Not as a medicine – though that helps in the intense but unsanitary factory farms where the animals live.
No, no – as a super-performing fatten-up additive to feedstuff. From an egg to a roasting chicken in 6 weeks. Or from newborn calf to an Aberdeen Angus steak in 14 months.
Our daily OD
And that’s the same stuff we’re eating, with every mouthful we take. Our daily OD.
Because there’s antibiotics in the meat that those animals provide. And in the manure they produce. 80% of what they eat is excreted as waste – to enrich the soil and provide fertiliser.
So there’s antibiotics in the grass those same animals eat too – and their feed crops. Plus everything else that grown with “natural” fertiliser too. Which means grain crops, vegetables, fruit, salady stuff. Even vegetarians chow down antibiotics. They OD too.
Jackpot for the farmers. A massive problem for the rest of us – literally.
Because it’s overuse of antibiotics in agriculture that’s accelerating lethal superbugs that our medical miracle drugs can’t cure.
And the other headache – antibiotic resistance
If you haven’t heard of antibiotic resistance, you will soon. Because next time you’re ill or have an accident, there’s a strong chance any antibiotics used to keep you alive won’t work. The superbugs are immune – and one after another, our top performing antibiotics are proving useless against them.
Which includes colistin – a drug that medics call an antibiotic of last resort – the one docs use when all else fails.
Colistin is not new. It first hit pharmacy shelves in 1959. And it wasn’t so amazing either – toxic to the kidneys. So it sat around for years, not much used. Which means bacteria had little chance to develop resistance to it.
An old drug, not much used – that made it effective when a whole new crop of antibiotic resistant bacteria pitched up. Take that, you varmint, bang! And people got well.
Being old made it cheap as well. So of course farmers grabbed hold of it as soon as they knew. Right now, today, there’s a ker-chunk, ker-chunkfactory in China producing 10,000 TONS OF IT a year.
The 10,000 ton OD
10,000 TONS of our last ditch lifesaver! All going into pigs and chickens – to make bigger, fatter livestock – and bigger, fatter Chinese.
Because our metabolisms are basically no different to animals’. So inevitably we will get fat too, as our gut-bacteria is graunched out of proper balanced operation.
First those antibiotics will boost ghrelin, a bacteria-produced hormone that triggers appetite. Then they choke off leptin, another bacteria-produced hormone that suppresses appetite when we’ve had enough. Ready to OD on food as well as antibiotics.
With nothing to stop us going for second helpings, we climb in without realising. Double ham and eggs, double burger and chips, it happens before we know it.
And just like the animals, our bodies start ABSORBING more than they should – becoming more efficient at extracting nutrients from the food we eat. Except we don’t need that stuff – and we’ve eaten too much anyway.
And THAT’S where the spare tyre comes from – not what we eat, or how much we eat, but what we physically take in. Basically TOO MUCH.
OD antibiotics and OD food.
Not natural at all and a major headache for doctors worldwide. Because one of these days we will wake up and no MEDICAL antibiotics will work at all.
No more heart bypasses, hip operations, C-section childbirths, nothing. You could even die from infection caused by a paper cut. Back to the Dark Ages.
Plus of course, fat becomes obesity – and we’re on the road to diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Oops – which means antibiotics are killing us more than rescuing us.
Time to find alternatives. Herbal remedies if that works for you – or a whole different kind of science. Our money’s on phages – but that’s a whole other story.
Well we do. Two hormones produced by the bacteria we have in our gut.
The ON switch is ghrelin, which kicks in when we’re getting close to empty and tells the brain to go look for food.
The OFF switch is leptin, which tells us when we’ve had enough, stop eating, the tank is full. And there’s more well-researched stuff about leptin in the link from from Health Ambition editor Helen Sanders in the link below.
As long as these two are working OK, our bodies will be as they ought to be – agile, fit and slim – naturally choosing the right foods, eating just enough, enjoying exercise, feeling good.
Look around though, and a lot of us are having trouble with that OFF switch. Nearly two thirds of us are overweight or obese – and the rest of us are heading that way. Somehow our leptin levels are either too low, or it’s just not doing its stuff.
