chicken house

Old McDonald Had A Bacteria Outbreak, E-I-E-I-O

A new food bill that controls what subsidies go out to whom is being negotiated and due to be released in 2012. What’s in the food bill? We have no idea because it’s being done in secret. Nothing like government transparency. But that secrecy reveals a lot of what to expect to one of the more important pieces of legislature, which dictates how we eat and how we envision nutrition.

One thing is almost certain; the food bill will most likely fail to change the infrastructure of our food system, which leans towards extremely unhealthy methods of cultivating food. Anyone who’s seen Food Inc or any other comparable documentaries will know what I’m talking about. Like all other areas of our economy and culture, the emphasis is on growth and increasing profit shares. While it makes sense in a competitive, market driven economy, it starts losing that sense once we talk about food, an essential means of survival. Much like health care, should we be subjecting the well-being of our people to the roller coaster ride of today’s hyper-capitalism?

One recent example of our food process gone horribly wrong is a study from the American Society of Microbiology. In their newsletter, mBio, they identified a strain of Staphylococcus aureus (better known as “staph”) that evolved into an antibiotic-resistant superstar after living in the digestive system of pigs and chickens.

So how did these piggies create a potentially deadly virus immune to our best weapon? While the staph traveled around the animal’s stomach, it was pelted with antibiotics. Much like we deal with an annoying boss or say, dry chicken, the bacteria developed a resistance over the antibiotics over time.

The always helpful FDA announced new guidelines to curb the use of antibiotics among livestock to prevent the bacteria from spreading. Will the FDA finally get it right and protect the American people rather than cower to powerful agriculture industry? Nope. The restrictions only cover .2% of antibiotics used, making their law, like Newman’s millenium party, “pretty lame.”

chicken house

"Excuse me, pardon me, excuse me..."



If you look at the average American feedlot, it’s a world away from how we picture ol’ Farmer Johnson tending to his chickens. Rather, the modern industrial farm is a horrifying house of murder, where machines and mechanized humans merge to assure that we never run out of Snack Wraps.

Who cares, you might say. They’re animals, not humans. True, true, but here’s where the animals (and their trusty bacteria) eat us for lunch…literally.



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