GM foods? It’s antibiotics that really harm your gut

Cynical cook
How do you like it that there’s gut-ripping, balance-upsetting, body-fattening antibiotics in every mouthful you take?

GM foods don’t look like Frankenfoods.

In fact they look pretty normal. Switch to organic to avoid them yes, but why?

Yeah, we’re worried about them, but that hasn’t stopped us fiddling around with breeding things. Have done for pretty well always.

Messing with genetics

Rose-growers regularly do it to breed a champion variety. And look what we’ve done with dogs. No, that cute Jack Russell hasn’t evolved from wolves directly, it was bred that way. So was the Maltese poodle – and the Chinese crested dog.

Let’s be honest, humans have been meddling with how things grow for millions of years. So why all the hoo-hah about genetically modified foods when the meat and vegetables we’re already eating are dramatically different to how they were even 100 years ago?

And really, what’s wrong with wheat or maize that can withstand weeds, doesn’t rot when it rains, doesn’t get attacked by insects, and grows stronger and richer because of how it was propagated?

Ah, because now it’s additives and chemicals – and we worried about what they do. Tampering with DNA, our children are going to grow up zombies. And what about harmful antibiotic-resistant bacteria present in the same foods?

We swallow them, no telling what diseases we could end up with. We’re all going to die – ARGH!

Well, yes – except why haven’t we done it already? Pegged off and gone to the Happy Eating Place in the sky? No health hazards in paradise.

Which is really the issue, isn’t it? The possible health hazards.

Unseen, unrecognised risks

Believe us, they’re there alright, and way more dangerous than anything to do with GM. They attack our gut and whole body system, inflicting damage to affect us for years. Yes, they could kill us – and yet nobody really recognises they’re there – not the Food Standards Agency, not the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the British Medical Association, nobody.

Unregulated, uncontrolled, unmonitored, but present in nearly everything we eat – we’re talking about antibiotics.

Antibiotics doing damage? Better believe it. For a start they work by killing bacteria. Not so bad when they’re used against infections on the skin. But sheer havoc when they work internally in our gut.

As medics are now starting to take note, hundreds of trillions of bacteria live naturally down there. A harmonious partnership in which they do the heavy lifting of digestion, protein production and immune system control – while we look cool and do important stuff, like choosing which TV programme to watch next.

Enter, the killers

Drop in continuing mouthfuls of killer antibiotics and it’s like a series of mortar bombs going off – destroying whole families of vital bacteria with every hit – shrinking our gut diversity, massacring our valuable microbiota wholesale, leaving us less able to withstand attacks from other bacteria outside – often invincible because they’ve become antibiotic resistant.

Not what you thought antibiotics did?

OK, so the Doc prescribes them for whatever sickness you have and they go to work quickly to kill the bad guys – blow up their whole house and everybody in it. Along with the innocent folk next door on both sides and several places down the block, all the passers-by, and the several coach-loads of others in the street because it’s mealtime and there’s digesting work to be done.

Except we’re not talking about one-off medical doses here. We’re on about the constant onslaught of small amounts, the never-ending attrition of bacteria-killing antibiotics in everything we eat.

And we mean everything.

Our daily super-fatteners

For decades now, farmers have been adding antibiotics to livestock feed because it speeds up their growth – bigger, better in half the time.

And that’s on top of the GM-accelerated content in exactly the same feed  – which itself also has antibiotics in it from the 80 – 90% drug-laden residues pooed out as manure.

Still don’t believe it?

Here’s a study about antibiotics in maize and other crops used as animal feed, like soya. It demonstrates “that the antibiotic chloramphenicol occurs naturally in straw and maize. This antibiotic is prohibited in the EU for use in food-producing animals.”

Want more? This stuff is not just laced through from manure, here’s the FAO background on why maize among other crops is deliberately treated with oxytetracycline and streptomycin – control against white spot.

If you still want proof, look at your own waistline. Bigger is it, since 5 years ago? Heading steadily upwards to Size 16?

Don’t be surprised, with every mouthful we’re ingesting mini-doses of the same stuff that farmers use to make their animals bigger. We’re getting fatter because a regular diet of antibiotics is driving us to it – so that two-thirds of us are now overweight according to Public Health England.

Of course we are, we’re pigging out all the time on agriculture’s No 1 growth booster!

Not good for any of us

Which means we’re at risk from all the disorders that getting fat brings – type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, asthma, take your pick.