That triggers the brain’s self-preservation reflex, sending out signals to boost our energy sources. We feel them as hunger pangs and cravings – we’re starving, we’re starving – deliberately urging us to scavenge for and gobble up high-fat, high-sugar foods – the quickest and easiest energy charge to get us going again.
Couch potato time
At the same time the body gives us shut down messages – revert to stand-by, conserve energy, minimise all exercise – squashing any urge to go to the gym, or get up off the sofa and run. So it’s not just laziness, lying there parked off – your body is physically telling you not to.
Meanwhile, we’re sitting there porking out with two 2-litre bottles of Coke plus cod and double chips, watching the latest sugar porn on the Great British Bake Off.
Not good if you want to shift the pounds off. Like going bungee-jumping when your whole being is screaming NO-O-O-O-O! Diet all you like, unless you’re iron-willed like SAS veterans, your weight-loss efforts don’t really stand a chance. Even a gastric band won’t fix the cravings – as soon as it’s off, we need a KFC bucket.
Oops, leptin resistance
So what’s wrong with the leptin switch? Why are we all gorging ourselves crazy, with our hunger reflexes jammed full-on?
Actually, do a leptin level check, and most of us will turn out normal. The leptin’s there to do its job, our systems just aren’t responding. Somehow, they’ve become leptin resistant.
Step forward histone deacetylase 5, otherwise known as HDAC5. One day it might become as familiar to us as DNA.
According to researchers at the Helmholtz Zentrum München, Technische Universität München and the German Centre for Diabetes Research, HDAC5 is an enzyme that corrects the brain so it reads leptin levels correctly.
Whoo-hoo! Switch off the hunger pangs, back to being thin again.
Well, maybe not quite yet. Researchers have isolated the enzyme – and they’ve tried it out on mice. Works a treat, they lose fat mass and body weight. They’re just several years shy of proving it to work on humans.
So if HDAC5 is showing the way to the answer, what’s the cause? Maybe if we plug that hole, we can make the problem will go away anyway.
The real gut gangster
Because the one cause of putting our gut bacteria on the fritz that all of us share is collective damage from antibiotics. And whichever way you cut it, every one of us is a mainlining antibiotics junkie.
Yeah, we all take antibiotics for sickness of one kind or another – at least one course a year for most of us – more if we’re hypochondriacs. But few of us ever realise we’re actually gulping down antibiotics all the time – for 50 years they’ve been agriculture’s No 1 growth booster for animals and plants. The animals eat them, they get fat, we eat the animals, we get fat too. Ditto for plants.
Which means every mouthful we take includes yet another dose of some miracle-drug deliberately used to fatten produce up. We’re fat because we’re constantly chowing down fatteners.
Another one bites the dust
Actually we’re fat because antibiotics work by killing bacteria. And every hit that winds up in our gut takes out another few thousand. Not good, even though we each have over 100 trillion down there in our digestive system – we need them for all kinds of things, including regulate our immune system.
But dump antibiotics in there and it’s like a hydrogen bomb. And the fall out? Lots of dead bacteria, a whole host of upsets our bodies have to cope with. Imagine someone going mad in the cockpit of a Boeing, flipping all the switches.
Yup, that’s how the leptin gets glitched, just like it does for Farmer Brown’s finest beef cows and chickens. Our appetites are on turbo and we dream of double sugar in the Great British Bake Off.
There’s lots of other things that glitch too – our daily dose of MORE antibiotics sees to that. Which means that we’re less healthy than we were – less able to resist infection, our immune systems under-powered and under strain. Every meal, another top-up.
Antibiotics – angels from hell
Which means, if we get sick, we ought to try to avoid antibiotics to get better – restrict them to intravenous, or a once-off emergency only – beyond that no way, they’ve already done enough damage.
Take that tactic and we must avoid getting sick in the first place. And the only way to do that is up our hygiene levels – wash our hands before and after everything, be meticulous about keeping things clean, wherever possible sterilising the area around us.
