It was 1980 when I had my last piece of meat… a steak I shared with my roommate. I still remember telling Roy not to be offended but the piece of meat he’d just cooked me would be my last.
Why that decision 33 years ago? At the time, I had developed a serious interest in health and nutrition. I had read several articles on the overuse of antibiotics in the feed of farm animals and how that would, over time, lead to the development of superbugs.
Where antibiotics were and are used to treat infections, their overuse would develop breeds of superbugs that would be resistant to their effects.
Funny how I noticed this headline in the National Post the other day:
Antibiotic-resistant superbugs afflict one in 12 patients daily in hospitals across Canada: survey
The article goes on to detail the prevalence of superbugs in North America today.
“On any given day, about one in 12 adults in hospitals across Canada are either colonized or infected with a superbug, the first national survey to determine the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant organisms has found.”
And the article tells best how this prevalence causes the resistance and the superbugs.
“… there’s no doubt that antibiotic use drives the development of antibiotic resistance,” said Simor, explaining that overuse of antibiotics can wipe out susceptible bacterial strains, allowing resistant strains to proliferate.
“So one factor is how antibiotics are used, both in the community and in hospital settings, and also in the agricultural and veterinary sections as well. So it’s the cumulative antibiotic utilization that is still at substantially high levels that drives resistance.”
The other day a friend pressed my on why I don’t eat non-commercially-grown meat… bison, free-range beef, and the like. While I think those are good choices for the carnivores of the world :), I plan on sticking to my meat-free diet because I like it.
In the meantime, it’s nice to see that a choice made many years ago has been affirmed.
Starting tomorrow, ahead of the world-wide March Against Monsanto, there will be a week-long series of posts on genetically engineered organisms (GMO). I am as convinced that the adverse effects of GMO foods will be confirmed in the near future as I was about the effects of antibiotics so many years ago.