With the growth of concerns over what is fed to animals and plants prior to slaughter or harvest, concerns over foods containing antibiotics have also grown. Antibiotics, when taken properly, are beneficial to both humans as well as plants and animals. However, too many antibiotics can cause imbalances in your body, such as the killing off of beneficial bacteria. This can cause an overabundance of fungi buildup, causing conditions such as yeast infections.
Many food plants and animals are given antibiotics during their life cycles. However, these can buildup and cause humans to become resistant to antibiotics just when they’re needed to fight infections. They can also cause a range of other, more harmful side effects that we’re just now discovering.
Cattle, just like any other animals, get sick sometimes. And, sometimes the staff veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics to help the affected cattle get well. They sometimes don’t have enough time to completely metabolize and pass the antibiotics and other medicines they have been given. So, these medicines will show up in trace amounts in the beef you eat.
The milking machines in use today on dairy cattle aren’t as gentle as the hands and fingers of the milkmaid of old. Often times these machines will cause sores and suppuration on the teats of dairy cattle that will have to be treated with antiseptics and topical and injected antibiotics. Just like medications taken by a nursing mother, these will find their way into the milk given by affected cows.
Pigs are known to live in filthy conditions. These conditions often cause them to get sick. Also, disputes over seniority and territory can leave a pig injured. These sicknesses and injuries will be treated with antibiotics. If the animal isn’t given a chance to fully metabolize and pass the medications administered, said medications, antibiotics included, will be in the meat you serve your family.
The main type of poultry production operation is known as a Confined Animal Feeding Operation. The main problem with this type of operation is that the animals usually sleep in their own filth, which promotes illnesses. To combat illness, these animals are usually fed low does antibiotics. If the animals aren’t removed from these conditions, cleaned up and allowed to metabolize and pass the antibiotics prior to slaughter, they antibiotics will be in the meat you serve.
Plants get sick also. To make sure that these sick plants do die and/or infect others, they will be given plant medications. If the injury or sickness occurs too close to harvest, those medications will still be in the food portion of the plant when they are harvested and eaten.
Medical researchers are becoming more and more worried about the prevalence of the use of continuous low dose antibiotics in the food supply chain because, they say that this process is creating antibiotic resistant bacteria and diseases.