Meals for brave people who don't fear antibiotic resistant bacteria in chicken. PHOTO: Biswarup Ganguly, CC License
To the hundreds of millions Americans who eat chicken, let me be the first to say that I am bummed for you guys. I am, of course, referring to the Consumer Reports investigation, which found that half of all tested raw grocery store chicken had some kind of antibiotic-resistant superbug on it. Sure, you are going to cook that chicken anyway, but it can spread those superbugs to anything it touches. Like I said, not cool for you guys.
You people are some of my best friends, and I think it is an absolute injustice that birds raised in captivity, ploughed with a diet based on our arbitrary farm subsidies, and then fed an antibiotic cocktail to make up for the artificial deficiencies in its diet would develop drug-resistant bacteria. Thanks, Obama!
Sure, one expects bacteria to be on raw meat, but the stuff you folks have to deal with is just the worst. Have you read this? Some of the raw chicken being sold in American grocery stores right now has salmonella Heidelberg. Funny name, right? No. Salmonella Heidelberg is terrifying: it can cause nausea, vomiting, severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, and fever, and in severe cases it can kill you. And our drugs can’t always kill it.
Comparing the various types of the salmonella virus to dog breeds, Lance Price, Ph. D. in environmental and occupational health at GWU equated salmonella Heidelberg to “a pitbull with rabies.”
This beautiful creature can kill you. PHOTO: TheGreenJ, CC License
It gets worse for you poor souls. Consumer Reports found that more than half of the chicken they tested contained “fecal contaminants.” You folks are regularly eating chicken poo, and the thought nearly brings me to tears. Even worse (yes, worse than the fact that you had chicken poo for lunch), is that half of the samples had bacteria that were resistant to at least three common antibiotics.
It doesn’t matter which brand you buy or even if it’s labeled “organic” or “antibiotic free.” Consumer Reports found no significant difference between the chickens they tested. Oh, and did I mention that 65% had E. coli? Well they did. And 17.5% of those were a really bad strain of E. coli. I knew you guys had it rough, but I didn’t know how rough.
So, to my chicken eating friends, whether you eat chicken for thrill, valor, or, like George Mallory said of climbing Mount Everest, “because it’s there,” I wish you good luck. Your enemy is strong and getting stronger by the day, but you soldier on. When the battle is over, I look forward to shaking your hand. But please, wash your hands thoroughly first, I don’t want that stuff on me.