Dr. Mercola talks about ‘hidden’ antibiotics and his reason for recommending organic produce:
Unfortunately, the greatest danger posed by antibiotics does not actually come from prescribed courses of antibiotics, which you have some control over, but rather from the food you eat. The prevalence of antibiotics in both meats and vegetables has the potential to throw off, or contribute to this intestinal imbalance.
Animals such as cattle, chickens and hogs raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFO’s) are routinely given antibiotics — both to keep them alive in stressful, unsanitary conditions, and to make them grow bigger, faster. Antibiotics can also be found in conventionally-grown vegetables, and the reason for this is because antibiotics in livestock end up being transferred, via manure, into the soils that vegetables are then grown in.
The widespread practice of using subtherapeutic doses of antibiotics to increase growth in livestock has been pin-pointed as a leading cause for the development of new strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as the now-widespread form of staph (MRSA) known as ST398, or “the pig strain” of MRSA.
This livestock-acquired strain of MRSA adds to an already troubling situation… The human community-associated strain of MRSA, USA300, already affects close to 100,000 people a year in the US, and caused 18,600 deaths in 2005 alone. To put that number into perspective, HIV/AIDS killed 17,000 people that same year. What’s worse, research has shown that various MRSA strains can be transmitted from humans to animals and vice versa, putting the health of both humans and animals (including pets) at ever increasing risk.
It’s important to realize that antibiotic-resistant disease like MRSA is a man-made problem, created by the excessive use of antibiotics. Medical overuse of antibiotics is one aspect, but the greatest, and most hidden, factor is the excessive use of antibiotics in food production….
…Granted, conventional medicine still needs to curtail its prescriptions for antibiotics, but even if you use antibiotics judiciously you’re still exposed to significant amounts of antibiotics from the foods you eat. This is one of the primary reasons why I ONLY recommend organic, grass-fed, free-range meats and organic pasture-raised chickens, as non-medical use of antibiotics is not permitted in organic farming. These foods are also far superior to CAFO-raised meats in terms of nutritional content