will not be anything your immune system can't handle.

      If your chicken is heavily contaminated, you can kill 99.9% of the bacteria by cooking it, and still have enough left to make you sick. There is also a much higher likelihood that you will cross-contaminate the other food you are preparing, and get sick from that.

      My advice would be to buy chicken that's produced locally on a small scale, to boycott all agribusinesses, to pressure the FDA to make it illegal to use any antibiotics on food animals for any reason, and to finish all the work you're going to do on the chicken first, and then sanitize all your surfaces and utensils with a bleach solution before you start to prepare any other foods in your kitchen. Same goes for mass-produced beef and pork, especially hamburger.

  •  I rarely bring raw chicken into my house but when (12+ / 0-)

    I do, I am very careful.  (The chicken is almost always for use in soup.)  If it is going into the freezer, I do not even touch the packaging until I'm wearing gloves.  The chicken is double wrapped and put into a freezer bag.  Whether the chicken is coming out of the freezer or arrived straight from the store, it is not touched until it goes into the pot of boiling water.  There is no sense in tempting trouble as anyone who has experienced food-borne illness can attest.  

    ""How long does getting thin take?" Pooh asked anxiously." -- A. A. Milne

    by pittie70 on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 06:45:26 AM PST

  •  my cats will not touch supermarket chicken (9+ / 0-)

    any more, even the so-called "natural" stuff.  I have to buy it from a local producer, and it is very fresh, clean, and odorless.  It has not been soaked in "fecal soup."  I do not buy any meat at grocery stores any more.

  •  I buy mine at the local (10+ / 0-)

    farmers market- free range and, yes, much more expensive.
    We have a couple of indoor winter markets , where we can purchase honey, raw milk, locally pastured meat of all types, winter greens, pickled products and way too many baked goods.

    I was a vegetarian for 35 years but now seem to need meat protein a couple of times a month.

    I trust my local farmers much more than any corporate entity.

    'A scarlet tanager broke the silence with his song. She thought of the bird hidden in the leaves somewhere, unseen but nevertheless brilliant red. Nevertheless beautiful.' Barbara Kingsolver/ Prodigal Summer

    by flowerfarmer on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 07:13:29 AM PST

  •  It's an issue at restaurants (6+ / 0-)

    I cook at home, and have time to scrub down anyplace I've been handling raw chicken, but in. Restaurant kitchen, the odds that someone is going to put a slab of something on a counter that just had a slab of chicken, is high, or else the staff (who don't get sick leave) may not be washing their hands every time they handle raw meat.  The chicken no doubt is cooked thru, but the cross contamination -- even to vegetarian dishes -- is a risk.  

    You'll probably be fine, but if you are sick or immunocomprimised, eating at restaurants is not a good idea.

    I but whole Bell and Evans chickens - more expensive, but per pound cheaper if you are going to carve yourself, plus you can make stock out of them and limit chicken wing consumption to only when you've accumulated enough (every 5 birds or more).  More cleaning responsibilities, though.

    The notion that antibiotics have no impact on bacteria is and isn't surprising - they can easily get introduced at the packaging stage but they shouldn't be necessary for its health if the chicken is raised humanely (and more tastily) by letting it walk around and eat a natural diet.

    Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

    by Loge on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 07:20:14 AM PST

    •  Bell & Evans from our Local Co-op (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, Loge

      A good brand that I find at our local co-op along with other meats and poultry which come from local farmers.

      You kills two birds with one stone - support your local co-op and your local providers - plus the stuff tastes so much better.

      We must be the change we wish to see in the world. - Gandhi

      by left of center on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 01:09:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  if i had one to support, i would (0+ / 0-)

        anti-labor whole foods it is for me.

        during the summer, there's a farmers' market, and you can get good meats from them, but i gravitate towards the pork in that regard.

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 07:18:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  That's why I gave up chicken sushi. (3+ / 0-)

    I'm surprised supermarkets don't wrap the stuff more securely.  I've always wondered if chicken-borne illnesses didn't come from cross-contamination in the shopping bag or home fridge more than from the actual prep process, since nobody liked raw or even slightly undercooked chicken.  The chicken factory farm deserves the lion's share of the blame but there are 10000 supermarkets (probably a lot more) where we don't have any idea if they're getting bacteria on the outside of the packaging that they do locally...I mean, how could they not?

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 07:22:32 AM PST

    •  and in that vein, a few years ago there was an (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mystique mist

      e. coli in the raw cookie dough scare. At that time, Nestle recalled a bunch of theirs, even though it was not proven to have come from them. It seemed to me that they should technically have fought it because it was not necessarily the dough itself, and that they are such a big corp that it was better business for them to just quietly retract it rather than confuse people. It just seemed to me that since different strains were found in different States, it was not one problem originating in one plant, but could instead very well have been a bunch of different kids helping their Moms and then licking their fingers.

      We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

      by nuclear winter solstice on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 07:57:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I once got salmonella from undercooked chicken (11+ / 0-)

    According to Wiki, the symptoms are usually 'mild' in healthy adults.  I beg to differ:

    (1)  Nothing mild about being shackled to the toilet for 8 hours while your digestive tract is in self-clean mode.

    (2)  The stuff in one's gut seems to grow in the same way that compound interest increases debt.