Take a look at your own kids too. Like the rest us, they’re probably chubbier as well. And how about your daughter? Don’t you think it’s strange that she’s developing so early – a woman at 10 years old and already into puberty?

So, GM foods – are they really that bad?

Not alongside antibiotics, they’re not. And they’re not the reason for switching to organic, either.

Antibiotics are. And the sooner we switch, the better. To something all natural, we hope – no additives or whatever, grown with “uncontaminated” fertiliser.

Because like it or not, our food is killing us.

Picture Copyright: zurijeta / 123RF Stock Photo

Back Off, Bacteria! is the blog of Hyper Hygiene Ltd, supplier of what we’re convinced is the most effective health protection system in the world. A fully mobile, all-automatic Hypersteriliser machine mists up workplaces with ionised hydrogen peroxide, spreading everywhere and eliminating all bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Hypersteriliser units are supplied to businesses and institutions across the UK, notably the haematology and other critical units at Salford Royal Hospital, Greater Manchester; Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospital; South Warwickshire Hospital; Coventry & Warwickshire Hospital; and Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.

The Halo Hypersteriliser system achieves 6-log Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% of germs destroyed. It is the only EPA-registered dry mist fogging system – EPA No 84526-6. It is also EU Biocide Article 95 Compliant.

Originally posted on 18 January 2019 @ 6:55 am

Originally posted on 18 January 2019 @ 6:55 am

Why your gut feel could be righter than you think

Pleased woman
Yes, go with your gut – it knows better than you

You’re already familiar with it.

The butterflies in your stomach before you do something big.

A job interview, marriage proposal, or your first bungee jump.

Your tummy talks to your head – all nervous and scared. Kinda natural, there’s 100 trillion bacteria living in your gut – we’re only 10% human really – and their No 1 priority is to survive. They don’t want you to put the body in danger – don’t do this, walk away, no!

Who’s the boss?

Except you don’t, do you? Your head rules and you do it anyway. But your recognise your gut is right most of the time – it’s just that this time is special.

And how often doesn’t it happen that you have to acknowledge your gut feel is right?

How can that be, it’s just a mess of intestines isn’t it? How can that possibly influence what your brain is thinking?

Not what it’s thinking, but how it responds.

Inside the body, different bacteria do different things – and they’re as essential to our survival as water is to plants – a living symbiosis we cannot do without.

So while some bacteria help with digestion and providing the body with nutrients, others have other functions – secreting neurochemicals such as dopamine, serotonin and gamma aminobutyric acid, all of which influence mood.

We know the consequences only too well. If the gut’s out of balance, we experience depression and anxiety.

It goes from there.

Because our own behaviour determines that balance.

Germs in charge

Most of the time we read the gut’s signals correctly. But getting them wrong or ignoring them can land us in big trouble – obesity, asthma or even cancer.

So getting them right is kinda vital. Eat the right foods, exercise the body, avoid smoking and drinking. Sound familiar?

Gut feel always told us how we should live – and now research is catching up to prove we were right.

But it’s not just inside our bodies that bacteria are active. They surround us constantly in a swarming cloud outside too – an aura that is biologically unique to every one of us, infinitely more precise than a fingerprint or a retina scan.

A pushy bunch too, determined to assert themselves wherever the body happens to be.

It takes only minutes for our bio-aura to populate a room. If we stay there for long, all trace of anything previous is quickly obliterated – displaced by our own particular blend of good bacteria, also-ran freeloader bacteria, and bad bacteria – plus of course whatever viruses we’re toting around too.

Incriminating evidence

All this trails around after us. Lingering wherever we’ve been – a tell-tale of exactly who we are and what we’ve been up to – our positives and negatives waiting to be explored by (or attack) whoever comes along next.

Which means if we’re toting among other things any pathogens that may be harmful – though we might be immune ourselves, we leave them lurking for someone else.

A cold or flu virus that maybe hasn’t broken yet. Norovirus from the dodgy stir-fry off that street-vendor – already making tummy twinges and lying in wait on the keypad we used for secure entry (unwashed fingers) – and drifting in the air round the door it operates.

Residual pathogens, waiting in ambush. Multiplied several times over by all of us working in the same office.

Any unbalanced body walking into that lot will be pulling a sickie tomorrow for sure – a real one.

