30 April 2011

10 Reasons to Drink Raw Milk

The following brief article debunks the need for pasteurized milk and highlights the benefits of raw milk. Enjoy.
10 Reasons to Drink Raw Milk
Guest post by Chelsea Green's Makenna Goodman
In recent years, there's been a crackdown on small dairies producing raw milk, designed as an obstacle to the growing legions of consumers demanding healthier and more flavorful milk. Raw milk has been deemed "unfit" for human consumption by the FDA and other government sting operations, and the public propagandized into fearing it. According to some fear-mongers, for example, raw milk causes rabies.
David Gumpert, author of popular blog The Complete Patient and forthcoming book Raw Milk Revolution: Behind America's Emerging Battle Over Food Rights(Chelsea Green, Oct 2009), asks an important question: How much of the fear-mongering from the pro-pasteurization people is real, and how much is propaganda from Big Agribusiness? Gumpert saysthe anti-raw-milk campaign is just another governmental technique to sanitize the food supply—even in the face of ever-increasing rates of chronic disease like asthma, diabetes, and allergies.

Here are 10 things you should know about raw milk that the government won't tell you:
  • Raw milk is healthier: Pasteurized milk is accused of causing everything from allergies to heart disease to cancer, but back in the day, these diseases were rare. In fact, clean raw milk from grass-fed cows is chock full of healthy amino acids and beneficial enzymes, and was used as a cure.
  • Raw milk does not make you sick: That is, if it is properly collected from cows fed good, clean grass. Grass-fed milk has natural antibiotic properties that help protect it from pathogenic bacteria. But it's worth noting, if you've been using pasteurized dairy products, you might want to eat small amounts of yogurt or kefir for a week or so, for a dose of probiotics, just to be safe. I did, and it helped.
  • Not all raw milk is the same: The cow's diet, how and where it's raised, and how the milk is collected are all factors in the safety and quality of raw milk. Cows pastured on organic green grass produce milk with good health benefits. It's good to know where your milk is coming from.
  • Pasteurization was instituted in the 1920s to combat TB, infant diarrhea, undulant fever and other diseases caused by poor animal nutrition and dirty production methods. But modern stainless steel tanks, milking machines, refrigerated trucks, and inspection are enough of a precaution, and pasteurization has become irrelevant.
  • Pasteurization destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamin content, kills beneficial bacteria, promotes pathogens and is associated with allergies, increased tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problems in children, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease and cancer.
  • Calves fed pasteurized milk don't do very well, and many die before maturity. Scary, considering the milk originally came from their mom.
  • Raw milk sours naturally but pasteurized milk turns putrid; processors must remove slime and pus from pasteurized milk by a process called centrifugal clarification. Gross.
  • Inspection of dairy herds for disease is not required for pasteurized milk. This means, pasteurization is used as a nifty way to wash away all forms of bad bacteria that are allowed to flourish freely before the process. Imagine that for a second.
  • Raw milk has more butterfat, which is rich in fatty acids that protect against disease and stimulate the immune system. Skim milk doesn't necessarily mean it's better for you, in other words.
  • Pasteurization laws favor large, industrialized dairy operations and push out small farmers. When farmers have the right to sell raw milk directly to their consumers, they can make a decent living even with a small number of cows. Support small farmers!

29 April 2011

How to Make Your Own Sprouts At Home (video)

Do you know how to sprout seeds? You should if you are serious about survival and health. It's so easy to produce one of the most nutritious foods known to man. You can do it. Here's a video that shows how. Enjoy.

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28 April 2011

Sprouts: Key Food for Health and Survival

Not only are sprouts considered to be a Super Food, they are also easy for anyone to grow inside their own home. There probably is only one food higher than sprouts for overall nutrition and that may be raw whole milk, but you can't produce your own milk unless you have a cow that you keep (not a bad idea really). Here's just about everything you need to kno
A sprouting glass jar with mung beans sproutin...Image via Wikipedia
w about sprouts and how to grow them yourself.