    (3)  The only thing worse than salmonella on a full stomach is the symptoms that remain after one's guts are empty.  There were moments when I thought an alien life form was going to bust through my abs.

    Moral:  Chicken that is even a little pink = Bad, very bad.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by DaveinBremerton on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 07:25:10 AM PST

  •  our food system needs major reforms (20+ / 0-)

    based on protecting people, not corporate food industry.

    The NY Times had good post last fall: Should you eat chicken?

    The author concluded:

    Until the Food Safety and Inspection Service (F.S.I.S.) of the Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) can get its act together and start assuring us that chicken is safe, I’d be wary.

    This is not a shutdown issue, but a “We care more about industry than we do about consumers” issue.

    As the author noted, we "should not have to handle chicken as if it were a loaded gun" with all the rules about washing hands, cooking temps, don't let the chicken blood touch other surfaces etc.

    The food system must be reformed. FDA must stop the use of prophylactic antibiotics in animal production. The USDA must consider salmonella linked to illness an adulterant such that it's very presence on foods is sufficient to take them off the market rather than letting customers still buy them.

    It's not just chicken. Nowadays, we need to actually research our foods, looking beyond organic labels. Because federal food agencies are serving the corporations, not us, in violation of their own mission statement:

    The Food Safety and Inspection Service is the public health agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture responsible for ensuring that the nation’s commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products is safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged.
  •  I would also like to add (5+ / 0-)

    that even if this industry could be completely cleaned up (which doesn't seem likely right now), poultry would still be unsafe. Basically you have creatures at the higher end of the food chain walking around accumulating toxic metals and whatever else is polluting our environment, and depositing these toxins in muscle tissue for humans to chew on. So humans are ingesting pollutants and overdoses of proteins  that are not healthy.

    It is far, far safer and healthier to eat lower on the food chain. If I were inclined to still eat poultry or meat, I would make it a once-a-year occasion like Thanksgiving turkey, rather than a regular part of my diet.

    There is no way to uncouple yourself from damaging pollutants while eating animal products. All fish, for example, no matter where caught or grown, is contaminated with mercury. The health consequences of this alone is horrifying, and that's just a tiny part of what's wrong.

    Merry, merry. We are making a spinach lasagna and rice pilaf for holiday dinner(s).

    Where in the Constitution does it say: "...on behalf of corporate interests" ???

    by sillia on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 07:53:59 AM PST

    •  even the fish. yes, I have to wonder, WWJEat? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sillia, mystique mist

      We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

      by nuclear winter solstice on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 08:02:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think, especially the fish (4+ / 0-)

        because toxins float around so nicely in waterways and disseminate thoroughly throughout the system. But even 'farmed fish' can't be isolated from the megatoxicity of our environment.

        WWJEat? Plants, mostly, LOL. There's interesting speculation that the sect he and his family belonged to believed in healing through healthy diet, rejecting the heavy-duty meat intake that was owned & promoted by the Temple at the time. Remember the money-changers? The source of all that money was from livestock, brought there for slaughtering. So J was attacking the Temple for what they were doing, at the same time encouraging people to break free of this 'industry' on their own...parallel to Gandhi and cotton-spinning as social protest and method of independence.

        I read these and other intriguing ideas in a book about religion and vegetarianism...unfortunately right now I can't remember the name of the book, it's all that mercury in my brain!

        Where in the Constitution does it say: "...on behalf of corporate interests" ???

        by sillia on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 09:07:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  umm, technically the animals were for "sacrifice" (0+ / 0-)

          (as, by a priest), not "slaughter" (as, by a butcher)

          end result for the animals was the same, but...

          and of course it was a con job 6 ways from Sunday! the sacrifices had to be "perfect" and ONLY the Temple had a proper supply, so you HAD to buy your sacrificial dove or lamb or whatever from the Temple vendors.

          AND you had to use Temple money for the purchase! That's where the "money-changers" came in... you had to purchase "Temple money" even if you were local, and the Temple money-changers were totally in charge of the "exchange rate".

          as I remember from Sunday-school with my grandmother's study group, and from the college comparative religion class...

          "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

          by chimene on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 05:13:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  ultimately, when all is said and done... (0+ / 0-)

      There. Is. No. Safe. Way.

      Your safety depends on what YOU touch,  and what YOU put in YOUR mouth and where YOU take your next  step.

      The first line of defense is your own awareness of your surroundings and what actions you take.

      Freedom's just another word for no one else to blame.

      And no, life is not fair,  and the Universe simply doesn't give a flying fuck what you or I think about it.

      don't always believe what you think

      by claude on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 08:20:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  entropy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        One could rail against the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics and how 'unfair' it is, but that is not at all what I was intending to suggest. That concern (that the universe is winding down) is one that seems to bother conservatives enormously--they cannot stand the idea that things are not set up to favor them.

        My concern is much more prosaic--what can we do in our own lives that is the most life-affirming? How can we understand the processes (science) that contributes to healthy mind and bodies? How can we spread that life-affirming spark around so that people know there is something practical they can do to feel better? In other words, how can we educate, inspire people to give up the fatalism that seems to accompany any discussion of food?

        I think we are agreeing...? That individual choice is significant. But people have to comprehend what those choices are. For most people they don't have the information they would need to work themselves out of what seems like a slide toward doom.