At least that’s easy. Hit the button on a Hypersteriliser and a fine mist of ionised hydrogen peroxide oxidises all viruses and bacteria in any room space – dead and gone, sterilised to nothing in around forty minutes. Totally safe.
Other than that, switch to organic food (no antibiotics) – and start exercising, whatever the body says.
We might be fat, but we don’t have to stay that way.
Brace yourself. Genetically modified foods are back in town.
All over the headlines nearly 20 years ago. A big public outcry to get them off the market.
Genetically modified, see. To be immune to pesticides. So when crops are sprayed to get rid of weeds, the important plants aren’t affected.
Yeah, great. But how about the super-weeds that become pesticide resistant? Running riot, ready to take over the planet. And what about the dependant ecology – birds, insects, other plants – the whole biological balance?
And what do they do to us humans?
We showed them back then. 1999, it was. Together with the Daily Mail – guns blazing, run that stuff out of town. And we did, all consumers together. Told our supermarkets “No Deal” – we didn’t want any of that Frankenstein stuff.
Well guess what?
Just checking out this year’s National Farmers’ Union conference, they’ve showed up again. Digging by the Mail has exposed GM foods are back. In up to 80% of maize and soya fed to livestock that become the meat that we eat. Sneaked into our supermarket fridges by big money corporations with no questions asked. We pays the money, the retail chains keep schtum.
Yeah, bad news, the pits.
GM and worse
But squeaky clean alongside the ANTIBIOTICS you’ll find in the same food. Especially since those mega-buck conglomerates have no idea they’re there anyway.
Yeah, GM crops – we can probably live with them.
But genetically modified human beings – meaning YOU and everyone else on this planet – that’s seriously screwing with us. Because that’s exactly what antibiotics do long-term – screw up our genes, shake up our body balance.
Ever wondered why we’re all getting fat? Or why we’re getting sick more than we used to?
Thanks for nothing – from antibiotics. In the food that we eat – straight from the supermarket.
You see, they’re actually ADDED to livestock foods, like the maize and soya already GM cultivated – deliberately fed to animals to make them grow bigger, stronger and faster.
And animals have been fed that stuff for decades – generation after generation of cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry and even fish – fattened up for market in high density factory farms. Places so crowded, and hygienically iffy, those same animals NEED antibiotics to stop them falling sick in droves.
All in the poo
OK, let’s get basic.
Every farm animal – cows, sheep, chickens – makes poo. Tons and tons of the stuff – a major source of nutrients for all plant life. In fact the average cow probably pumps 80 – 90% of the stuff that it eats back out again – super-enriched food to make fertile manure.
Laced through and through with residual antibiotics.
Right, so follow the chain. The poo enriches grass for grazing – to be re-eaten by those same animals. More of the same stuff to bulk them up – the farmer’s rubbing his hands, although probably has no idea it’s there.
Because they’re in the grass, antibiotics residues are in the animals’ silage too. They get them with every mouthful, even though the farmer will withdraw antibiotics in their feed – for an elimination period required by law – before sending them off to market.
Plus of course, the poo gets collected for manure – which spreads antibiotic residues everywhere it’s used – including the GM farmed crops of maize and soya to be used as additional feed. So even though the animals are not receiving direct doses, they’re still mainlining with every mouthful.
It’s everywhere, it’s everywhere
The same manure of course, gets used everywhere else too – for fruit, grain and vegetable crops, everything. There are no laws or restrictions on its use, so it may even wind up being used to encourage growth of ORGANIC crops too. Organic crops thought to be pure, but containing antibiotic residues.
Oh yeah, and while we remember, antibiotics are widely used to boost plant growth too – sprayed on, mulched into the soil, or sometimes injected – and there’s no legal restriction on how that happens. They’re also used like pesticides – to control white spot, blight and leaf rot. More residues.
Since they’re in the soil, the residues leach down into the ground too, to be borne away by rainwater and runoff into the river systems. Which means there are antibiotic traces in our drinking water too – everything we eat or drink, right across the food spectrum.