Sprouts Have The Highest Concentration Of Nutrition Per Calorie Of Any Food

Sprouts are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, chlorophyll and protein. They are low calorie and contain little or no fat. The fat they do contain is the healthy fat that your body needs. As some of the most nutritious foods that exist, they make a great addition to any healthy eating plan. Use in salads, on sandwiches, added to soups or stir fried with vegetables. Enjoy these nutrient-packed delicacies as a snack all by themselves or added as a garnish to a main dish. Eat them raw or cooked. Of course, as with all food, the nutritional value is greater when they are eaten raw. But eating them cooked is better than not eating them at all.

Sprouting magnifies the nutritional value of the seed. It boosts the B-vitamin content, triples the amount of vitamin A and increases vitamin C by a factor of 5 to 6 times. Starches are converted to simple sugars, making sprouts very easily digestible. You can have them fresh all year round, even when fresh vegetables are hard to find. It's easier than planting a garden outside and they're ready much quicker. You can even grow them when the ground outside is frozen solid. And the best part is that you can grow the freshest, tastiest sprouts right in the comfort of your own kitchen. It takes less than 2 minutes a day and they are ready in 3 to 7 days, depending on the variety.

You can sprout seeds, beans, grains and nuts. Some of the most popular varieties are alfalfa, broccoli, red clover, radish, mung beans, lentils, garbanzo beans and peas.

Alfalfa sprouts are what people typically think of when you mention sprouts. They are the ones you commonly see at a salad bar. Rich in phytochemicals, they protect against cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis and fibrocystic breast disease. They stimulate natural killer cell activity, which strengthens the immune sustem. What's more, they are beneficial in reducing symptoms of PMS and menopause, including hot flashes. Furthermore, they contain high concentrations of antioxidants, the body's defense against the destruction of DNA which is the cause of aging. Alfalfa sprouts are abundant sources of vitamins A, B, C, E and K, the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. Also carotene, chlorophyll, amino acids and trace elements. They contain 35% protein. One pound of alfalfa seed produces 10-14 pounds of sprouts.

Broccoli sprouts have just recently become popular after it was discovered that they abound with the amazing cancer-fighting phytochemical, sulforaphane. Research studies have shown that they contain 50 times more sulforpohane than fresh broccoli. What's more, they contain glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, substances that protect cells from becoming malignant, at 10-100 times greater levels than in fresh broccoli. In additon, they are sources of plant estrogens, similar to human estrogen, and so are helpful in cases of PMS, menopause, hot flashes and fibrocystic disease. Nutrient dense, they are rich sources of vitamins A, B, C, E and K, anti-oxidants, the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. Also carotene, chlorophyll, amino acids, trace elements and antioxidants. Broccoli sprouts contain as much as 35% protein.

Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, can be sprouted to make delightfully delicious hummus. It is much richer in nutrients than hummus typically made from cooked chickpeas. They can also be used in salads, soups or stir fried or steamed with other bean sprouts and vegetables. These sprouts are plentiful sources of vitamins A, C and E, the minerals iron, calcium, magnesium and amino acids. They contain 20% protein.

Pea sprouts are delicious raw or cooked. They can be sprinkled on salads and added to soups. In addition, they can be steamed or stir fried with other bean sprouts and vegetables. They are rich sources of vitamins A, B, C and E, all the essential amino acids, the minerals calcium, iron and phosphorus. They contain 26% protein.

Lentil sprouts, like pea sprouts, are very tasty and can be eaten raw or cooked. Add them to salads, soups, casseroles or steam or stir fry them with other vegetables. Rich in vitamins A, B, C and E, the minerals iron, calcium and phosphorus. They contain 26% protein.

Mung bean sprouts are the ones you typically see in Oriental cooking. Mung beans should be sprouted in the dark to avoid a bitter flavor. They are ready when they are 1.5 to 2 inches long. Abundant in vitamins A, B, C and E, the minerals iron, potassium, calcium and magnesium, and amino acids, they contain 20% protein.