Germ protection

Which is why, though we live in a world of bacteria and are 90% germs ourselves, we still need to protect ourselves from the bad guys – harmful viruses and bacteria in the wrong place – our living and working environment.

Not much we can do all together while we’re working.

But when the day ends and we all go down in the lift – strong traces of our residual bio-auras are still there – a high germ threshold waiting to trap us in the morning.

Except not this time. Because after work, it’s protection control with a Hypersteriliser.

The place gets misted up with ionised hydrogen peroxide – and 40 minutes later, all viruses and bacteria are gone – safe and sterile, totally germ neutral.

OK, so a lot of innocent bacteria might get lost in the process – there are too many to ask which are good and which are bad, and separate them so they’re harmless. Sterile means sterile, which means ALL bacteria are gone.

Not really a problem, because none of our personal bacteria are harmed – we’ll re-populate the rest in the morning when we clock back in with our bio-auras. Ten minutes and there’ll be a good healthy bio-universe in the office just like yesterday. But with no bad guys.

Which gut feel tells us has GOT to be right.

Back Off, Bacteria! is the blog of Hyper Hygiene Ltd, supplier of what we’re convinced is the most effective health protection system in the world. A fully mobile, all-automatic Hypersteriliser machine mists up workplaces with ionised hydrogen peroxide, spreading everywhere and eliminating all bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Hypersteriliser units are supplied to businesses and institutions across the UK, notably the haematology and other critical units at Salford Royal Hospital, Greater Manchester; Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospital; South Warwickshire Hospital; Coventry & Warwickshire Hospital; and Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.

The Halo Hypersteriliser system achieves 6-log Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% of germs destroyed. It is the only EPA-registered dry mist fogging system – EPA No 84526-6. It is also EU Biocide Article 95 Compliant.

Originally posted on 20 October 2018 @ 8:50 pm

Originally posted on 20 October 2018 @ 8:50 pm

Terror in our tummies – why we keep getting ill

Sick woman exec
Stop taking the medicine, it’s making us feel worse

You’ve probably noticed it yourself.

We’re going downhill.

Not as resilient as we were. Not as strong either. Victims of terror – a different kind to the one you see in the headlines.

Not feeling so good?

More lasting conditions and ailments. More disabilities, particularly mental or neurological. More vulnerable to disease and infection. Dwindling shadows of who we were.

Getting old? Get real, it’s happening to teenagers too.

Look around and see for yourself. How many people these days are fully able-bodied, stable and emotionally adjusted – with lasting stamina and physical capability?

Something’s wrong, somewhere

Should be the other way round, shouldn’t it?

We live better, have better food, every comfort and service to look after us.

Most visible probably is that we’re all larger than we were. Taller, more full-bodied, yes.

But also fatter. More muffin tops and waistline overflows – like if you read the reports, getting on for two-thirds of us are overweight or obese. Instant candidates for diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, asthma – a list that lengthens every day.

And it’s not just weight. We might not suffer the dread threats of typhoid, cholera or diphtheria any more – medical science has pushed them into the background.

But we have all kinds of other problems – allergies, digestive disorders, circulatory problems, pregnancies that go awry – plus stress, mental hiccups, various phobias and apprehensions – we’re not healthy at all.

What have we done? Why is this happening? Is our modern streamlined lifestyle so terrible?

Unconscious addicts

We’re all junkies is why.

Druggies without knowing it.

And like all junkies we’re going down, the price for this addiction we all unconsciously share.

Deep down in our gut, there’s a war going on. The trillions and trillions of bacteria that we are host to are under siege. Not good, because these bacteria are our lifeline. They handle our digestion, they send signals to the brain that monitor our condition, they even trigger the way our immune system kicks into action.

But little by little, so we don’t even feel it, these bacteria are getting killed. Or maimed – damaged in such a way that they don’t function properly.

Bad news for us because they’re supposed to be there. The right bacteria, in the right place, at the right time. Our first line of defence against wrong bacteria, not supposed to be there. The ones who try to take us over and kill us. The ones that modern medicine controls seeks to control with the all-singing, all-dancing wonder drugs, antibiotics.

Misfiring miracles, more like.

Because it’s antibiotics that are killing our bacteria.

No, not just the bad ones that the Doc might prescribe one-off treatment for – seven days and you’re done, feel better now?

