You may know about the special benefit concert Paul McCartney did with Ringo Star in New York city just a few days ago. What you may not know is that just before that – me- small time Canadian prairie boy- was jamming with him in his hotel suite. I’ve known Paul a long time. I even used to tease him with a nickname – Polly Mc Cracker – until his got knighted by the queen and then went all stuffy ‘British’ on me. Anyway this weekend it seemed like old times, with us joking around and playing old songs together when….
Does this sound like a dream? Yes about the same ‘dream’ if people expect the government, or any outside agency, to maintain their health and come up with a magic bullet when we are in trouble. This was brought home to me while reading a recent Scientific American article about the FDA’s actions regarding one of the famous superbugs called MRSA.
MRSA is an antibiotic resistant strain of Staphylococcus bacteria which in 2005 killed more people in the US than aids. Superbugs evolved because every time someone takes antibiotics there is a slight chance that one the bacteria will have mutated and have some slight resistance to the antibiotic which it then passes on to its children. Indiscriminate use of antibiotics hastened the development of these strains which the medical establishment has now become very careful about.
This disease first was only known in hospitals but then spread to locker rooms (where it became more famous by infecting some big name players and teams) and later to prisons and child care facilities. The problem is now that it has spread to the farm.
Modern factory farms keep so many animals in such a small unnatural spaces that they are given small doses of antibiotics to shield them from large-scale infections and to increase growth. If this sounds to you like the perfect condition to create antibiotic resistant bacteria you are right. The first study to test livestock found that 49% of pigs and 45% of pig workers in the survey had the bacteria. The report also stated that the MRSA in animals was thought to be responsible for more than 20% of the cases in humans in the Netherlands.
“In April 2008 a high profile commission of scientists, farmers, doctors and veterinarians recommended that the FDA phase out the nontherapeutic use of antibiotics in farm animals”. The purpose was to keep these antibiotics useful for sick animals rather than healthy ones. The FDA agreed and announced it would ban the common use of one widespread antibiotic. You can probably guess what happened. Five days before the ban the FDA quietly reversed its position and gave no reason for the change. “The opposition of the powerful farm lobby is widely thought to have played a role.”
The quotes comes from Scientific American –– not some anti-establishment periodical. The fact that they bemoaned how we are jeopardizing our food supply safely for the vested commercial interests reminded me once again of how we have to take responsibility for our health. The only real safety to this, and many other scary dangers in our environment is a healthy body and a healthy immune system. You can’t accomplish that with a trip to the doctor or a quick fix single pill. It requires choosing to live a healthy lifestyle and eating the proper foods for a significant period of time. When we focus on those kinds of principles proper health is easy and we don’t have to worry about specific problems. You also don’t worry about forgetting to keep this up…we at Real Food for Life will keep on reminding you.
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