Radish sprouts taste just like radishes. They are great on sandwiches or in salads. Their high concentrations of phytochemicals help protect against disease. And because of their naturally occurring plant estrogens, similar to human estrogen, they are helpful with PMS, menopause, hot flashes and fibrocystic disease. These baby green vegetables are rich sources of vitamins A, B, C, E and K, the minerals potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc. In addition, they also contain carotene, chlorophyll, amino acids, trace elements, and antioxidants. They have a 26% protein content.
Red clover sprouts look like alfalfa sprouts and have a mild, sweet flavor. Rich in phytochemicals, in particular genistein, which is known to prevent the formation of new blood vessels inside a tumor, in essence starving the tumor, it is protective against diseases like cancer. Red clover contains naturally occurring plant estrogens, similar to human estrogen, so they are helpful with PMS, menopause, hot flashes and fibrocystic disease. They are contraindicated with tamoxifen treatment. Please consult your physician if you are receiving this treatment before using sprouts. They contain vitamins A, B, C, E and K, the minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, phosphorus and zinc, trace minerals, carotene, chlorophyll and amino acids. They contain 26% protein.

How to Grow Your Own Sprouts

Sprouts are easy to grow and take a minimum of effort. You probably already have everything you need to start your own kitchen garden.

To grow sprouts in jars on your kitchen sink, you will need:
1. a wide-mouth jar
2. screen or netting
3. a rubber band
4. a bowl to drain the jar
5. fresh water
6. sprouting seeds

Organically grown sprouting seeds are preferable. Seeds that are not specifically sprouting seeds and are not organic may be chemically treated with pesticides and those chemicals will end up in your sprouts. Two oz. of seeds will yield 1-2 pounds of sprouts, and 8 ounces of beans will yield 1 pound of sprouts. Your indoor garden will grow best when the temperature is between 65F and 75F (18C and 25C).

Step 1.
Put 1 to 2 Tbsp. of seeds or 3 to 4 Tbsp. of beans in a wide mouth jar.

Step 2.
Cover with netting or cheescloth and secure with a rubber band.

Step 3.
Rinse a couple times, then fill the jar 3/4 full with pure water, room temperature, and soak 6-8 hours or overnight.

Step 4.
Drain soak water. Rinse 2 or 3 times in cool water.

Step 5.
Invert jar and prop at angle in sink or bowl to drain.

Step 6.
Rinse 2 or 3 times twice a day in cool water.

Step 7.
Place sprouting jar in bright light, but not direct sunlight, last sprouting day to allow chlorophyll to form.

Step 8.
Enjoy In three to seven days.

Seed sprouts, like alfalfa or red clover are 1" (2.5 cm) to 2" (5 cm) long when ready. Bean sprouts, like lentils or peas are 1/4" (.5 cm) to 1/2" (1 cm) long when ready. These are more tender when small. Mung beans are 1" (2.5 cm) to 2" (5 cm) long when ready. They are best grown in the dark to prevent bitterness. They should be rinsed 3 to 4 times a day. Taste the sprouts as they are growing to see when you like them best.

Step 9.
Drain well. Cover the jar with a lid, or transfer to a covered container. Refrigerate to store.

Are Sprouts Safe?

Sprouts have been grown and eaten for over 5000 years. They are a concentrated storehouse of phytochemicals which protect against disease. These mini vegetables are some of the healthiest and safest foods available today.

In 1995 there were 2 outbreaks of salmonella poisoning that were attributed to alfalfa sprouts. Both of these outbreaks were traced back to contaminated seed that was imported from the Netherlands. Consequently, sprouts received a lot of bad publicity and children and people with compromised immune systems were advised to avoid them.