We mean the good guys that do all our body’s heavy work for us. Every day assaulted and beaten up – microscopic victims of GBH and murder. And yes we mean every day – every moment since we were conceived in our mother’s womb and started to become human beings.

Terror in our tummies

You see, killing bacteria is what antibiotics do.

And we’ve been under constant attack by them from Day One. Not in big numbers, but in dribs and drabs – tiny amounts administered a little more with every mouthful of food we take, even the water we drink.

It shouldn’t be so, but it is.

Because, across the board, antibiotics are used to produce nearly every kind of food we eat. Meat, vegetables, milk, eggs – pretty well everything your supermarket has to offer.

They keep animals healthy, see – kind of essential when you think of the crowded and often unsanitary conditions intensive farming methods require to turn big enough profits.

Plus antibiotics fatten them up too – an unexpected money-making side effect. Bigger, stronger animals in often half the time – like as little as five weeks for a roasting chicken.

Money, money, money

Which means the food we eat is full of antibiotics, so we get them too. We’re not supposed to, but we do – despite regulations to stop it.

Just like in our own bodies, animals metabolise antibiotics over time and absorb them into their systems. A one-off dose might be gone in a couple of weeks, or certainly a couple of months. So the law says there has to be a withdrawal period free from any exposure for as long it takes to make residue levels safe for humans to eat.

But of course, time is money.

So even though authorities push for substantial safety margins, residues are NOT always down to zero. Like it or not, an itty-bitty remainder gets through – not enough to have any immediate effect, but everything mounts up.

Because, depending on the antibiotic, not all of it is digested by the animal. As much as 80% of it might be pooed out in grazing areas – to be collected and used as manure.

Plants absorb the antibiotics through the soil and pass them on to us – and because vegetable crops don’t face the same regulations that animals do, we gulp them down without knowing. Pull a potato out of the ground and chances are it’s laced with sulfamethazine.

Antibiotics everywhere

It gets worse.

Because while all animals might go through the eighteen or twenty-eight day withdrawal periods required according to the doses they’ve been given, the unsuspecting farmer has no idea what levels of antibiotics might already be in the feedstuffs he gives them. He thinks the monensin he’s given the cattle he’s earmarked for market has worked it’s way out – the level is either zero or safe.

He’s not wrong. Except the lush grass they’re grazing has been pooed out with their own manure – so is the silage made from it. There’s still monensin coming through.

On top of that, the maize they’re getting was possibly grown with ampicillin to kill the leaf spot – or in any case contains naturally occurring chloramphenicol.

Or maybe they’re fed rapeseed meal, a by-product of the hugely profitable biodiesel industry. No, they won’t get streptomycin anymore, rapeseed has become resistant to it. But how do farmers protect against soft rot (xanthomonas campestris) for this game-changing money-maker crop? High on the list is ciprofloxacin – the same stuff your Doc might prescribe for urinary tract infections or stomach disorders.

Antibiotics everywhere and the effect is snowballing.

Time to stop this terror

We’re not supposed to be on them but we are – constantly. And just like animals, we’re getting fatter, no matter what we do – no wonder two-thirds of us will be porkers by 2025 – only ten years away.

Yes, cut out the sugary drinks and fast foods, join Weight Watchers, fit a gastric band – ever wonder why none of it seems to work? There’s terror in our tummies and it’s ALL of us who are affected, not just the binge-eaters.

Looks like the sooner we get stuck into organic food the better. Either that, or we all OD on paracetamol.

Not really an option, is it?

Back Off, Bacteria! is the blog of Hyper Hygiene Ltd, supplier of what we’re convinced is the most effective health protection system in the world. A fully mobile, all-automatic Hypersteriliser machine mists up workplaces with ionised hydrogen peroxide, spreading everywhere and eliminating all bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Hypersteriliser units are supplied to businesses and institutions across the UK, notably the haematology and other critical units at Salford Royal Hospital, Greater Manchester; Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospital; South Warwickshire Hospital; Coventry & Warwickshire Hospital; and Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.

The Halo Hypersteriliser system achieves 6-log Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% of germs destroyed. It is the only EPA-registered dry mist fogging system – EPA No 84526-6. It is also EU Biocide Article 95 Compliant.

Originally posted on 30 December 2018 @ 10:53 pm

Originally posted on 30 December 2018 @ 10:53 pm

If dirty hands don’t kill you – let antibiotics do it

Self-strangling woman
Sloppy hygiene and antibiotics – are we trying to commit suicide?

