This post is sponsored by Coleman Natural.
When it comes to purchasing pork at the supermarket one of the first things I look at is making sure that my pork is raised without antibiotics. I share a lot of pork recipes and that is why I thought it was important for me to share how to choose the best pork and what to look for when looking at labels on meat products. I have partnered with Coleman Natural on this sponsored post so that I can share with you the importance of making sure you buy meat raised without antibiotics and how we can all make choices that prevent the spread of antibiotic resistant superbugs.
I had the opportunity to attend a Zoom conference with Dr. Lance Price, a professor at the George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health in Washington, DC, and the founding director of the Antibiotic Resistance Action Center. It was truly eye-opening and scary to understand how the overuse of antibiotics in the meat industry is putting us all in danger by making superbugs more common. Using antibiotics unnecessarily in both people and animals works together to create an environment where superbugs thrive. The good thing is that there are simple things we can all do to ensure that this doesn’t continue to happen. One of those things is ensuring that we are buying meat from companies that work with farmers who raise their livestock responsibility and are good stewards of antibiotics, like Coleman Natural.
What is antibiotic resistance?
You may have heard about antibiotic resistant superbugs in the news. But what are they and how did they come about?
Bacteria can be extremely harmful and until now we have been able to kill bacteria using antibiotics. This is in great part due to the widespread overuse and misuse of antibiotics. Antibiotics are being used even when they are not necessary, which is killing off bacteria that respond well to antibiotics and leaving the antibiotic resistant bacteria to reproduce and thrive.
We are looking at a post antibiotic era in medicine. We will soon not be able to treat common infections because the bacteria that cause them have become antibiotic resistant.
In addition, many pharmaceutical companies have stopped investing as much in making new antibiotics to fight these superbugs because they don’t make as much money on antibiotics. People usually just take antibiotics when sick, and only for a few days. Drug companies want to focus on drugs that people take every day because those are the money makers. This has played a big part in halting the antibiotic development. Did you know that at least 36,000 Americans die from antibiotic resistant infections each year? Sadly, this is considered to be a very conservative estimate.
How are antibiotics misused in animals raised for food?
Only 20% of the antibiotics used in livestock are used to treat animals that are sick or necessary for animals that came into contact with animals that are sick. However, 80% of the antibiotics are used on livestock that is not sick, and just given to the animals on a regular basis. Most large-scale meat producers feed antibiotics to their healthy food animals, simply to offset the effects of overcrowding and poor sanitation. Coleman Natural Foods has never, and will never work with farmers who use antibiotics in this irresponsible way when raising livestock.
By continually giving livestock antibiotics these industries are promoting the growth of superbugs, or antibiotic resistant bacteria, that are in turn transported to people. These antibiotic resistant bacteria can spread in many ways, which include handling contaminated meat in the kitchen, eating produce or vegetables fertilized by contaminated manure, or playing in dirt or water polluted by food-animal waste.
I was surprised to find out that the use of antibiotics in pork has increased in recent years, which is disappointing given the crisis we are all facing.
Why is it important to buy meat from companies who care about raising healthy animals?
Bacteria that are resistant to one or more antibiotics have become more common and although many of the stories I’ve heard talk about people getting them in hospitals, facilities that raise livestock are also breeding grounds for these antibiotic resistant organisms. Did you know that the meat industry uses more antibiotics in animals raised for food consumption than the antibiotics used by the medical industry to treat people?
Many people believe that if they consume meat or poultry products from animals raised with antibiotics they will become immune to antibiotics, but this not the case. Federal regulation actually says that meat and poultry products should be free of antibiotic residues. The real worry is that the meat you bring home from the grocery store is likely to be contaminated with bacteria which could also be resistant to antibiotics.
It’s so important to support food producers that have found ways to naturally raise animals for food without the unnecessary use of antibiotics like Coleman Natural. We have to make choices that ensure that we are being better stewards of the antibiotics we have now so that they continue to be effective in the treatment of infections in the future.
How to choose meat from animals raised without the use of antibiotics.
When I am looking to buy meat at the grocery store I look for pork that is raised without antibiotics. That is why I always buy Coleman Natural hot dogs, bacon, ground pork and ham steaks. I trust Coleman Natural Foods because they have made a commitment to never use antibiotics in raising practices for their all-natural pork and beef products. Buying Coleman Natural meat makes me feel confident that I am feeding my family food that is not only high quality and tastes great, but also supports industry leaders that advocate for raising animals without the use of antibiotics.
Buying meat sourced from livestock raised without antibiotics is a priority for me because I want to protect my family and others from superbugs. When I’m buying meat, I make sure to look closely at the label and choose pork that is labeled as “no antibiotics ever”. As we all know, labels can be misleading and some products will claim that they do not use antibiotics for certain things while they do use antibiotics for other things. That is why it’s important to make sure that the label includes the “never ever” part of the claim!
How to prevent the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria:
- It’s important that when we buy meat we choose to buy it from trusted brands that have made a commitment and have built their company around promoting the welfare of their animals, like Coleman Natural. Because like people, animals that are raised to be healthier in less stressful and more natural environments are less likely to get sick and require antibiotic treatment.
- Be a responsible consumer of medicine too. If you go to the doctor don’t ask for antibiotics and if prescribed antibiotics ask your doctor if they are really necessary.
- Make sure that you are preparing your raw foods first, like salads, before you prepare your meats. That way you can prevent bacteria that could have contaminated your hands or kitchen surfaces to be transferred onto your raw foods.
- Use different cutting boards for meats and for fruits and veggies.
We need to decide as a society that antibiotics are valuable as a life-saving medicine and not as cheap production tools. We can do this by buying and supporting companies like Coleman Natural that are focusing on being good antibiotic stewards. Thanks so much to Coleman Natural for sponsoring this post and helping me share with you the importance of buying meat labeled “no antibiotics ever” so that we can prevent antibiotic resistant bacteria from becoming more widespread. To learn more about how to battle superbugs visit battlesuperbugs.org and find Coleman Natural products at a store near you by visiting Antibiotic Resistance Action Center