        Where in the Constitution does it say: "...on behalf of corporate interests" ???

        by sillia on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 08:51:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  without doubt, we are on the same side. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Most pepe don't realize how much choice,  how much freedom, they have.

          Our biggest freedom is to perceive our world as heaven, rather than hell, and live accordingly.  

          don't always believe what you think

          by claude on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 03:19:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Between antibiotics, growth hormones (8+ / 0-)

    and genetic modification, I am now terrified of food. TERRIFIED. And for good reason. So much of it now makes me violently ill in the immediate sense and bedridden for weeks thereafter. I can no longer handle any grains (gluten, corn, oats, rice, etc.), white potatoes, tomatoes, yeast and certain processed oils. And the number of places those ingredients hide is f'ing endless.

    Proper cooking and handling takes care of bacteria but does nothing to counter the man-made poisons introduced over the last 50 years. And then there is the toxic packaging. And then, of course, concerns about how farming, processing and transportation harm the environment.

    I would love nothing more than to be self-sufficient on my own farm. Until such a day, I will continue to fantasize about suing Monsanto and the other companies who have so brazenly destroyed our food. They are worse than the tobacco companies. Smoking is a choice.

    In the industrialized world, autoimmune diseases are doubling, tripling and even quadrupling. Throw in a few antibiotic resistant superbugs and our planet's overpopulation problem might get solved real fast.

    •  may I make a suggestion to you? (8+ / 0-)

      we started on a diet that eliminates/reduces the bread, the potatoes, the gluten, and the high glycemic foods.

      Buckwheat is made from the seed of a plant related to rhubarb. It has no gluten.
      Toasted buckwheat with cinnamon  makes a satisfying breakfast cereal in 15 minutes.

      100% buckwheat pancakes are delicious and very easy to make.
      1 cup buckwheat flour
      1 tsp baking powder
      1 tsp cinnamon
      1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil
      1 egg (optional)
      about 1 1/3 cup water (or milk or buttermilk, etc)
      (I use organic ingredients)

      cook on cast iron griddle until bubbles appear, flip, cook another minute or two.

      If you try it, I hope it agrees with you.

      Finally people have gotten sick and tired of being had and taken for idiots. Mikhail Gorbachev

      by eve on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 09:14:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for this! (6+ / 0-)

        I had no idea that buckwheat was related to rhubarb! Am off to learn more now!

        I'm giving my incredibly restrictive diet six months before I start trying to reintroduce anything. Have been absolutely ravaged by my immune system :( Infertility, vitiligo, malnutrition, neuropathy, vertigo, bone pain...the list goes on and on. And I 100% think GMOs and all the other crap that has been done to our food is responsible.

      •  beware of the one-size-fits-all solutions (0+ / 0-)

        humans have evolved on Earth for many generations and have adapted to eat the food available in their particular local eco-system.

        Not all eco-systemsd are the same,  thus not all food is the same and thus,  not all humans necessarily must eat the same food.

        Another inconvenient fact is that humans are the dominant invasive specie on the planet because,  to some extent,  they are incredibly adaptable and will eat damn near anything if they have to, including each other

        It is a fallacy to assume there is one perfect universal diet that is correct for all humans, just like it is a fallacy to assume that all humans should look just like you.

        Please forgive me for belaboring the obvious if you already have figured this out for yourself.

        don't always believe what you think

        by claude on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 01:54:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary, but a bit of constructive criticism (12+ / 0-)

    Thank you for this diary. It's true that our food system is largely broken. For the future, though, if you pursue this topic again, I would just make a few constructive criticisms.

    First about bacteria. It is impossible for there NOT to be bacteria on chicken or other food. We live in an ocean of bacteria -- billions and billions of them on our skin, up our noses, colonizing our mouths, in our gut, etc. It's all over the food we eat. We would probably die without the billions of bacteria that live in our gut and help us digest our food.

    So a sentence like this:

    Almost none of the brands was free of bacteria
    is somewhat meaningless. It's sort of like saying that all of the brands were "covered in air."

    The focus should be (as it is later in the diary) on the kinds of bacteria and its sources (fecal), the potential health effects of bad bacteria, etc.

    Also, while the food system was deregulated, it wasn't really privatized. There has never been a socialist food distribution system in the US although there was a lot more government regulation. Maybe you mean that monitoring and inspection were privatized?

    •  "harmful bacteria" would suffice. (5+ / 0-)

      Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

      by the fan man on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 10:30:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But still that is misleading in that (0+ / 0-)

        even "harmful bacteria" are ubiquitous and can undoubtedly be found on the vast majority of meat products.

        Just like cocaine can be found on most US paper currency that has been in circulation for a few months or longer.

        Does that mean that everybody is a drug dealer?  No, not really.

        Not anymore than making the allegation that minute quantities of "harmful bacteria" comprise a public health hazard.

        This diary is non-scientific scaremongering (to judge it most charitably) which really shouldn't be allowed at this site any more than anti-vaxxer diaries and such nonsense.

        •  If you found ecoli 0157 on money and ate it (0+ / 0-)

          you could be in trouble. E coli 0517 can cause disease in counts of tens to hundreds ingested. Same with disease causing Salmonella for the young and elderly. Those are extremely small numbers.