But, is there really cause for concern about the safety of sprouts? Let's look at the facts and put things in perspective. The cases of salmonella poisoning related to alfalfa sprouts amounted to 1/3 of 1% of all the cases of salmonella poisoning for that year. Ninety-three percent of all the cases of salmonella poisoning were attributed to meat. Seven percent resulted from shelfish, fresh fruits and vegetables. Is there any government agency telling you not to eat meat, shellfish or fruits and vegetables?

The protective measures that the FDA is taking to assure the safety of sprouts includes bleaching sprouting seeds to kill any contaminants and irradiating sprouting seeds. Irradiation of commercially grown sprouting seeds to reduce microbial pathogens has already been approved. But beware. The sprouts grown from these seeds are not required to be labeled as irradiated. Only organically grown seeds cannot be irradiated. So if you want to be sure not to purchase irradiated seeds, make sure you get organic ones.

Sprouts are safe for everyone. It's the way they are handled that could cause a problem. Those related to the salmonella outbreak were commercially grown. Organic seeds have never been implicated in a single case of salmonella poisoning. Certified organic seeds are handled in a manner that minimizes any possiblity of contamination. Choosing only organically grown sprouting seeds and growing your own sprouts will give you one of the safest, healthiest, most nutritious foods available anywhere.

Books About Sprouting

The Broccoli Sprouts Breakthrough: The New Miracle Food for Cancer Prevention by Deborah Mitchell presents information of purchasing and growing your own broccoli sprouts, their nutritional benefits and recipes using these and other cancer-fighting foods.

Sprout Garden - Revised Edition by Mark Matthew Braunstein gives the latest information on growing every kind of sprout and all the different methods.

Sprouts The Miracle Food: The Complete Guide to Sprouting by Steve Meyerowitz is a step-by-step guide to growing 30 different varieties of sprouts. Also included are illustrations and comprehensive nutrition charts.

The Sprouting Book by Ann Wigmore tells how to grow sprouts by various different methods. It also includes recipes.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to insure the accuracy of the information presented on this web page. However, nothing on this web page should be construed as medical advice or used in place of medical consultation. Please consult your physician or seek out the services of an alternative health care provider knowledgeable in nutrition.

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27 April 2011

The Million Unnoticed Deaths of Chernobyl

The article below shows how Russia and the governments of the world handled the first really bad nuclear accident at Chernobyl 25 years ago. They basically conspired as gover
Color photograph of the Three Mile Island nucl...Image via Wikipedia
nments to hide the truth from the people of the world. They just had too much to lose in terms of their investment in nuclear energy. Reactors are just to expensive to fail even when they fail. Got to keep them going at all costs. Well the cost of Chernobyl is a million dead and counting. Fukushima may  turn out to be much worse, but don't expect a better performance from the governments of the world. They have a vested interest in keeping the truth hidden at all costs, including the cost of your life.
The First Million (Dead) Is The Hardest
By Ace Hoffman

