Before you sink your teeth into a juicy burger, there’s something you should know: Your beefy treat may have bugs in every bite.
I’m not talking about nasty little critters from a contaminated kitchen. You’d be lucky to munch on those, compared to what you’re actually getting a mouthful of.
No, these aren’t just any ordinary bugs. They’re superbugs, and they can kill you.
You see, here in the good ol’ U.S. of A, the factory farms that provide us with most of our store-bought meat are regularly dosing their livestock with antibiotics — and creating drug-resistant superbugs as a result.
Already, some 23,000 Americans die every year due to superbug infections. While many are acquired in hospitals, a growing number are rising out of factory farms.
These veterinary antibiotics are directly related to the human ones. In fact, in many cases, they’re the same exact drugs, just under different names! So when a person gets sick off contaminated ground beef, they could die of an untreatable infection — because those germs have learned how to become indestructible, back at the farm.
Of course, without the drugs, the animals would drop dead long before they ever reached the slaughterhouse. Conditions are that filthy. Even with antibiotics, many of them barely make it.
And it’s more and more every year. Over five years, the use of antibiotics on livestock — some 70-80 percent of all antibiotics used in the country — has risen by nearly a quarter, with a 3 percent jump in the last year alone.
And that’s despite the fact that the feds called on the industry to cut down on the use of antibiotics — more than TWO YEARS AGO.
You can expect that to get worse, not better, as tests on raw meat in supermarkets routinely turn up an alarming number of superbugs. Last year, Consumer Reports found sickening germs on 97 percent of all raw supermarket chicken, with HALF of them testing positive for the inexterminable bacteria.
And if that doesn’t kill your appetite, here’s another disgusting tidbit for you: tests found nasty FECAL bacteria on 87 percent of all store-bought meats in 2013, again with half containing superbug germs.
Fortunately, you can have your steak and eat it, too. By law, animals raised organically cannot be given antibiotics at all — so if you stick to fresh organics, you’ll cut your risk of exposure to superbug germs.
If there’s one in your neck of the woods, it’s best to get your meats from a real, honest to goodness local farm (or farmer’s market) — not one of these festering pits of despair. It’ll cost you a little more out of your weekly food shopping budget, but it’s nothing compared to sky-high medical bills — or the cost of a funeral.