          I think you're mistaken on this one.

          Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

          by the fan man on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 09:49:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  OMFG that's disgusting (4+ / 0-)

    I am so glad I've all but stopped eating the stuff.

    Poor chickies, we treat them like shit, then churn them out in pieces that make us sick.

    WTF are we doing?

    The other day I had roasted squash at a restaurant.  It was ridiculously good.  There were some pumpkin seeds.

    They did use some cheese on the plate, so this was by no means completely animal friendly.

    But it was yummy and healthy and filling and no animals were killed or consumed.  Lots of vities and even protein.

    The other day I thought I should get some chicken breasts.  I figured I'd cook them on Sunday and have them for lunch during the week.  I had them in the basket for about 45 seconds and just had to put them back.  


    •  Our society has become depraved (3+ / 0-)

      From mistreatment of those animals all the way up to torturing other human beings. All in the name of profits for soulless corporations.

      Those poor chickens suffer from the day they hatch right up until the end. I certainly won't put that suffering and fear into my body.

      "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

      by Crider on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 10:33:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why isn't flash -frozen 'solid' chicken safe? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy

    I've food poisoned more often by bag salads and a lot more by bad cantaloupe.

    •  Yes, there are many more outbreaks of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mystique mist

      bacterial-caused food poisoning from contaminated produce than meat.

      That doesn't really fit the narrative of this diary, however.

      •  Is 97% of (4+ / 0-)

        the produce you eat contaminated with e-coli?

        In any event, for me it's just one additional reason not to eat chicken.

        Lettuce doesn't care if you grow it in crowded conditions.  It doesn't suffer when you pick it.  

        I'm no purist, not even close.  Not within light years.

        But if you're already half way to ending your meat consumption as I am (I don't eat beef at all), this is just one more reason to quit.

        I hate fake meat, and I'd rather do without than having a slab of phony stuff.

        My downfall is bacon, but I have it only rarely.  Never at home.

        I just can't deal with the cruelty in the world.  As I get older, I get more sensitive, I guess.

        •  I completely agree that the way (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          grubber, delphine, mystique mist

          animals are treated / raised via factory farming, etc it absolutely horrendous.

          My beef, so to speak, is that by bringing very dubious arguments to the table, the entire effort to reduce either meat consumption (broadly) or the use of antibiotics (more narrowly) is harmed because then the valid arguments become equally tainted.

          But about lettuce being contaminated with bacteria - yeah, almost certainly 97% of it is - bacteria are completely ubiquitous and it would be shocking if it wasn't.  

        •  Farmed most of my life (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          delphine, mystique mist

          and never thought I would see the day when listeria was found inside a Cantaloupe?

        •  excuse not to eat BIG-CORP-FARMA chicken! (0+ / 0-)

          I've ever only even seen "Tyson", and we found a more local producer for our game hens!

          We meat-shop ONLY at the local alternative grocers, and TALK to the meat-cutters about where their stuff comes from! The two grocers source mostly in-state, and the butcher shop sources mostly in this county, I think!

          And my BEST find yet, for my carnivores, is the meat counter that will take apart the grinder and clean it and THEN grind MY 7% fat hamburger! We asked at all the places we trade (when we figured out what was wrong), and this one place is pleasant and accommodating about it! Of course, I get enough to freeze and only ask them to do it about every 2 mo, but... We discovered that the pre-ground stuff was sitting in meat cases filled with spices IN THE AIR of the case, laying down enough aromatic molecules that my two supertasters COULD taste it, and couldn't eat it! Wunder-Butchers solved and saved the day!

          "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

          by chimene on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 05:25:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  conveniently for us, (0+ / 0-)

          our nervous systems have not evolved to hear the screams of dieing or maimed plants.

          The Horror!

          Living things killing or maiming  and eating one another in order to live and feed their young!  Why must life be so cruel?

          don't always believe what you think

          by claude on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 02:04:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  meat contaminates produce...that is the only way (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crider, AZ Sphinx Moth

      that produce can become contaminated.  Salmonella etc. live in animal guts( including humans)   vegetables don't have guts. Usual contamination is when manure or contaminated meat comes into contact with produce.

      Macca's Meatless Monday

      by VL Baker on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 09:03:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is not the only way produce is contaminated (6+ / 0-)

        not even close. For example, produce is harvested by humans in a lot of cases. If the humans picking your lettuce aren't allowed to go back to a bathroom when they have to go and don't have an opportunity to wash their hands, they will pick your lettuce with their unwashed hands. Alternatively, there are animals that could contaminate the fields with their waste, bacteria could be in the water used to irrigate the fields your produce grow in... There are many ways in which your produce could be contaminated other than contact with meat.

      •  Wrong... (0+ / 0-)

        ...there are certainly other ways in which produce can become contaminated, as outlined in the other replies to your comment.

        Consider, for example, that manure is considered to be "organic fertilizer", and is going to inherently contain bacteria.  So if that manure isn't fully sterilized first, or the produce isn't thoroughly washed, it would have bacteria from the fertilizer -- and that's about as "natural" as it gets.

        Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

        by TexasTom on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 09:53:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I've long considered any chicken we buy in stores (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nzanne, mystique mist

    to be tainted with something and treat it accordingly for food preparation at home.

