What happens when you cram hundreds or thousands of animals into a small, unsanitary place? You get sickness and disease, which is why farmers raising the livestock have been feeding them an insane amount of antibiotics.
The problem: With all those antibiotics and the terrible living conditions of those animals, bacteria wise up and adapt, becoming immune to the chemicals. The result: meat sold at your local grocery store with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as salmonella and Campylobacter.
This infographic from the Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming illustrates just how out-of-control the practice has gotten. In 2011, 7.7 million pounds of antibiotics were sold to treat sick people in the United States. This compares with a whopping 29.9 million pounds of antibiotics sold in the United States for meat and poultry production.
As you can see, antibiotic sales for livestock weren’t always so high. They’ve been steadily rising since 2003 when approximately 20 million pounds were sold for that purpose.
Urge Congress and the Food and Drug Administration to pass legislation that will get this problem under control. Visit SaveAntibiotics.org to take action.
Buy meat raised without antibiotics. Consumer Reports found that the best places to shop for antibiotic-free meat are Whole Foods, Giant, Hannaford, Shaw’s and Stop & Shop.