Antibiotics in Big Agribusiness

Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.

I worked as a microbiologist for a few years with some very well respected biofilm folks. There are strong reasons to believe while we are living our body (somatic) DNA does change via horizontal gene transfer, although the DNA we pass along to our children (germ) remains unchanged.

Antibiotics given to people to kill bacteria are a good thing and should be less limited than they are, (although better organized but I’ll leave that for another day). However we need to keep the bacteria we eat, and we will always eat bacteria, “dumb”. The horizontal gene transfer between bacteria in livestock and soil bacteria in farming is where most of our antibiotic resistance comes from.

Let’s hope we don’t kill ourselves before we are willing to make needed changes. These things will eventually kill us, it’s just a matter of when.

Turning Veganese

A recent comment reminded me about my major issue with farming animals. This is a system-wide problem and applies to meat, dairy, eggs as well as animals grown for fur or leather. The vast majority of animal products come from large factory farms where antibiotics (among other things) are routinely mixed into feed.

Naturally these drugs end up in meat, milk and eggs but more importantly they end up in manure. Not a lot reaches your body (though some research suggests otherwise) and our sanitary sewer systems have the potential to sterilize it in the case that it does. The manure that the animals depicted below are ankle deep in (or like the lagoon in the photo below, common at pork and poultry operations, is loaded with both microbes and everything that animals have excreted via their manure.

Microbes are great at adapting. They don’t have a lot of genetic…

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2 Responses to Antibiotics in Big Agribusiness

  1. Kinenchen says:

    Thank you so much for reposting! I’m really flattered. Also… I love your commentary. Microbiology is the shiznit!

    • teapotvegan says:

      You are very welcome. Your beer video is adorable.
      I don’t do microbio anymore, but some things you can’t unlearn. 🙂 Someday I’ll send you one of my papers. I do electrophysiology and molecular biology now.

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