    People should view any purchased meats/poultry as potentially dangerous pre-cooking, I feel.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 09:22:10 AM PST

  •  I will never understand the NEED for $$ so bad.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... that you'd risk you business and put peoples lives in danger for a few dollars more.

    It's an immorality so profound, it really should come with the death penalty.

    Why wouldn't you just use bleach in the cleaning process of the poultry? "Fecal bath" is irrelevant if it is a bleach bath. It won't hurt the meat.

    Further, I've reached the point where I believe ALL food should be required to pass through a "Cobalt" radiation bath to absolutely kill off any living thing remaining. You can pass the packaged chicken through it for sterilization. The food's shelf life would be longer too.

    Placing the entire country's food supply at risk just to save a few $$ by not using the tools at our disposal is beyond foolish.

  •  I was washing chicken (3+ / 0-)

    in the sink until I found out that all I was doing was splashing that bacteria all over the place :( It's best to just put it in the pan or oven apparently, but it seems so gross to me so I just eat a lot less chicken.

  •  I'm a farmer (17+ / 0-)

    this really happened to me this year. I thought I might make some money growing a specialty wheat and selling the wheat flour. It was grown on my farm with no livestock animals around, harvested and placed on a truck and taken to a local seed cleaning plant that is organically certified.

    It was poured in 4-4,000 pound sealed nylon totes and I brought it back to may farm and it was placed in a bleach sterilized air tight shipping container.

    I gather some sample for testing not even thinking of a problem but I had it done for insurance to make sure there was no problem.

    Well, there is. e.coli was detected. More in one tote than than the others but it was in all of them.

    I can not and will not sell it in the form of raw flour and I probably will sell it for pig feed. (They wallow and rout in all the bacteria on earth).

    I don't know where the contamination came from but I have been doing some internet searching and have found that 18% of all raw flour in the US has e.Coli.

    Its not just the Salmonella you have to worry about in the raw cookie dough but the e.Coli from the flour too. Of course it is no longer  a problem if cooked to the proper temperature.

    My 87 year old farm mother always cooked everything well done, bordering on burned but we never got sick. But then we also drank raw cows milk for a couple of years and never go sick from that one old milk cow.

    We can work o minimize bacterias in our food but it is going to be extremely difficult to eliminate it all the time.

    My samples were taken from a 4,000 pound tote and hey ranged from 2 to 300+ GFU/10gram.

    Most of today's crops are harvested and dumped from the combine to the truck in 80,000 pound loads taken to the storage facility. If the contamination comes from the field, how do we detect it?

    I am no longer going to even think of selling anything to the public.

    For one reason, the liability is too much and also I would always be deeply saddened if I was the cause of anyone suffering a great illness from my product.

    I despise the big corporations but they are the only ones with the capital to control the process and set the prices.

    BTW, I bought some non caged eggs from a local person and on my first dozen, I found 3 eggs with blood spots. It is a common problem in chickens but they were brown shell eggs and are difficult to see he small blood specks by "Candleing".

    After that I do as my mother did, she would break one egg at a time in a cup before it was added to the recipe mix.

    •  That's a pretty puzzle you got yourself (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nzanne, linkage, mystique mist

      Thoughts: Your wheat could have been contaminated by (a) the water you used to irrigate (b) fertilizer used if any or worst possibility (c) someone else's contaminated field. One of the reason's Monsanto is so evil is they sue people who wind up growing Monsanto seeds by accident as the winds carry them all over the place. Some contaminated dust from someone else's field could have got onto yours. That's a much harder problem to fix than testing your water and then using a filter or testing your fertilizer and changing brands.

      •  The water is fresh Ogalla underground water. (5+ / 0-)

        The fertilizer was a 100% chemical nitrogen liquid applied rough the sprinkler system.

        I strongly suspect the cleaning plant or the harvesting people who had to store he open top truck in their bar barn for a week because of a rain storm stopped harvest. Possibly bird poop, but my big suspicions are with the cleaning plant. hey clean seed from many farmers.

        Organic certification does not include bacteria.

        •  a grain crop in the field is exposed to feces from (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mystique mist

          birds....a possible source of the bacteria found.

          •  I thought of that but we have had very few birds (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Carol in San Antonio

            Dove, Quail or pheasants since the drought. Just starting to see a few Dove this year. I did mention that possibly he farmer that had to quickly place the ruck partially loaded in a barn for a few days might have been he source of birds roosting in the barn.

            I have also been thinking about something else since writing here. I live in the area where the Organic Peanut Butter processing plant was shut down because of e.Coli.  I think those farmers used UN COMPOSTED manure on their peanuts.

            This area has 100's of large capacity Dairy's. Winds blow fairly string being it is the flat Great Plains area.

            Wonder how much e. Coli can become airborne and multiply?

    •  Wow, Jim B - (3+ / 0-)

      sounds like a painful and expensive and frustrating growing season for you.

      But let me ask - isn't flour ALWAYS cooked? I mean, other than raw cookie dough, how else would someone ingest raw flour?

      Also - what do blood spots in eggs mean?

      Thanks for the info!