Today is the 25th anniversary of Chernobyl. Today, a quarter century ago, the ruthless murder of a million people began. And the cover-up.
How quickly we forget! How destined we are to repeat!
Today's commemorations around the world might have gone practically unnoticed by the mainstream media, save perhaps for a 60-second spot about a decaying sarcophagus, were it not for Fukushima.
Today we honor and remember the already-dead from Chernobyl:
1) The "liquidators" who helped clean it up (about 800,000 young men) who now die like flies of cancer, leukemia, and a thousand other stranger ailments.
2) The local citizens who were not told for a week or more that anything was wrong, even while the rest of the world knew because a nuclear reactor power company in Sweden had alerted the "free" public (that is, the Western media) several days after Chernobyl exploded, after the ill winds tripped their own monitors.
3) The people around the world who also MUST have died, in addition to the million who lived nearer the plant or were among the liquidators.
4) The descendents, for at least seven generations, of all these people -- that's how far the DNA is likely to show damage, perhaps even further down the line.
"The million" are only the ones that were reasonably easy to count. I use the term "easy" very relatively: WHO wouldn't count them -- for five years they didn't even start to take a half-hearted look. IAEA wouldn't count them (and probably prevented WHO from doing so). It would be bad for the promotion of nuclear power, their mandate and perceived mission. The nuclear industry didn't want them counted.
The nuke-loving cash-strapped secretive militaristic Russian government certainly didn't want them counted. Nobody wanted them counted.
So they weren't counted. Not easily, unless the term is relative.
People halfway around the world, not under Soviet censorship, propaganda, or oppression, were NEVER counted by anyone. Billions of Curies, tens of thousands of terabecquerels... didn't just disappear.
Many of them were breathed in by someone. They killed people all over the world, and still do. So will Fukushima Daiichi.
Cover-ups and lies hide the million-dead from the ongoing Chernobyl horror. Some say it's only tens of thousands, some say "merely" thousands, and some -- the nuclear industry in America, for instance-- just three or four dozen.
Nobody says, "nobody died at Chernobyl" like they (lie) and say about Three Mile Island.
Until last month Chernobyl was the worst industrial accident in human history -- unless you believe the lies.
New pictures have reportedly been released of Fukushima Daiichi Unit 3 -- the MOX reactor -- indicating the reactor pressure vessel itself had exploded last month (see Jeff's article, below).
The nuclear industry represents a small fraction of 1% of the human work force, even in America or France. These people could all be building wind turbines, except for those people who will have to guard the waste -- a cost society must incur forevermore, and which keeps getting more and more costly, and will continue to do so, at least until we stop making more waste every day.
It's time to stop the assault on human and other life. It's time to turn off the nukes.
Forced down our throats, and paid well to work there, society gave it a try.
Nuclear power has failed miserably. It's not enough to prevent new reactors, or even to prevent relicensing -- one unit at Fukushima had just been relicensed for another ten years just weeks before the catastrophe began. It's not enough to wait months and months for the "lessons learned" from Fukushima. It's not enough to be promised improvements, changes, more and better backup systems.
All those are nice. But we need to close the reactors down forever.
Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA
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Radiation Protection Protocol (revised)

The radioactive plume map shows why you need to be concerned about increased exposure to radiation despite what the EPA says.
Below is a more detailed elaboration of the protocol offered in that interview to protect yourself and others in the world that has now become dramatically more dangerous due to the increased radio-activity in the atmosphere since the decade of wars in which the US, Israel and their allies are using illegal depleted Uranium weapons and of course the on-going nuclear meltdown in Japan in the aftermath of the massive earthquake and giant tsunami that struck on March 11, 2011. The protocol is in 2 parts. Part one is for the kind of "low level" radiation risk we all face currently in the United States. "Low level" does not mean there is no danger. No level of radiation is safe. Part two is what to do in case of a high level radiation risk. The protocol is to prevent long-term radiation effects on the body, and possibly 'radiation sickness'. These are things that you must take care of for yourself, on your own. The government will not help you or even inform you until it is too late. You will have to exercise your best judgement about what to do and when to do it. Nothing in the protocol will harm you. There is no guarantee that any of it will make much of a difference if there is a massive radiation leak. Nobody has a large experience of what to do. You are about as expert as the 'experts'. Many of the supplements mentioned are available from Abundant Life Health Attainment Center. 
Call- 240 245 4147

Radiation Protocol
  Supplements to be used daily for current 'low-level' radiation-
Part One
Niacin (flushing dose) 200 - 1000mg
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) 1000 - 5000mg
Cataplex ACP - 3 per day
Prolamine Iodine- 1 - 3 per day
Cataplex E -  3 - 6 per day
Ferrofood -  3 per day
Cataplex G - 3 per day
Cataplex B - 3 per day
Calsol - 3 per day
Chela-Co - 3 per day
Green Food- 3 per day

Part Two- in the event of a major exposure to radiation
Baking Soda 1 - 10 tablespoons in water
Epsom Salts Bath
Clay Bath
Edible Clay: Cholachol II 3 - 6 per day
Gastro-Fiber 3 - 9 per day
Phosfood Liquid 10 - 20 drops per day in water
Magnesium Lactate 3 - 9 per day

