Overuse of Antibiotics in Our Food

Antibiotics are compounds that are produced by bacteria and fungi that have the ability to inhibit and kill certain microbial species. The knowledge of these compounds dates back to the ancient Egyptians that applied a mixture of moldy bread to infected wounds; however, it wasn’t until 1928 that Alexander Fleming discovered Penicillin at St. Mary’s Hospital in London. Before this, when patients contracted bacterial infections such as pneumonia, doctors could only wait and hope that the body could fight off the infection.

As great of a drug as antibiotics are, their overuse poses a serious threat to both human and animal health. The majority of doctors today are thankfully more reserved in their use of antibiotics to help prevent bacterial resistance to the drug. The problem is that this same reserve has not carried over to the production of food.

Much of the meat and poultry produced today are blanketly given antibiotics to help “prevent” bacterial infections. The drugs are administered through either their food, water, or both. This has allowed farms to intensify meat production, raising more meat per square foot and decreasing their expenses. There are a few unintended consequences to this practice. First, living conditions for the animals suffer due to less space and unsanitary conditions. Second, bacteria are mutating into resistant forms rendering antibiotics useless in their defense against them. In an executive summary from the White House in September 2014 it stated that “the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that annually, at least two million illnesses and 23,000 deaths are caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the United States alone”. These bacterial-resistant strains can be transmitted to farm workers and the meat itself through improper handling. Although proper cooking can kill these bacteria, why run the risk or support these practices.

At Dizzy Chicken Wood Fired Rotisserie we only use antibiotic free chicken. Although these chickens are a little more expensive, the quality and flavor of the meat is superior due to the better living conditions needed to keep the birds healthy. Let’s work together, the Huffington Post reported that “purchasing antibiotic-free meat and poultry from a supermarket or restaurant is one major contribution you can make toward making the food supply safer and keeping your family healthy”.

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