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Antibiotics in Your Food: What's Causing the Rise in Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in Our Food Supply and Why You Should Buy Antibiotic-Free Food

By Barry Estabrook, "Growing Resistance," May/June 2013

As the use of antibiotics in farming and raising livestock has increased, new antibiotic resistant bacteria, or "superbugs" are emerging. Here's what you need to know about antibiotics in your food and eating antibiotic-free food.


READER'S COMMENT:
"To suggest that there is only "one real solution" is a rather limited point of view. Perhaps that solution is the only one for you, but that does not make it ipso facto for everyone. I am a omnivore, eat meat sparingly and when I do I...

Macario is frustrated. But while the FDA stonewalls and Congress dithers in the face of intense lobbying from agribusiness and pharmaceutical companies, there is one way to effect change.

“I love meat,” Macario said during our visit to the supermarket. “I crave it. I’m originally from Argentina. My grandfather raised cattle.” At the store, Macario zeroed in on Rain Crow Ranch grass-fed steaks. The package was not labeled “antibiotic-free,” but Macario had researched the company and its farms and was confident that they never used antibiotics. The steaks, at $21.99 a pound, were pricier than the same cuts raised with antibiotics (though the Consumer Reports survey found that many antibiotic-free meats cost the same or in some cases less). All the other meats, dairy products and eggs she chose had similar assurances of avoiding antibiotics.

“When I shop for food, I always try to remember what one consumer advocate in Washington told me,” Macario said. “Congress and big agricultural interests are scared to death of moms.”



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