Now here’s the thing. We think of antibiotics as medicines, right? Miracle drugs that prevent and cure infection, protecting us from illness and disease. They do this by killing pathogenic bacteria, prescribed according to whatever the need is, to target treatment more effectively.
Not so bad if applied locally, to the skin or directly to a sutured area. But a real full-on drama if taken internally. Because as doctors are now starting to realise, our bodies are actually 90% bacteria and only 10% human – a mutual and harmonious partnership that makes us the amazing creatures that we are.
Down in our gut, where everything we eat eventually winds up, there are hundreds of trillions of bacteria – our microbiota – a diverse and carefully balanced community handling all kinds of functions, including digestion, protein production and regulating our immune system.
Pitch any kind of bacteria-killing antibiotic in there and it’s mayhem. Medicinal antibiotics might home in on specific pathogens, but a lot of other bacteria types inevitably get in the way. Residual antibiotics attack pretty well anything.
Bang, the end of carefully balanced harmony, the whole community goes out of kilter. Some whole species get wiped out, others are severely devastated. Not good for their basic defence system, which is to crowd invaders out by sheer numbers, impossible if half of them are missing.
Er, damaged gut bacteria. With damaged DNA. Unable to do what they’re supposed to do. Genetically modified gastrointestinal malfunction. Oh, sorry!
All kinds of things happen as a result, none of them positive. Yes, we might get rid of whatever bug we got our prescription for, but everything else is a downer. Plus there’s no coming back. Some bacteria resuscitate if their numbers are big enough. But the minor groups are gone for good – the system never comes back to 100%. Being genetically modified is a one-way street.
First to go is usually appetite control – and how many nutrients should be extracted from food. At worst, there are no limits, the body eats gluttonously, side-stepping the brain and indulging itself simply because it can.
More likely we wonder why the hell we start ballooning up, we’re not eating any more and we don’t normally guts ourselves anyway. Yeah, but the body absorbs more as it passes through – with our bacteria on the fritz, it squeezes out food value that much tighter. Check your poo – eating the same but passing less? It’s on your tummy and your thighs and your bum.
Uh huh. Exactly the mechanism that makes farm animals bulk up – only now it’s happening to us. Just one of the happy surprises that genetically modified means. Without controls, we pull out more food value than we should – and pile on the pounds big time.
Fat, fatter, obese – but it’s not all lifestyle. Devastating consequences though – type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, asthma – and a lengthening list of other ailments, most of them slow, debilitating and ultimately fatal. Unless we realise what’s happening, we can eat ourselves to death.
And we’re already on the way. Check out Parliament’s own Obesity Statistics. 24% of adults in England are obese and a further 36% are overweight. Double the way we were in 1994 – when GM foods first pushed their way into our supermarkets – and farmers started ramping up antibiotics in animal feed, now at 324,000 tonnes per year worldwide and counting.
Want more proof we’re already genetically modified?
Well, since when did we develop all these sudden allergies, sensitivities and intolerances?
Some of them are because we grow up too clean these days – too little time as toddlers, eating dirt. Our immune systems are a combination of our inheritance from our mothers and what our bodies learn in our formative years, teaching our gut bacteria how to defend us.
Hmm, not so rosy any more. For a start, Mum’s own immune system is genetically modified from a lifetime of residual antibiotic damage – and probably under-powered from her own birth because HER Mum was genetically modified too.
On top of that, the world we live in has fewer challenges to even a generation ago. Major league killers like cholera and typhoid don’t exist any more – which means our immune reflexes sit twiddling their thumbs with nothing to do.
OK, so they invent something. And our high-powered defences over-react, chasing phantoms. We get a reaction, even plunge into life-threatening anaphylactic shock – coming down with asthma, eczema, hay fever, urticaria, coeliac disease, dermatitis, lactose intolerance, nut allergies and a million more – a three-fold increase on where we were back in the 70s.
Time to strike back. Pressure our supermarkets into rejecting GM foods – and antibiotics too. Go organic if we can. Avoid antibiotics like the plague – because they might save lives in the short term, but in the long run they’re killers.
