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Raising organic livestock greatly reduces threat of antibiotic resistance

Organic livestock

(NaturalNews) The sicknesses and deadly diseases that take hold of our bodies often start with the bad science of the foods we eat and the lack of integrity with which they are produced.

Our chemical-intense agricultural systems and antibiotic-abusive livestock feeding practices are weakening our collective immunity, giving rise to antibiotic-resistant superbugs. If we continue to use antibiotics to increase feed efficiency of livestock, we are only setting ourselves up in the near future to be victims of pathogens that don't respond at all to modern medicine. In fact, it's already happening.

Antibiotic-intense livestock feeding practices suppress our collective immunity

However, we do not have to be victims of random, unseen pathogens lurking in our environment. With the proper nutritive elements activating our immune system defenses, harmful bacteria and viruses don't stand a chance in our presence. With a diverse network of beneficial microbes (probiotics) living in our guts, we can be assured that our immune system intelligence is ready to take on all pathogens with vigor. But this simple knowledge cannot be applied if livestock at large are being pumped full of antibiotics. This dire situation only encourages the growth of highly evolved pathogens in our environment, a problem that is getting increasingly harder to control.

For this reason, one of the biggest changes any consumer can make is to choose organic. A review paper published by the Organic Center concludes that organic is the best choice for consumers who want to protect themselves from antibiotic resistant bacteria. Organic livestock feeding practices do not use antibiotics to increase the growth of animals, and do not use antibiotics as prophylactic agents. When a consumer buys organic meat, they are protecting their health in the long run, by prohibiting superbugs from evolving rapidly.

Human health is connected to livestock health: Organic methods are the only way forward

The health of consumers is directly connected to the health of the livestock they eat. If livestock are fed proper nutrients and allowed to graze on wild grasses and herbs, then their total immunity is greater. In grass-fed animals, antibiotics are not needed constantly for infections. Reconnecting livestock with antioxidants, minerals, polyphenols, flavonoids and other plant-based nutritive components allows for high quality meat to be passed on to consumers who are starving for nutrition. In organic livestock practices disease is much rarer and the need for antibiotics is low. If an animal is sick, it is removed from the herd and its products are not sold. Organic practices can solve many of the healthcare problems occurring in "developed" nations.

Conventional agriculture, on the other hand, passes on antibiotic residues and resistant bacteria into the environment. One of the most frequent exposures to this is through manure disposal, which releases resistant bacteria directly into the environment, while also encouraging its spread due to remaining antibiotic residues. Since not all meat is cooked at high temperatures to kill potential pathogens, many people get food poisoning from improperly handled meat that contains infectious bacteria.

Dr. Jessica Shade, director of science programs for The Organic Center, says that organic livestock production "provides a compelling example of successful, profitable operations and demonstrates the ability of livestock farms to operate without substantial antibiotic use."

The full report, available on the Organic Center's website,
looks closely at how resistance develops in bacteria, how antibiotic use in conventional livestock production is the greatest contributor to this problem, and why organic methods are the only way forward if humans want to survive highly evolved pathogens that threaten our way of life.

Sources include:


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