Don’t kid yourself, they’re both just as deadly – dirty hands AND antibiotics.

Except we trust both, don’t we?

Dirty hands because they don’t LOOK dirty. Antibiotics because – wow! they’re miracle drugs that cure everything.

Killing ourselves

Yeah, right. Suicide either way.

Which is why you’re lying on the floor, looking very dead.

And at the rate we’re going, you’ll soon have lots of company. With many more sick and dying, because of antibiotics.

Dirty hands we can understand, right?

We get germs on them, we swallow the germs – next stop A&E, clamouring for antibiotics.

But antibiotics, what do we know about them?

Pretty well zip – except what our expectations tell us.

Yeah, and just maybe we remember that antibiotics work by killing bacteria.

We’ve got bad bacteria in our bodies, we take antibiotics, the bad bacteria die, job done.

As if.

Our real life force

Truth is that we are all MADE OF bacteria – they outnumber our human body cells 10 to 1. And down in our gut, where most of them live, there’s over 100 trillion of them.

Don’t worry, they’re supposed to be there. They’re like the software that drives our bodies. The OS that digests food for us, produces proteins and regulates our immune system. Supported by millions and millions of apps – this one to control hunger, this one to generate fear, this one to make us bold and brave, this one to help us heal from burns.

Lots and lots of different types, plenty of some, scarce with others – but all living and working in harmony, a natural balance that keeps us active, healthy and thriving.

So now we chuck an antibiotic in there – broad-base amoxicillin or something, to be sure of clobbering the bad guys.

Hydrogen bomb

Spot the mistake. A widely targeting bacteria killer – in a densely packed community of bacteria. A bit like letting loose with a hydrogen bomb. Sure, it takes down the bad guys – and whole families of good guys too, collateral damage.


Too bad a few minority clans were wiped out altogether. No more protection from asthma or oesophageal reflux.

Yeah, the other guys will grow back, maybe with a few scars. Maybe with an arm or leg missing, but they’ll be OK. Not the minorities though, they’ve gone for good. Which means the body is not as strong as it was. Part of its defences are missing.

And this happens EVERY TIME we swallow an antibiotic.

Bully for us, we got rid of the sinusitis – we carry on, less able than we were. And because we strong-arm the Doc for antibiotics every time we feel sick, we’re probably doing this once a year or more.

Taking antibiotics for a cure, but making us MORE likely to get sick, both at the same time.

Like we said, we know zip.

Because one thing antibiotics do to surviving bacteria is make them produce more ghrelin.

Never heard of it?

You will. It’s a hormone that says EAT MORE.

More accurately, eat more compulsively.

Uncontrolled gluttony

Eat more, extract more nutrients, you’re not finished, go for the fattening stuff – fast foods, sweets, cakes, sugary drinks, more, more, more!

Oops again. Your switch off eating control is broken. You’re going to get fat and you can’t stop yourself. Size 16, size 18, who cares?

My body, my choice, you say to yourself – not recognising it’s a sickness. Thank you, antibiotics – except none of us make the connection. So next time around, we ask for antibiotics again.

Recognise it now? The obesity trigger. Passport to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, cancer, infertility, back pain, skin infections, ulcers and gallstones.

It gets worse.

Fatter every day

Because we don’t just get antibiotics whenever we’re sick. We chow them down every day. They’re in everything we eat. Because for more than half a century – when antibiotics were first discovered – they’ve been used to bulk up animals for food – growth promoters that fatten them up in half the time. Plant crops too – more productive in half the time.

Feed the world – Bob Geldof is turning cartwheels.

Yup, everything we eat. Little by little, more antibiotics every day – exactly the way that farm animals get them. Bigger, better, fatter – and nobody’s twigged it yet, though every farmer knows it. It’s why we’ve all got heavier in the last twenty years, why two-thirds of us will be overweight or obese by 2025.

Which brings us back to dirty hands. Why most of the time we probably got sick in the first place. We don’t see the germs, so we don’t know we’re at risk. For instance, thanks to mobile phones, around 28% of us even have poo on our hands.

Wash hands and the problem goes away.

Except we’re more vulnerable than we were before, remember?

Every time an antibiotic bomb hits, we lose a few more billion gut bacteria. At least one prescription, maybe three times a year. And every meal too – breakfast, lunch, supper.