Which also means stay away from germs wherever possible so that our weakened systems stand a better chance of survival. Only one way round that – wash your hands like your life depends on it (which it does) – and sterilise the area around you whenever you can with a Hypersteriliser. If there are no germs, you can’t get hit.
Yeah, genetically modified foods – at least they’re well intended, despite the side effects. Not like antibiotics – they’re about as helpful as being genetically modified with a baseball bat.
Right, not food you eat – the antibiotics you swallow.
Even though you might not taking them right now.
Because actually, you are – you just don’t know it.
We all are – every day.
Junkies, and we don’t know it
Because they’re in the food we eat. Put there to bulk up the meat we choose and the veg we prefer. In our bread, butter, milk and water too. Eggs too, of course.
Strictly speaking, we guess that does mean you’re getting fat from the food you eat. But not from the nutrition it gives – from the messing around it does to your digestive system, so you extract MORE food value than you’re meant too – over-riding your control of when to stop.
Truth is, that’s why antibiotics are a major part of food production – and have been for decades. They make ANIMALS bigger, better, faster – added to the food they eat. Now it’s happening to us, with the same result. They eat spiked feedstuff, we eat them, we get antibiotics too. Little bit by little bit, every single day.
Licence to print money
Which means – as you can imagine – on the farm, antibiotics are a goldmine. Without them, farmers would have to have acres of otherwise useless grazing space, animals spread out across fields and fields, growing up slowly in the fresh air and sunshine.
All very nice, but not good for business. Even charging double because it’s “organic”.
No, no, no – much better to herd all the animals indoors, out of the weather, closer together so they’re easier to breed and feed. A bit messy with so many of them all jammed in close together, not exactly healthy, pretty stressful too.
But never mind, antibiotics compensate for the high density conditions. None of them get sick because they’re on medicine already. And the amazing side effect is they get bigger and bigger and bigger – an overnight miracle. From egg to full-grown roasting chicken in 6 weeks. From calf to Aberdeen Angus sirloin steak in 1 year instead of four.
Yeah, so forget whatever your Doc might be using them for – antibiotics on the farm are the modern way of doing business, the failsafe that keeps factory farms going. Round the world they get used on an industrial scale – in China alone, 162,000 tonnes a year according to this report – half the world’s intake.
Which means the actual figure is twice that – 324,000 tonnes.
Still think you’re not on antibiotics?
Yeah, well everybody’s got to eat. And with a world population of 7.5 billion, that means a dose of around 450 milligrams for every man, woman and child on the planet – four times the strength your Doc would probably put you on, if you had an ailment.
Lifesavers that kill
And have you any idea what antibiotics do to your innards?
Basically, they only do one thing – kill bacteria. Which is good if you have an infection or disease, they kill the bacteria that’s causing it, you get better.
Hold up there, that’s not the full story.
Antibiotics kill bacteria, right? That means pretty well ALL bacteria they come in contact with, unless it’s a type that’s built up a resistance.
And guess what? Down in your gut, there are hundreds of trillions of bacteria – all vital to enabling digestion, producing proteins, regulating your immune system, and a zillion other things. One antibiotics pill releasing in that lot and it’s mass murder – whole tribes wiped out, crucial clans damaged or impaired, the whole balance gone for a ball of chalk.
But your body needs those guys to be healthy and resilient – as many and diverse as possible to meet all the challenges to expect in your lifetime. Except they’re not healthy and resilient, are they? They’re busted and broken, whole squadrons missing – including the ones that control appetite, producing ghrelin to start eating and leptin to stop.
A busted flush
Yeah, to put it mildly, you’re stuffed out of sight – nutrition intake system jammed on full throttle. Unless you’re fully aware of what your body keeps asking, you find yourself eating with no idea why you’re so hungry.
Worse, your body grabs more out of the food as it passes through your system. Eating more and pooing less – all that stuff’s got to go somewhere, so that’s the start of your spare tyre. Next stop, bingo wings, thunder thighs, muffin top and all the trimmings. And you thought it was all you.