Foods to eat to prevent or lessen radiation effects:
Ginkgo Biloba
Turmeric (Cur cumin)
Green leafy vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables
Raw Milk
Deep Spring Water
Celtic Sea Salt
Sea Weed
Spirulena and Chorella
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22 April 2011

Indoor Survival Garden (Photos)

Window Garden Planter
Utilizing Rubbermaid containers for planters

Rubbermaid Roughneck Hi-Top 54-Gallon Storage Box
Product Height (in.) : 21.5
Product Length (in.) : 42.5 in
Product Width (in.) : 18.6 in
Model # FG3A05H2MICBL
Store SKU # 801975
Price $20 each

This setup utilized 6 containers and 20 bags of potting soil place in front of a large south facing window

For drainage use a 1/4 inch drill in these locations

This rubbermaid container works ideal in these locations so the water does not pool at the bottom

The lid then works as a perfect drain pan

Fits perfectly underneath the planter

Each container held 3 1/3 bags of 1.5 cu ft of potting soil

The handles have holes so you want to be just below the handles

Planters now ready to be planted with seeds

Each planter now has approximately 11 to 12 inches depth of soil
Plant seeds in 3 rows 5 inches apart (20 inch width divided by 4 sections equals 5 inches)

Results from planting on 03-11-2011





Ready to eat

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20 April 2011

Meat and Chicken Eaters Beware!

Big trouble in the food chain with contaminated food. A recent study shows that most meat and chicken sold in the US is contaminated, some with Staph Aureus and other dangerous germs. The food system in America is not working for the overall safety of the population. This is not to say that the vegetables are any safer. It seems like there is no choice other than the be a self-producer. The radioactive fallout from Japan the production has to take place under the cover of a hoop house.

More Bad News for Meat Eaters: Chicken Samples Contaminated

Apr 19, 2011 – 3:06 PM
Others Are Reading 
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Andrew Schneider
Andrew SchneiderSenior Public Health Correspondent
SEATTLE -- This is a rough month for carnivores and others who like eating safe meat.

Two studies, one released last week and the second made public today, have scientifically tested beef, chicken, pork and turkey purchased from groceries in six cities from Seattle to Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

What they found was enough to make a caveman queasy.

Monsour Samadpour
Andrew Schneider
Food scientist Mansour Samadpour, left, and food safety lawyer William Marler are working to establish the extent of contaminated food through tests done by Samadpour's labs.
The latest study was conducted in Seattle by Mansour Samadpour, a leading bacterial microbiologist who heads the Institute for Environmental Health, a national network of food safety laboratories.

Samadpour's staff purchased 100 packages of chicken parts and fryers from 10 Seattle-area groceries during March. The analysis of these samples found that 65 percent of the birds tested had campylobacter, 19 percent had salmonella and 2 percent had E. coli or listeria.

U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors at all slaughterhouses or processing plants watch for these poisonous bacteria. However, Samadpour also found that an alarming number of the poultry samples had a bacteria the government doesn't look for -- Staphylococcus aureus.

Staphylococcus aureus is a fast-acting toxin that often causes gastrointestinal symptoms within 30 minutes, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it sickens at least 240,000 people a year.

Samadpour told AOL News that 10 percent of the samples had the even more concerning, and multi-drug-resistant, S. aureus, or MRSA. Handling contaminated chicken with a cut or break in the skin is a screaming invitation for MRSA to enter the body. Public health experts warn that bacterial resistance to antibiotics is a serious problem, as it often makes many diseases difficult if not impossible to treat.

The study was funded by Seattle food safety lawyer William Marler, who, as AOL News reported in the past, had commissioned Samadpour's labs to test 5,000 samples of beef for the presence of non-O157 strains of E. coli. They documented that millions of pounds of beef sold throughout the country were contaminated with strains of dangerous E. coli that the USDA neither outlaws nor apparently cares much about.

