Monday, August 8, 2011

Eat safe... local

Being credited with one death and 77 people reported ill, the recent salmonella outbreak has led to one of the largest recalls in U.S. history. Food giant Cargill pulled 36 million pounds of ground turkey from the market.

Ground turkey has long been recommended by nutritoinist and diet experts as a lower-fat, heart-healtier protien option for the health consious consumer.  Experts are now concerned that the recent salmonella related recall will cause people to turn back to beef as a convenient and "safe" alternative.

Consumers who are wary of ground turkey because of the Cargill recall should ask a butcher to freshly grind their poultry. This is also an opportunity to try vegetarian substitutes sold in the stores or buy lower fat meat options like bison or buffalo.

For many, the most troubling aspect of the outbreak is that the strain of salmonella that's making people sick is resistant to several antibiotics.  How did this happen?  According to the Food and Drug Administration, farmers who raise food-producing animals use about 29 million pounds of antibiotics each year. That's about four times the amount of antibiotics doctors prescribe to people each year. "Animals are given antibiotics for a number of reasons — including to get them to grow faster," explains Gail Hansen, a veterinarian who works for the Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming. "[Antibiotics] are given to perfectly healthy animals to convert their food more efficiently so they can get to market faster."

To find locally produced meats in the Gainesville area, check out these resources:
Please share your local favorites in the comment section below.

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