Thursday, June 9, 2011

It's NOT the cucumbers, nor the spinach...

I've been reading a lot about the current E.coli outbreak in Europe. E.coli isn't new, nor are the outbreaks... only these strains are thought to be "new"... meaning they have morphed into being antibiotic resistant because of the abundance of antibiotics fed to CAFO animals as a safety precaution rather than for actual infections. (They also feed the antibiotics to help the animals gain weight.)

In my opinion there is one primary source to almost all of the outbreaks, and it goes hand in hand with overfeeding antibiotics to healthy animals: using their poorly-treated (if treated at all) animal wastes on fields, where contaminated waste containing antibiotic-resistant bacteria not only infects the fields, it enters the creeks, rivers and our water table as contaminated run-off.

The amount of daily animal waste from just one CAFO is astounding; they sometimes put it in ponds but eventually it goes on fields, carrying bacteria like antibiotic-resistant E.coli along with it. A few days ago, in a post about Fresh Milk, I mentioned one CAFO dairy in CA with 8,000 cows, responsible for a deadly outbreak in the early 1970's. Can you imagine how much the daily amount of feces is from 8,000 cows? Multiply that by the thousands of cow, hog, chicken and turkey CAFO's around the US. What do you think they do with that much shit?

So, is BigAg-controlled government going to go after unhealthy waste products and the abuse of CAFO animal antibiotics in the US? I doubt it. They will most likely just increase the already strict requirements and inspections for the small farmer, be it a farmer who grows 2 acres of tomatoes and cucumbers, or the local farmer's market guy who grows a small patch of tomatoes and cukes in his side yard. The Big Guys will still get away with putting contaminated crap on vegetable fields and over-use of antibiotics.

Added 6/8/2011: 

Maybe there's Hope?


  1. totally agree! Near me this is what is happening,0,5907666.story

    Here's the irony.. this same area (which from a distance looks pretty).. almost everyone grows gmo's. Go in closer and look at the creeks.. and it is pretty easy to find dumped trash like TV's, old dishwasher, burned trash (including bits of melted plastics), etc.

    I suppose I should be happy that they are starting to get some awareness, but for now I'm the oddball (because I argue that roundup and all of the sprays are not inert.)

    They also found awhile ago essentially what could be called a superfungus. Due to the spraying of fungicides, a resistant strain has developed.

  2. Thanks, Anne. I hadn't heard about the superfungus but it doesn't surprise me.

    I live on a small creek and it's amazing what comes down the creek from a hard rain. The creek used to be alive with fish, and an edible mussel... now it's alive with trash.


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