What's in Your Meat? The Answer Will Surprise You


Get ready to have your day ruined. 

Apparently the U.S. meat supply is chock full of superbug strains of bacteria like salmonella and E.coli. These superbugs are resistant to antibiotics. The data was collected as part of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System and is a joint project of the Food and Drug Administration, Agriculture Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These antibiotic resistant bacteria are becoming more prevalent and their proliferation is expected to continue. 


No kind of meat is apparently immune either, results from the 2011 study said that over half of the samples taken from ground turkey, pork chops, ground beef and chicken all contained various strains of superbugs. 

Around 80% percent of all antibiotics sold in the United States are used in animal agriculture. These antibiotics are not used in the conventional way that you or I would use them. Instead, they are used to produce larger livestock and to prevent illness as animals are often housed in large numbers and unsanitary conditions. Larger livestock equals more meat, more meat equals more profit. The Federal Drug Administration recommends that antibiotics only be used when necessary in order to assure the animals health.

In one of the most disturbing sentences I’ve ever read, the New York Times said

“Some 87 percent of the meat the researchers collected contained either normal or antibiotic-resistant enterococcus, suggesting that most of the meat came in contact with fecal material at some point.”

So, you are literally eating poop meat. The two forms of bacteria associated with fecal matter are also the third leading cause of infection in intensive care units at U.S. hospitals. The F.D.A discovered that some strains of the fecal bacteria are especially able to pass on their immunity to antibiotics to other bacteria.

The problem with the widespread use of antibiotics in meat is that it increases the likelihood of food borne illnesses in humans. As superbugs are on the increase we can expect the transmission of them from livestock to humans to increase as well, as found in this 2006 F.D.A study. As meat microbes become increasingly resistant to antibiotics we will have to question our over abundant administration of antibiotics to livestock. 

Between the poop meat and the superbugs I'll take my chances with legumes.