Of course not all of us are as fat as we might be. We all have different metabolisms, our colonies of gut bacteria vary as individually as fingerprints, and our immune systems all have different exposure to disease and illnesses as we grow up. And to antibiotics.
One thing’s for sure. The younger we get hit, the more chance we have of being obese. Not just the background drip, drip we all experience – but a full-on medical course a doctor might prescribe. Full throttle already, now we go to warp speed.
Fat from childhood
Get antibiotics before we’re two, and chances are high we’ll be overweight by five. And if you’re like most of us here in the UK, by the time you’re twenty, you’ll have been through TWENTY courses of antibiotics – every one of them grabbing at your gut and ripping things out. Chug three Cokes at a session and you don’t even know you’re doing it.
Plus you’re more vulnerable too. Not surprising with half your immune control system shot to hell.
Which means if you want to live to a ripe old age, better take care of yourself more than you might have been. Despite the antibiotics – or rather, because of them – infections are now easier to catch. More easily picked up from germs on your skin, from the air, or from objects around you.
Want proof? How many times have you come down with colds or flu – can’t shake them off? Or headaches, norovirus or other tummy bugs – over and over again? Like this never happened to your Mum and Dad.
OK, so wash your hands every chance you get. Wash the dirt off – and the germs – invisible nano-dirt you can’t see, but just waiting to climb inside you and make you ill.
Sterilise the space around you as well. A good mist up with a Hypersteriliser will keep your workplace free from all viruses and bacteria for a good twenty-four hours or more. It won’t kill infections if you’ve already got them – but it will stop new ones happening.
Of course, getting that weight off is a pain. Your mind has to over-rule your gut feel – and there are no short cuts.
But now at least you know what you’re up against. You’re not fighting you, you’re fighting antibiotics.
It wasn’t your fault you got fat in the first place – but it’s going to be all-you that makes you thinner.
Lots of people eat a burger. And don’t get fat doing it.
They chow them down with enjoyment, and stay exactly the same size.
But burgers are bad for you, the nagging nannies insist. All that fat, all those carbohydrates.
Except lucky not-fat people aren’t impressed. And burgers aren’t so evil either.
A few burger facts
A straight McDonalds cheeseburger is 15 grams of protein, 12 grams of fat and 2 grams of fibre – 300 calories all up.
Stack that up alongside a good healthy Sunday roast with all the trimmings – Yorkshire pudding, potatoes, vegetables, gravy and stuffing – and the energy value comes in at around 565 calories.
Cross the road to Jamie’s posh Italian place and his designer burger on a toasted brioche bun with caramelised onions, crispy pancetta, Westcombe cheddar and totally decadent sauce weighs in at 1,387 calories – 2½ times the oomph of the roast – and 4½ times more than McDonalds!
Lots of people eat Jamie’s burgers too, and don’t get fat. They know when they’ve had enough and they’re satisfied.
Enough is enough
And that’s the secret. Stop eating when you’ve had enough, and extra inches don’t happen.
Your body tells you anyway. Starts feeling bloated and uncomfortable. Puts you off eating anything else until you’re back to normal.
But it’s not the same for fat people.
They don’t feel satisfied, so they keep going
Their bodies don’t tell them when they should stop
They wind up eating more than they need
Three personal disasters that normal, healthy bodies just don’t experience.
Which means something’s out of kilter. Somewhere, something’s wrong with their appetite control.
Appetite gone bananas
Because normal people just CAN’T overeat the way that fat people do.
Think back to the festive season only a few weeks ago. Try as we could, there was never any space for that extra helping of turkey or another piece of Christmas pud.
Which means it’s not burgers that are unhealthy – if they were, we’d ALL be dying like flies.
Except we’re not.
The unhealthy element is those poor overweight people – rapidly including the rest of us – who have a condition that’s doing them down. Only a few are gluttons, deliberately gobbling more than they should. The rest of us, like it or not, have a compulsive eating disorder that pushes us over the top.