Time to tighten our defences

So we’re way weaker than we ever were. More likely to get sick, less likely to recover. More under threat than ever. Bigger targets – literally – for germs.

Which means clean hands are good – but rapidly becoming not enough.

Time to sterilise our surroundings as well. Eliminate germs from our workplace – wipe them out with hydrogen peroxide mist. Safe, secure – at last.

Oh yeah, and one other thing.

Live longer, stay off antibiotics.

Picture Copyright: lenanet / 123RF Stock Photo

Low? How your gut feel could cost you your job

Problem girl
It’s not you, it’s the bacteria in your gut – telling you something’s wrong

You are what you eat” is the wisdom of our age.

Gotta eat healthy and well to keep the body in tune. A good, wholesome, organic diet – the flip side of “junk food kills“.

Well yeah, that’s if we are what we think we are.

Not who we think we are

But down in our gut, we’re more bacteria than human – trillions and trillions of them that outnumber our own cells more than 10 to 1. They digest our food for us and manufacture protein – plus a heck of a lot else besides.

Those same bacteria secrete dopamine, serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) – the same chemicals used by our neurons to activate and transmit moods. Among them are gut-feels we already recognise, the uncertainties of anxiety and depression.

Our gut rules our brain.

Some of us tough it out and ignore our fears – plunging gung-ho into winning.

Yeah well – reflux, ulcers, gallstones, diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome – do we really want to play those games? Get a little older, and it’s not winning to worry about – it’s surviving.

Others give in and let the blue funk take over. No kind of existence at all, that – hiding under the bed in case something says boo.

Which means, like everything else with our bodies, that somehow we have to keep a balance. Keep the bacteria in our gut happy to stay on even keel.

The other us

Except it’s not just our gut that’s colonised by bacteria. It’s everywhere throughout our metabolisms – and our outsides as well. A cloud of them surrounds us every waking moment, swirling and floating – interchanging with other people’s clouds. Reacting to surrounding bacteria as well.

And not just bacteria, but other microorganisms – viruses, fungi, protozoa, algae – the whole spectrum of the biosphere.

Which is where the balance bit gets tricky – not all of these microorganisms agree with each other, particularly our own body’s.

Mould for instance, gives off spores that affect our respiratory system – the cause of sneezing, runny nose, skin rashes and asthma attacks. We breathe the stuff in and our own bacteria reacts – the whole community, including down in the gut.

Bing! New chemicals are produced in response, signalling to the brain: it doesn’t feel good here, get out, get away – things will get bad if we stay.

Feel bad, think bad

And right there is a major cause of sick building syndrome – the body reacting negatively to its surroundings and affecting mood. Poor lighting, ventilation or acoustics, excessive vibration and electromagnetic radiation all contribute to the same feel.

Beyond the headaches, nausea and other symptoms, there is a psychological reaction – the brain responding to gut feel. Unease, dissatisfaction, worsening relationships, and anxiety kick in. All triggered by bacteria imbalance.

So, whoops.

It’s not always us that makes us feel the way we do. It’s the bacteria that inhabits 98% of us, putting the thoughts in our head.

OK, so you go for a burger – good junk comfort food.

As long as you don’t pig out on those things every day, everything should be hunky. Far from being bad for you, a McDouble one of the most nutritious foods you can eat – far cheaper and more satisfying than those good improving vegetables your conscience tells you to choose.

BUT – keep eating them exclusively and your bacteria will make you pay. And it won’t just be the physical things that get you into trouble.

Weight gain, flabby appearance and diabetes risk are nothing alongside the low esteem, lack of motivation, self-contempt and inertia that suddenly claim your life. Your mind is out of it and you have no control – not exactly the way to impress your boss and gain promotion.

A question of balance

Catch a germ that disagrees with you and the same thing happens. Flu, norovirus or e.coli can make you very ill – they also mess with your mind. You’re not yourself, you can’t think straight, you do things you can’t explain afterwards.

So it’s not just what you eat. It’s how you protect yourself from your surroundings too. How you keep your good bacteria in balance – safe from the harmful bacteria outside that are trying to take you over.

Step one is easy. Wash your hands, every chance you get. They touch everything – but like your own body is covered in microbes – so is everything else. Transferring germs from hands to face is our biggest source of infection. Soap up thick.