      The number of children and teens killed by guns in one year would fill 134 classrooms of 20 students each. (Chlldren's Defense Fund, 2013)

      by nzanne on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 10:11:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  As far as I know the blood spots (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Crider, mystique mist

        are just the result of a rupture of a blood vessel on the yolks surface and they are not dangerous to eat. I usually just scoop them out when I find them.

        •  Yes. Blood spots in eggs are normal (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mystique mist, Betty Pinson

          And they occur in younger hens more often than older hens. Or is it the other way around?

          "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

          by Crider on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 10:39:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Flour is supposed o be cooked and so is meat (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Crider, mystique mist, SoCaliana, JesseCW

        but there are those who insist on eating things raw. There was a fad of eating raw hamburger and I know you have heard of people eating raw cookie dough.

        Now it is no longer the threat of salmonella from eggs in he cookie dough, but e.Coli from the flour. I was planning on selling I as raw flour but since not all people cook, I would be open o liability.

        I don't guess blood spots are dangerous, I just go by my upbringing of grading agricultural products by appearance rather than by quality.

        I don' hink they are dangerous, just look bad.

        •  Where are you located? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mystique mist, ladybug53

          I'm into heritage wheat and mill my own flour. I've had Turkey Red, Ethiopian Blue Tinge (an emmer, actually), and Sonora. I've got a small part of my backyard garden planted with a packet of Baart I mail ordered.

          Anyway, I'm in Northern California, and if you're around here, I would love to buy 50 lbs. from you.

          "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

          by Crider on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 11:02:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Is this really necessary? (4+ / 0-)

      I am reading more and more reports saying our fanaticism about eliminating all bacteria and other micro-organisms may actually be responsible for some allergies, obesity, and other chronic health problems -- that we'd be healthy overall if we had more contact with a wider variety of micro-organisms. That's why they're now treating some people with "fecal transplants" -- yuck, but apparently it works. And more and more I'm seeing recommendations to get your hands and feet dirty, not worry about eliminating bacteria in your house, etc.

      To me the problem is two-fold: 1. the overuse of antibiotics and anti-bacterial agents, so that the strains that survive are super-strength; and 2. certain harmful strains of bacteria have proliferated and the less toxic and more helpful ones have been wiped out.  And 3. cooking (and slaughter) is increasingly haphazard, and done by institutions that don't care if things are really done, as long as they can keep the line moving and meet their production quotas.

      So I would not mind buying your produce (not wheat, because I eat gluten-free), as long as I'm not going to eat it raw. And for me the good news in the Consumer Reports info is that "no antibiotics" chicken is not more dangerous than "standard."

    •  assume you're not talking about disease causing (0+ / 0-)

      E Coli. Just an indicator of bacterial contamination, right?

      Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

      by the fan man on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 01:55:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  OMG! (3+ / 0-)

    What is there left to eat?

    I'd like to be a vegetarian but there is no way in hell I'm going to cook one style of food for myself and one for my nonvegetarian husband. After spending half a century in the kitchen I want to cook as little as I can.

    The day may come when I shall be able to cook a huge pot of black beans on Sunday and eat them all week:  black bean soup with green peppers and sherry; black bean burritos; black bean-and-corn salad; black bean vegetarian chili; black beans and rice. Not sure what I'd cook on the other two days but I'll think of something.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 10:04:25 AM PST

  •  One more (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I raised rabbits in my younger days and I could never kill and dress them so a local slaughter hose did it for my customers. I had one customer that would say over and over, "rabbits don't eat their own crap like chickens".

    We used to have a chicken coop when I was in early grade school and I was the egg gatherer, the one that scrapped he fresh shit off the egg and put them in a bucket and walked back to the house with chicken shit and feathers stuck to my shoes.

    I do remember the hens pecking in he "soil" in he pen. Don't know what they were eating but I didn't see anything but waste on the ground.

    •  But rabbits do eat their own crap, don't they? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crider, mystique mist, ladybug53, freesia

      According to wikipedia, anyway...

      Rabbits are herbivores that feed by grazing on grass, forbs, and leafy weeds. In consequence, their diet contains large amounts of cellulose, which is hard to digest. Rabbits solve this problem by passing two distinct types of feces: hard droppings and soft black viscous pellets, the latter of which are known as caecotrophs and are immediately eaten (a behaviour known as coprophagy). Rabbits reingest their own droppings (rather than chewing the cud as do cows and many other herbivores) to digest their food further and extract sufficient nutrients.[16]
  •  I'm about to become a locavore vegan (4+ / 0-)

    I just watched the Food Inc documentary and it confirmed my worst fears.

    The producers started this food activism site;

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 10:06:53 AM PST

    •  Food Inc. got us off of GMOs (3+ / 0-)

      several years ago. I'd already been vegetarian for 21 years. And one thing . . . in all those years the only time I ever barfed or had diarrhea was when I got the West Nile virus. Never got any food poisoning or the 'flu'.

      I suspect that most instances of what people describe as the 24-hour flu are actually food poisoning. No way does going vegetarian immunize people from getting the real flu, but it sure lowers the chance of eating meat-borne pathogens.

      "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

      by Crider on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 10:52:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It gets even worse. (4+ / 0-)

    The US just cut a deal to allow raw chicken from the US to be cooked and processed in China and then returned to the US for consumption, mostly as nuggets and wings. The USDA decided the Chinese inspection system is equivalent to ours (remember melamine?) so only 2% of the cooked chicken products returned to the US will be inspected by the USDA. The returning chicken products will not be labeled as such, as only the country of origin is required.