And being fat is not nice.
On our way to fat
We try to control it and hate the way we look. We hate the way we feel too. The breathlessness and lack of strength, the constant strain of carrying all that weight around. Three stone overweight is like lumping a whole holiday suitcase everywhere.
As more and more of us are starting to know. Because right now two-thirds of UK adults and one-third of our kids are all overweight or obese – our numbers nudging steadily upwards over the last twenty years.
Told you so! say the nannies, threatening kale and pak choi. Something is definitely wrong.
Wrong, yes. And our medical experts do nothing about it.
Lots of wagging fingers and lectures about diet though. All that high energy food we eat, our couch-potato lifestyle and never any exercise, no wonder we’re all packing it on. We need discipline and control. And penalties for the error of our ways – fees for NHS treatment and deductions off our wages.
Medical fat shamers
J’accuse. One finger pointing, three fingers pointing back.
Because it’s not unhealthy eating that’s making us fat. Burgers don’t contain poison or noxious substances. We just eat too much of a good thing. Too much need-it-now, quick-satisfying, hunger-busting, high-energy food because we’re always famished. Eat, eat and overeat.
Because something in our bodies causes us to. Over-riding our natural balances and forcing us to overindulge. And it’s been getting worse over the last twenty years.
Out in the fat farms
Visit any of our Twenty-First Century factory mega-farms and you’ll see why. There are at least 800 of them out there, classified as intensive production units by the Environment Agency – shorthand for farms with more than 40,000 birds, 2,000 pigs or 750 breeding sows. All kept alive in crowded, severely challenged hygiene conditions by regular doses of antibiotics – at least that’s how the use of such drugs is justified.
Reality comes from the amazing side effect that antibiotics have – and which Big Agriculture has been steadily cashing in on for the last fifty years – snowballing in the last twenty.
Antibiotics make animals grow faster, fatter, bigger.
And guess what?
We’re animals too.
We feed them, they feed us – and we’re all part of an antibiotic ingestion chain, regularly eating drip-drip doses of the most efficient growth boosters ever discovered.
And we wonder why we’re getting fat!
Truth is, via today’s supermarkets we get these growth boosters across the whole spectrum of things we eat. They’re in our meat, poultry and fish. And in our vegetables too – because manure from dosed animals is used to enhance plant crops – and leaches down into the water table, out to our streams and rivers.
Which means vegetarian nannies watch out! There are antibiotics in your pak choi too – ever noticed you’ve started nibbling two leaves instead of one?
Because either we get off antibiotics now, or we’ll all be fat and looking down the slippery slope to obesity, asthma, heart disease, cancer and a long, slow exit.
It’s not going to happen, is it? Too much inertia, too many vested interests, too much not wanting to face facts.
But it’s either that, or we each of us individually go cold turkey. Tighten our belts and just eat less. Or wear corsets. External gastric bands. It could even start a new fashion trend – especially if it makes us slimmer.
Walk a mile for a burger
It can be done though. If we’re strict enough with ourselves. Yours truly dropped 3½ stone in six months just by eating smaller meals, cutting out snacks and sticking to the two mile walk every day.
We’ll still be getting the antibiotics. But now we know, we can compensate for them.
And if our new slim selves enjoy the odd burger now and then, who’s going to know the difference? Enjoy!
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.
Public Health England might want to rethink this one. Because shrinking sweet sizes to cut obesity will most likely achieve nothing.
Nothing except irate sweet eaters who eat double to compensate.
Oh sure, the sugar in sweets DOES contribute to making us all fatter.
But one Snickers bar a week is not exactly going to blow us up like an elephant.
It takes several a day – on top of pigging out on everything else – to do that.
Gorging ourselves stupid. Eating too much – of everything. Absorbing too much for our bodies to take, so they bulk up.
Exactly what farmers do to get animals ready for market. As quickly as possible – money, money, money.
Gut bacteria on the fritz
Which is why they feed them drugs to fatten them up. Deliberately obese-ifying them. From an egg to a roasting chicken in 6 weeks. From newborn calf to an Aberdeen Angus steak in 14 months.
