Are Raw and Fresh Food Warnings Exaggerated?
We keep hearing the warnings from the FDA concerning food contamination and recalls. Many of the messages focus on only a small segment of food production and that is the meat and poultry category. They warn against handling the raw meats and poultry that we fix for our pets and ourselves and also highly discourage feeding or eating raw or “undercooked meats and poultry.” Is this danger to the level that the FDA is making it out to be?
Let’s look at the science first. We live in a bacteria filled, pathogen laden world. In fact a healthy human body contains more bacteria cells than blood cells. It’s actually an important part of our basic physiology that keeps us healthy. We have things like E.coli, salmonella, and many other strains of bacteria in our digestive tract that are there to aid in the digestion of foods. We are confronted with these pathogens as we go through a normal day. Tests show that everything from tables to doorknobs, eating utensils, cutting boards, swimming pools and even our lawns contain a plethora of pathogens.
Now let’s look at the diets of every living creature on this planet. Every creature eats raw food for its’ entire life except for humans. In nature there are no microwaves, ovens, processing plants or food additives. There are no medical centers, supplement shops or any drugs prescribed. There is usually only rare incidence of true disease outbreaks and yet these creatures have thrived throughout time.
If foods in nature are healthy enough to feed our natural wildlife and allow them healthy offspring and long lives, where does the problem begin…and what can you do to provide yourself and your furry family members a safe food?
Let’s look at the warnings themselves. The FDA says that we need to handle our natural products in very specific ways to avoid contaminations of our bodies from the food. “Wash your hands thoroughly after handling meat or poultry and completely cook it well done to kill the bacteria.” They are in charge of inspecting and approving our food as safe. Are they saying their methods and inspections are that flawed? Is our system of sterile food processing facilities worse and more contaminated than the field where a wolf just killed a rabbit or a deer? How about our own hunting populous and farmers? Are they more at risk when they process their own meat at home?
Statistics from the FDA itself show most recalled products over the past ten years are processed foods including dry and canned pet foods, made in these safe facilities from inspected ingredients. You can visit this website to see for yourself: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/recalls/default.htm Meanwhile, you never hear of raw, fresh meats or poultry being recalled because of contamination.
Our system of CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operations) is producing animals with weak immune systems that are compromising our food system because of the agencies that are responsible for protecting us. Instead of challenging the system that is producing harmful pathogens, they are attempting to convince us that we need to be protected by more processing . To learn more visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concentrated_Animal_Feeding_Operation.
The answer as always is clean, organic, locally raised, freshly produced species appropriate diets for ourselves and for our furry and feathered friends. Remember that education is the key to maintain good health. There are many sources besides us that are available in print and on the worldwide web.