Step two is equally easy – press a button. The one on the machine that mists up the room around you when you leave for the night. Oxidising all viruses and bacteria with hydrogen peroxide – in the air – on, under, and behind all surfaces – making the whole place sterile.

The thing is called a Hypersteriliser – and your boss can get one any time it feels right to ramp up productivity, keep you and your colleagues healthy and happy, doing something more for your wellbeing than grapefruit juice and gym membership.

That’s more like it!

With no germs to challenge your bacteria, your body is in harmony. The feel-good factor takes over – you’re positive, alive, ready for anything – and it shows. All good, career-advancing qualities.

Yes, your job is safe.

There might even be a bonus in it too.

Chicken campylobacter: really a packaging issue

Happy supermarket shopper
No more getting sick from chicken – problem solved

From the headlines, you’d think we’re all going to die.

There’s this deadly killer bacteria – three-quarters of all chickens have got it – just touch one and you’re dead.

Yeah? So where’s all the corpses outside KFC? It’s the most popular meat in the country, the bodies should be piled in the streets.

Back to reality

Instead of which, there’s all these kids, munching on drumsticks. They look pretty healthy, bouncing round like kids do. Grown-ups looking pretty good too.


Misplaced hysteria is what.

Because campylobacter disappears when chicken is cooked – in the same way that germs are destroyed when you boil water. And who in their right mind eats raw chicken? It’s not sushi!

Yeah but 75% of all birds are infected – you can’t eat diseased food.

Infected, huh?

So why aren’t they sick and dying too? Where’s the world-wide poultry disaster?

Check out the birds. Go see what the truth is, then decide.

Oh sure, there’s the whole thing about they should be free range, not reared in broiler houses – but that’s another issue.

Eyeball the birds for yourself and you’ll see they’re all healthy – the farmer would be out of bizz if they weren’t.

Not sick. No infected. Perfectly normal.

Not infected, naturally colonised

Yeah well, campylobacter occurs naturally in birds. That’s why so many have got it.

Like we have bacteria in our own gut – more than 1,000 different species. They’re supposed to be there too – without them we couldn’t digest anything.

So campylobacter is right for birds, but wrong for us.

OK, so we take care of it before eating. Problem solved. Like deboning a fish, peeling an orange, or taking the pip out of a peach. Not rocket science.

Things is, campylobacter is all over raw chickens – inside and outside. Which is why they say don’t wash it. The contaminated water gets everywhere – on knives and other utensils, on chopping boards – and on your hands.

You see, it’s not the cooked chicken that brings you the vomiting and diarrhoea. It’s the raw chicken water from your unwashed hands getting in your mouth.

Our own bad habits

For sure. Because it’s a fact of life that we touch our faces 3 to 5 times every minute – unconscious reflex. And most of us never bother to wash our hands at any time, not just preparing food. So the stuff goes down our throat and there we are – instant infection.

Right, so how about the hoo-hah that chicken makes your shopping unsafe? Get home with all your stuff, put it away and boom! Nausea, cramps, and the whole toot in just hours.

Yeah, well. The first thing is wash your hands – the best protection against any germs, whatever you’re doing.

The second thing is, check the packaging.

Shrink-wrap, right? No wonder your shopping gets contaminated. Any liquids from that bird are free to leak all over the place – inside your shopping bags, onto your hands, and dripping on everything else inside your fridge.

OK, so first things first.

Always keep chicken separate. In its own bag when you buy it. In its own bag when you bring it home. In its own bag at the bottom of the fridge – so it can’t leak, but if it does, it’s underneath everything else.

Next, wash your hands and everything else, every time you handle it. Except when it’s cooked of course, that’s when it’s safe.

Long term of course, it’s up to the Food Standards Agency.

Instead of running round wringing their hands that chicken farmers aren’t preventing campylobacter getting into their birds, they should be fixing the packaging.

Leak-proof, or else

Vacuum sealed, not shrink-wrapped.

No leaks, no contamination, no problem.

Enforceable by law that they’re empowered to declare.

Not spending millions on technology – boxing smart, round the problem.

Allowing for administrative fumble time, maybe six weeks at the most. And another three months after that for producers to get their compulsory vacuum-sealing machines into place – job done.

Heavy fines and pulled licences otherwise.

And nobody sick with campylobactor anywhere.

Then it should be onto a real food poisoning issue – like scombroid contamination in canned tuna. They’re the Food Standards Agency – get on with it.

And that wraps that up.