    The deal was made in exchange to allow US beef into China which had long been denied by the Chinese for fear of importing mad cow disease.

    I saw it on Dr. Oz.

    statement from the USDA

    What about the climate cliff?

    by wayoutinthestix on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 10:27:47 AM PST

  •  Menace of deregulation? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The opening of the diary seems to point to privatization as the cause of this problem: "U.S. food production system privatized and deregulated to the point that it has become a menace to public health..."

    But there doesn't seem to be any attempt by Baker to support this claim, and it forms no part that I could see of the CR paper linked. Are there some baseline statistics that show poultry contamination levels over, say, the past 60 years? Previous CR studies showing that matters have become worse?

    Meantime, according to this CDC report

    Long-term Trends
    Comparison with the first three years of FoodNet surveillance (1996–1998) shows some clear changes:
    The incidence of infections caused by Campylobacter, Listeria, STEC O157, Shigella, and Yersinia has declined, mostly in the first few years.
    The overall incidence of Salmonella was unchanged, but the incidence of some types of Salmonella have increased while others have decreased.
    The incidence of Vibrio infection is now 116% higher.
    The overall incidence of infection with six key foodborne pathogens (Campylobacter, Listeria, Salmonella, STEC O157, Vibrio, and Yersinia) was 22% lower.
    Overall, the FoodNet 2010 report shows a downward trend in foodborne infections, which is due, at least in part, to:
    Enhanced knowledge about preventing contamination. PulseNet, the national molecular subtyping network for foodborne bacterial pathogens, can detect widely dispersed outbreaks and has greatly improved the detection and investigation of multistate outbreaks.
    Cleaner slaughter methods, microbial testing, and better inspections in ground beef processing plants.
    Regulatory agency prohibition of contamination of ground beef with E. coli O157 (resulting in 234 beef recalls since E. coli O157 was declared an adulterant in ground beef in 1994).
    Improvements in the FDA model Food CodeExternal Web Site Icon.
    Increased awareness in food service establishments and consumers' homes of the risk of consumption of undercooked ground beef.
  •  You said: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GoGoGoEverton, FG, Susan G in MN
    Already 2 million Americans are infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and at least 23,000 die, each year.
    This claim as to anti-biotic resistant bacteria does not sound credible and it is not sourced in the diary.

    Please cite your source for the 2 million infections /23,000 deaths claim.  

    Please also cite your source that antibiotic resistant bacteria contained in food was the cause of the 2 million infections/23,000 death claim.

  •  Resistance bacteria can start anywhere (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53, the fan man

    but it can spread everywhere to everyone. Doesn't matter where it starts, it just that the resistant stuff can go anywhere.

    •  Lots of antibiotic resistant bugs in urban soil, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VL Baker

      certainly in hospitals. It does matter in one respect: if there are behaviors or conditions that we can change to lessen the speed of resistance or spread of disease, it's in our interest to do so.

      Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

      by the fan man on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 03:27:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Food for thought (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Susan G in MN, ladybug53, Roadbed Guy

    How free of bacteria and parasites do you imagine animals living naturally in the wild? The notion of a perfectly disease free animal is only possible in very controlled environments and is about as far from natural as you can get.

    I am opposed to antibiotics and the unnatural diets fed animals that sickens them and only purchase organic, antibiotic free meant and poultry, but it would be foolish indeed to expect animals raised like that to be free of bacteria - although I must admit surprise that even the drugged animals are filled with bacteria. However, I am not particularly concerned about these garden variety bacteria which are easily killed through proper cooking methods. Considering how much food this nation consumes and how infinitesimal our outbreaks - many of which are actually caused by infected vegetables not meats - it appears that we still have a remarkably safe food chain, especially compared to historical norms. As someone whose diet is about 90% vegan, I am far more concerned with the outbreaks we've seen in vegetables that are eaten raw and can't be washed free of their pathogens.

  •  Just about to tuck in to a nicely roasted chicken (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy

    Happy Christmas one and all.

    Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle by God's grace in England as shall never be put out.

    by Bollox Ref on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 04:13:26 PM PST

  •  When was the U.S. food production system (0+ / 0-)

    not "private"?

  •  Wee bit of oddness in the report, although they (0+ / 0-)

    manage to hammer it out.

    The oddness?

    Early on -- when they are toting up the contaminants in assorted chicken brands.

    They seemed surprise to learn that "even" organic and anti-biotic free chicken contained similar levels of contaminants.

    The real surprise is that it doesn't have higher levels than chickens that are pumped full of antibiotics.  The real takeaway is that there is no point to dosing all those chickens up -- they have just as much crud in them as the undosed chickens.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 06:47:39 PM PST

  •  If you use reusable grocery bags, don't use the (0+ / 0-)

    same bag for vegetables, that you eat raw, that you used for chicken or beef last time you went shopping.

  •  People don't see the scale of the problem. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VL Baker

    I read somewhere that nine billion animals are slaughtered every year.  Trying to keep that mess anywhere near sanitary has got to be a major challenge.  

    If you're eating meat, you're eating a dead animal.  It's not going to be sterile.