And the drugs they use are antibiotics. Added to feedstuffs in small doses. Just right to tip animals’ gut bacteria into always wanting food. Becoming more efficient at extracting nutrients from it too. The proven way to bulk up fast.
Because aren’t drugs frequently tested on animals before they’re let loose on humans? To see if they work properly – or head off any Frankenstein side-effects?
Yes, well. Farmers worldwide have proved the case well and truly – and do so every day. As they have done since antibiotics were discovered 50 years ago. Today they’re using 240,000 tonnes of the stuff a year.
Which is how they produce the 19 billion chickens, 1.4 billion cattle, 1 billion pigs and 1 billion sheep that keep us fed.
And how they pushed food production to feed us all. From the 2½ billion people we were 50 years ago – to the7½ billion we are today. All off exactly the same available land.
Get the picture? The planet isn’t any bigger since back then – what’s different is the antibiotics.
So yes, proven. Antibiotics obese-ify animals, which means they obese-ify us too. The world’s most efficient super-fattening growth boosters. Which is how come today two thirds of us are porkers.
Proven beyond doubt.
Which sort of says that cutting sweet sizes down by a fifth isn’t exactly going to crack it. People will get fat anyway, from the other stuff that they eat. Fat and getting fatter, even if they’ve never chomped a Snickers.
Now of course, the powers that be will tell you this isn’t possible. That there aren’t any antibiotics in the foods we eat. Farmers feed them to their animals, yes – but doses are withdrawn weeks before market and all meat is antibiotics-free.
If only. Because to feed 7½ billion people requires factory farm methods to sustain enough food supply.
OK, so health authorities know this. And they’re concerned too, for the effect any antibiotics in the meat might have on humans. Specifically carcinogenic, toxic or allergenic effects.
Antimicrobal resistance & MRLs
And of course superbugs. Harmful bacteria that have become immune to antibiotics and cannot be treated. Top of the list being carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE), neisseria gonorrhoeae, clostridium difficile, multi drug-resistant acinetobacter – and the only one most of us have heard of – methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
All of which raise the scary reality that modern medicine is back to the Dark Ages. Soon heart bypass surgery, C-section births and hip replacements will no longer possible because the drugs won’t work against infection.
That said, there’s still antibiotics in our food. Because while levels are reduced to make it safe for us to eat, they’re not removed entirely. Trace residues are still allowed as long as they conform to legal Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs).
Still there in our food, but only in little bits.
Precisely the way antibiotics are administered to livestock to obese-ify them.
And precisely the way we ingest them when we eat animal meat. Little drip-drip doses, just enough to tip our gut bacteria out of balance and our appetites jammed on full throttle.
If only it stopped there.
You see, most animals only absorb 20% of the food value that they eat. The rest is excreted as waste – Nature’s way of providing nutrients to enrich the soil and promote plant life.
Manure and fertiliser for plant crops. Vital at today’s population volumes. So that antibiotics-laden enrichment finds its way into everything else that we eat. Grains crops, cereals, vegetables, fruit – often in higher concentrations than with animal meat.
And not monitored either because nobody twigs there’s antibiotics in their food source.
It’s also how antibiotics in animal meat sneak back – in higher volumes than regulations allow.
Not all meat is monitored and tested, the logistics are impossible. Any checks are intermittent and random.
Meanwhile, the calf that’s eating grass or feed from sugar beet is still chowing down its daily dose of antibiotics. Grown back into its food by the very manure it pooed out in the first place.
And in water too, because the stuff seeps down into the water table, to be carried in streams to our river system. So when our drinking water comes from the Thames, it quite probably has antibiotics in it.
Sugar tax or sugar hoax?
Harsh reality, huh?
And we haven’t had a Snickers or a Coke since the start of this page – yet already we’re full of antibiotics making us fatter.
Not good, PSE. Not good at all. And there’s a sugar craving coming on.
Better watch the Great British Bake Off.
We can’t eat sweets, so we’ll have to get our hit some other way.