Hitchcock Thriller – Meat Without Antibiotics in Hospital
Antibiotics are seen as a modern miracle, healing life threatening infections for young and old alike. But as with all drugs, over-use comes with a warning of unwanted side effects. So, Dartmouth Hitchcock academic medical centre in Connecticut have taken it one stage further, serving their patients antibiotic free meat. With farming using four times more antibiotics than healthcare, you don’t just have to visit your GP to get a dose. We’re seeing an increasing clamour of the mantra: ‘you are what you eat’.
Driven by ever keener cost cutting, animals can often be raised in overcrowded conditions, a ready breeding ground for disease. Regular dosing of antibiotics has become the norm, just in case. This regular dosing stimulates bacteria to constantly mutate and become a moving target but one that is ever ‘harder to hit’. A battle with Nature is never a good nor cheap thing. With the rise of the ‘super farm’, large scale industrial enterprises are steadily taking over. Increasingly, hand rearing and traditional animal husbandry are becoming things of the past and ever more automated 24/7.
Meanwhile MRSA is becoming widespread needing ever more firepower to defeat it in care centres – while the human in the mix receives a cocktail of powerful antibiotics. Consequently, human diseases are ever harder to combat across the board. With a call to create new antibiotics, any benefit is a decade and a small fortune away – yet all the while, Nature mutates. Likely we’re stuck with a good solution: one where we eat less of antibiotic raised meat. Imagine if whole Countries did that, adopting a ‘less is more’ policy with meat priced in some cases as a medicinal product – independently kite marked to boot.
Dartmouth – Hitchcock has not just stopped at steak cuts of meat but now includes antibiotic free pork and chicken for patients. There’s clearly nothing fowl about that. But, why leave out the medical staff? Those who are meat eaters could also benefit by not weakening their immune system keeping ever more of them healthily at work tending patients? If we let the market speak, who knows where such a food and health revolution might lead?