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Yet Another Meat Recall…

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Holstein cow, 5 years old, standing against white background Just two weeks after giant Cargill was forced to recall roughly 36 million pounds of ground turkey in the second largest meat recall in U.S. history, another industrial meat processing company is recalling over 60,000 pounds of ground beef due to potential contamination with the deadly 0157:H7.

The ground beef was produced by National Beef Packing Co. in Dodge City, Kansas and according to the USDA, the E. coli was detected during a routine inspection. Fortunately, so far, no one has been sickened by the beef, but I ask, why is there E. coli in the beef in the first place?

Many people have been led to believe that E. coli contamination “just happens” from time to time, and that’s why we need government agencies to regulate and inspect food production facilities. Well, guess what? It doesn’t “just happen.” Allowing cows to graze on grass prevents E. coli bacteria from being able to reproduce inside their intestines. When cows are fed GMO corn, soy, industrial byproducts or other “foods” that they weren’t designed to digest, they develop intestinal dysbiosis — that is, they become sick, and harmful bacteria like E. coli flourish inside their intestines. Just like humans, cows need to eat a healthy, natural in order to maintain a healthy balance of gut flora.

When sick cows are packed into dirty slaughterhouses, bacteria like E. coli spread like wildfire, and apparently, the antibiotics are NOT working. Most, if not all, of the food poisoning outbreaks in recent history, including the Cargill ground turkey salmonella outbreak, have involved antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria.

As a former vegan of nearly ten years, having just recently begun to incorporate local/humanely-raised/pastured/grass-fed animal products into my diet, you can probably imagine my squeamishness at such news. It stirs up all of the emotions that made me decide to go vegan in the first place.

I am okay, for now, with my decision to very selectively consume animal products for which I know the source. I am lucky to have access to what I consider to be very high quality food, in general. But I recognize that not everyone has the access or knowledge that I do. Our government’s way of dealing with food safety issues is generally, to wait until something bad happens before issuing a recall or enacting new legislation (unless of course, you happen to be a small farm or private organic food co-op that sells raw milk). And I don’t foresee the big food companies voluntarily making any changes that would cut into their profits.

So what should we as conscious consumers do to change this screwed up food system? Is it enough to just “vote with your dollar?” Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts!

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2 responses to “Yet Another Meat Recall…”

  1. […] Winn-Dixie, Publix storesWBRCGround Beef Recall Expands Across USBlogHer (blog)CNN (blog) -Live in the Now -Sun-Sentinelall 740 news articles » This entry was posted in Recalls […]

  2. […] 2. Organic foods are safe and pure. Organic farming prohibits the use of toxic pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones, nano-particles, and climate-destabilizing chemical fertilizers. Consumers worry about pesticide and drug residues routinely found in non-organic produce, processed foods, and animal products. Consumer Reports has found that 77% of non-organic produce items in the average supermarket contain pesticide residues. The beef industry has acknowledged that 94% of all U.S. beef cattle have hormone implants, which are banned in Europe as a cancer hazard. Approximately 10% of all U.S. dairy cows are injected with Monsanto and Elanco’s controversial genetically engineered Bovine Growth Hormone, banned in most industrialized nations. Recent studies indicate that an alarming percentage of non-organic U.S. meat contains dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria. […]