In February, researchers came up with an answer to the scary question: Do antibiotics in livestock feed create superbugs that put human health at risk? Unsurprisingly, the answer is a definitive yes.
Good news though, the USDA is looking for a solution to find an alternative for factory farms’ reliance on drugs that breed superbugs. What they’ve come up with thus far as a solution is to feed livestock sodium chlorate. Seriously? This is absolutely outrageous. They think they’re going to fix the problem of feeding animals chemicals by feeding them more chemicals? I’m no scientist or anything, but this is ridiculous and it makes absolutely no sense.
According to wikipedia, “Due to its oxidative nature, sodium chlorate can be very toxic if ingested. The oxidative effect on hemoglobin leads to methaemoglobin formation, which is followed by denaturation of the globin protein and a cross-linking of erythrocyte membrane proteins with resultant damage to the membrane enzymes. This leads to increased permeability of the membrane, and severe hemolysis. The denaturation of hemoglobin overwhelms the capacity of the G6PD metabolic pathway. In addition, this enzyme is directly denatured by chlorate reducing its activity. Acute severe hemolysis results, with multi-organ failure, including DIC and renal failure. In addition there is a direct toxicity to the proximal renal tubule”
Wow, I may not know exactly what all that means, but it most definitely does NOT sound like it’s a good idea to put that into my body. This is most definitely not a solution to the superbug dilemma, can’t the FDA and USDA do better than this?
Here are a couple of good sound bites to throw back the next time friends, family members, or even strangers tell you we need super-chemicals and GMOs to feed the world:
- Chemical farming isn’t “feeding the world” now. Despite more than 70 years of chemical- and petroleum-reliant farming practices, about 1 billion people are malnourished or starving in today’s world.
- It takes three calories of energy to create one calorie of edible food with conventional farming. These facts from a report from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health don’t even include the energy used in transportation or processing. Our current system relies on practices that actually diminish the resource base that is needed to sustain it.
- Biotech crops falter and fail without expensive herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, and irrigation. While enormously productive in ideal conditions, biotech crops gobble up incredible amounts of resources to produce that yield.
- Organic methods can produce harvests 180 percent larger than chemical farming in communities that struggle to feed themselves. Although global population is on the rise, population in the developed world is actually on the downturn. Most of the growth is in the developing world, where organics have been shown to have the most beneficial effects.
- We could double food production in just 10 years using organic practices and other agroecological farming methods, according to a report from the United Nations. Agroecological practices, such as organic farming, attempt to mimic natural processes and rely on the biology of the soil and environment rather than synthetic sprays and other inputs.
- Organic farming creates more of the resources on which our food supply relies, while conventional farming destroys them. Conventional farming leeches nutrients from the soil, puts a strain on our water supplies, and relies heavily on fossil fuels to make it work; organic farming builds better, more self-sufficient land, creates cleaner water, recycles nutrients, and leaves us with a cleaner atmosphere.
(Illustration via the Intent Blog)
Over the last few weeks we have been reaching out to good-hearted brands that we believe might just be better for you, your communities and our world. We have been interviewing good brands in order to get a better understanding about some of the challenges they might face in relation to social responsibility, philanthropy and communicating their commitment to good to their consumers. We have been very fortunate with responses from some really great brands and are learning a lot. Speaking with these brands is giving us more and more hope that we as consumers have better alternatives out there that won’t kill us, this gives us hope for humanity and for the future of our world.
Earlier in the month, we spoke to a really passionate individual from Yumnuts. During the interview he told us about how many other companies pasteurize their almonds with a known carcinogen. I was always told that almonds were supposed to be healthy for me; it was really hard for me to believe they were being coated with a carcinogen. I was thinking… how could someone do that and actually get away with it?
So, we dug in a little more and stumbled across a really neat website called What’s On My Food? According to the data on this website, which comes from the USDA Pesticide Data Program, almonds were found to have pesticide residue not only from known carcinogens, but also from hormone disruptors, neurotixins and honeybee toxins. Seriously? This is outrageous. This is just the tip of the iceberg though. Who knew that apples, celery and spinach each have 42, 64 and 48 pesticide residues, respectively? These seemingly healthy raw foods are teeming with all kinds of stuff that is most definitely not good for anyone involved. I seriously doubt that the six developmental or reproductive toxins and 19 suspected hormone disruptors found in apples are going to keep the doctor away.
Why is this happening? How are companies like Monsanto getting away with producing this stuff to be sprayed all over our fields and ingested into our bloodstream? I know they claim to be committed to sustainable agriculture and preserving the planet for tomorrow, but is this really the best they could come up with? Neurotoxins and known carcinogens in my food doesn’t sound like its going to make tomorrow better, sounds like its getting worse.. so what do we do?
So.. what do we do? The government will protect us.. right? After all, that’s why it exists.. right? Actually, the government has been teamed up with Monsanto for quite some time with many former executives of the multi-billion dollar company holding prominent positions in the FDA. Most notably, the former Vice President of Monsanto is now the current deputy commissioner of the FDA and he’s working real hard to keep us all in the dark about what’s really in our food, while helping Monsanto exploit organic farmers who are fighting to make our food system better for all of us.
I don’t think big corporations are going to help us out and it doesn’t really feel like the government is going to either. That’s okay though, because it’s really all up to us. The most powerful vote you cast is with your dollar and what companies you decide to buy from. Together, we can all make the world a lot better, support the good stuff- buy positively
I was never a huge fan of hot pockets, this image is a great representation that these surely can’t be a good idea for my body or for our communities and planet.
Do partially hydrogenated soybean oil and corn syrup solids make you drool — especially when packed together with imitation mozzarella cheese and artificial butter flavor — and spiked with distilled monoglycerides and L-Cysteine hydrochloride? You’ve been eating all that if you’ve been nibbling Hot Pockets.
This illustration of Hot Pockets ingredients could turn you off these microwavable products for good.