    In considering the scale of meat production, NYT had an article about the decline of monarch butterflies due to loss of habitat.

    Soaring demand for corn, spurred by federal requirements that gasoline be laced with corn-based ethanol, has tripled prices in a decade and encouraged farmers to plant even in places once deemed worthless. Since 2007, farmers nationwide have taken more than 17,500 square miles of land out of federal conservation reserves, an Agriculture Department venture that pays growers modest sums to leave land fallow for wildlife. Iowa has lost a quarter of its reserve land; Kansas, nearly 30 percent; South Dakota, half.

    A study published in February in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences analyzed land use in five states — Iowa, Minnesota, the Dakotas and Nebraska — in the broad arc of farmland where corn and soybeans are intensively planted. Over the five years from 2006 to 2011, the study concluded, 5 percent to 30 percent of the grasslands were converted to corn and soybean fields, a rate it said was “comparable to deforestation rates in Brazil, Malaysia and Indonesia.”

    Said Dr. Jackson, “I can drive five hours east, five hours north, five hours south, five hours west and see
    nothing — nothing — but corn and soybeans.”
    Okay, so it's ethanol production, too.
  •  This is why Europe is saying HELL NO to our (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VL Baker

    shitty chicken washed in chlorine to remove the shit that we let chickens wallow in together in small cages prior to slaughter.

    •  European animals, being far more cultured than (0+ / 0-)

      our common lot,  don't even poop feces,  much less actually walk around in it on the ground.  Europeans,  being highly evolved socially,  have eliminated bacteria from their ecosystems...

      don't always believe what you think

      by claude on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 02:45:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tofurky just keeps sounding better (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VL Baker

    and better.

    And it's pretty darn tasty too. :)

    And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

    by Pale Jenova on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 07:28:31 PM PST

  •  There have been no new gram negative antibiotics (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VL Baker

    developed in the last 40 years.

    Gram Negative Bacillus (GNB) includes E. Coli.

    In particular, we have had no new classes of antibiotics to treat Gram-negative bacilli (GNB) for more than 40 years – amazingly, the fluoroquinolones were the last new class of antibiotics to treat GNB.
    to understand the barriers to development.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 07:48:34 PM PST

  •  100% of people reading this are infected! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You have fecal matter under your fingernails, on your clothes, on your bathroom door knob, on your driving wheel, on your loving partners lips and mouth. It is on your loving children's faces when you kiss them goodnight. You have more bacteria in your mouth, skin, GI tract than the number of human cells in your body. Humans need this symbiotic interaction for their health. Sometimes we purposely infect food with bacteria to make yogurt, cheese, etc.

    Sure, we all want cleaner meat rather than dirty rotting meat, but you will NEVER get rid of all bacteria. Cooking it will kill nearly all bacteria, and highly unlikely you will ever get sick from what isn't killed. Eat it raw and probably increase your risk of getting sick. But I will still go out for sushi, and play like i am not eating parasites, although I know I am.

    Yes, we all want cleaner things to eat. But meat, veggies, hell, anything produced ANYWHERE will have a 100% chance of having bacteria.

    Welcome to a world that exists outside a lysol commercial.

    •  thanks for this word of reality. (0+ / 0-)

      We are well-trained to react with fear,  and there is always something New! to fear, and usually a product one can buy to assuage our fear.

      Fear of the Month Club?

      don't always believe what you think

      by claude on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 02:52:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for this diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VL Baker

    and the action link. I've been a Consumer's Union member / Consumer Reports subscriber for 50 years. They are great!

  •  TR, we need ya now! n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

    by unclebucky on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 08:31:04 PM PST

  •  This shouldn't be news. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    All the meat is contaminated - but some more than others.  I used to work for a big supermarket chain client of my ad agency, and they were constantly struggling to keep the contamination at levels accepted by the FDA, but there was still shit in the meat.  Try to get any hamburger chain restaurant to sell you a raw beef patty.  They won't because they fear you might work for a consumer agency and will test it - or it might kill you if you ate it.  

  •  Got Arsenic? Got Monsanto's Round Up? (0+ / 0-)

    That pink hue in white chicken meat which consumers demand is due to arsenic deliberately put in chicken.

    Ammonia-treated pink slime is wonderful stuff if you love shitburgers.  Bon appetit.

    Soy burgers and soy hot dogs, etc. have Round Up in them from the genetically-engineered Round Up-ready soybeans.
    (Monsanto wants to make gentically-engineered 2,4-D-ready corn and soybeans since the corn rootworm and superweeds have developed an immunity to Round Up.)

    High fructose corn syrup and everything made from genetically-engineered Round Up-ready corn has Round Up in it which kills the good bacteria in our guts, is toxic, and is nutritionally dead.

    Fukushima radiation in Pacific seafood (Alaskan king crab, salmon, tuna, etc.) will be a welcomed addition to the corporate contribution to feeding the world -- NOT.

  •  Is Chick-fil-A contaminated? (0+ / 0-)

    With bigotry maybe?

  •  Here in Seattle.. (0+ / 0-)

    I only purchase chicken at the Asian markets.  They sell both halal and kosher.  They all carry the same and it tastes like chicken tasted when I was young.  it must be locally grown. It's also half the price as chicken at regular grocery stores.

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