"I funded the chicken study because I'm concerned that consumers don't understand how many pathogens may be on the chicken they purchase and serve to their families," Marler told AOL News.

Marler said he was concerned because one of the samples was contaminated with E. coli 0126, a bacteria usually found only in beef.

All the contamination most likely occurs because of sloppiness in the processing facilities, where the meat comes into contact with feces, which causes most of the dangerous bacteria to flourish, Marler said.

Marler and food safety agencies recommend that great care be used when handling the uncooked chicken at home and that the poultry must be cooked to 165 degrees, which should kill most of the bacteria that leads to food poisoning.

The exception to that cook-it-to-death rule may well be staph-contaminated meat, because those toxins are far more resistant to heat and the meat must be cooked more thoroughly to be made safe, food safety experts say.

That fact alone makes the findings of another group of food scientists more troubling.

A nationwide study by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) published this month in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases reported on the analysis of 136 samples -- 80 different brands -- of beef, chicken, pork and turkey. They were purchased at 26 retail grocery stores in Los Angeles, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Flagstaff, Ariz., and Washington, D.C.

Lance Price, senior author of the study, says nearly half of the meat and poultry samples -- 47 percent -- was contaminated with S. aureusAnd more concerning is that more than half of those staph bacteria -- 52 percent -- were resistant to at least three classes of antibiotics.

Drug-resistant strains of staphylococcus aureus are linked to a wide range of human afflictions, from minor skin infections to life-threatening diseases, such as pneumonia, endocarditis and sepsis.

The scientists say that their study, supported by a grant from the Pew Charitable Trust, is the first national assessment of antibiotic-resistant S. aureus in the U.S. food supply.

Their DNA testing suggests that the food animals themselves were the major source of contamination, and the Arizona team blames overcrowded industrial farms, where food animals are steadily fed low doses of antibiotics, as ideal breading grounds for the contaminant. Price calls this fact "troubling," noting that it "demands attention to how antibiotics are used in food-animal production today."

"The single most effective way to reduce antibiotic-resistant bacteria in food is to stop feeding millions of animals antibiotics," he said in a press conference announcing the study.

Staphylococcus aureus infects hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. Before the discovery of antibiotics, staph infections were associated with extremely high mortality rates, Price told AOL News.

aureus that are resistant to multiple antibiotics. These products are potential sources of human exposure and infection from multi-drug-resistant staph," said Price, who is the director of TGen's Center for Food Microbiology and Environmental Health.

"Antibiotics are the most important drugs that we have to treat staph infections. But when staph are resistant to three, four, five or even nine different antibiotics -- like we saw in this study -- that leaves physicians few options," Price said.

Many food safety activists have expressed concern over the results of the studies.

"This is a public health risk because these bacteria can cause food-borne illness. What makes it even more insidious is the fact that this bacteria is resistant to antibiotics. There needs to be a broader sample, though, to ascertain the extent to which this situation is widespread," Tony Carbo of the nonprofit Food and Water Watch told AOL News.

The American Meat Institute, the industry's lead lobbying arm, told AOL News in a statement sent Monday that the sample size is insufficient to reach the sweeping conclusions conveyed by the Arizona scientists.

The meat institute further noted that S. aureus is also carried by household pets.

"Despite the claims of this small study, consumers can feel confident that meat and poultry is safe," said the group's president, James Hodges. "Federal data show that S. aureus infections in people that are caused by food are uncommon."

What about the almost 250,000 illnesses that the CDC attributes to Staphylococcus aureus in food each year?

"While our goal is to get as close to zero foodborne illnesses linked to meat and poultry as science permits, the fact is that the 241,000 estimated human infections with S. aureus from all foods comprise one half of one percent of the total foodborne illnesses that CDC estimates occur annually in the U.S." American Meat Institute spokesman Tom Super said.
Filed under: NationHealthAOL Original

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