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Buy Pastured Meat for Public Health

When public health officials suggest actions we can take to improve our own health and the health of their community, it is time that they start advocating for the purchase and consumption of meat that has not been treated with antibiotics. Cows raised naturally on pasture seem to have very health immune systems. Cows raised or "finished" (eerily correct word usage) in Containment Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO's) must be placed on antibiotics because their natural immune supports (open air, space, fresh grass to eat) are replaced by crowding, filth, and an immune-compromising diet of grain or - at the worst - leftover M&M's from residual silo storage. A recent study confirmed that antibiotic fed beef can transmit staph aureus that is resistant to many of the drugs commonly used to treat staph infections, resulting in MDRSA, or multiple drug resistant staph aureus, which is even worse than MRSA, methicillin resistant staph aureus. Both pose serious threats if passed to humans, which is just what this study revealed: that workers in antibiotic treated livestock facilities become "carriers" of the life-threatening bacteria, harboring colonies in their nasal secretions.

Cows, lambs, chickens - are all much happier if they are spending their lives roaming on open pasture land, including the end of their lives. And we can rest assured as consumers when we eat meat from those animals: we are not contributing to the public health problem of antibiotic resistant staph aureus species as potential human pathogens.