Post Antibiotics II

I’ve brought this one up before. Check out this post if you missed it. Bacteria can outrun us in the race of evolution, with a new generation every 20 minutes, developing resistances to antibiotics is just a matter of time for them. That time has been shrinking for decades. We could be headed for a post antibiotic world.

Before antibiotics, five women died out of every 1,000 who gave birth. One out of nine people who got a skin infection died, even from something as simple as a scrape or an insect bite. Three out of ten people who contracted pneumonia died from it. Ear infections caused deafness; sore throats were followed by heart failure.

There is definitely more to the story than the direct human deaths though. Large parts of our modern agriculture practices are based on the wide spread use of antibiotics.  Most of the meat in the super markets is raised with antibiotics. The confinement farms for pigs and cows that I live near routinely dose the animals with “preventative” antibiotics so they’ll survive the cramped and crowded conditions. Seafood raised in farms gets antibiotics. Since 80% of the antibiotics sold in the US goes to agriculture uses, it’s not far fetched to think the resistances could appear there first.


How many animals would need to die before the cost per pound got too high for most people to afford? How many times could a farmer lose entire buildings full of animals before they couldn’t afford to replace them? Not many.

You really need to be protecting yourself from these breeding grounds for resistant bacteria. They spread using multiple vectors. Resistant bacteria move from animals to humans in groundwater and dust, on flies, and via the meat those animals get turned into. You can buy meat from farms that don’t use antibiotics, often these are pastured or grass fed animals. Or raise or hunt your own.

Treat your meat like it’s carrying deadly bacteria, because it likely is. Be careful with it in the fridge and with your kitchen utensils and with the temperature of the final dish. I always roll my eyes at him, because I’m a cook by touch sort of gal, but hubby is constantly reminding me to use our meat thermometer and check the temp of our meat before I serve it. After reading up some more on this subject, I’ve resolved to never roll my eyes at him again. Well, about the meat temperature anyway. :-)

Deadly bacterias know no borders or fairness. A cut from a rosebush could spell your end if it happens to let in some resistant bacteria. Your food supply could be in danger of disappearing to an ambitious bug. Keep this one on your radar folks and make sure you are protecting yourself as much as you can.

– Calamity Jane

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7 comments… add one
  • Pineslayer May 8, 2014, 2:14 pm

    This is a real threat. I used antibiotics once a year for about a decade because I would get a sinus infection around X-mas like clockwork. Steamed myself silly, it didn’t work. After a week of misery I would get my meds and within days I was feeling good. Got sick of the routine so I finally tried the Nedipot. Halla-freaking-louya, works like a charm. The best part is that this year I didn’t get it. Maybe my body has decided to fight on its own. I get cut and scraped up all the time and never get an infection. Am I lucky or just healthy? I am also a huge advocate for the 5 second rule. How do you feel about that?

    • Calamity Jane May 8, 2014, 5:18 pm

      If you’re cooking the thing that you dropped, it shouldn’t be able to pick up anything that won’t be killed by the cooking. If it’ s eaten right after landing on the floor, you’ll just have to depend on your internal micro-flora to protect you from any bad bugs. Of course, if you’re eating antibiotic laden meat, your internal flora may be compromised.

      • Pineslayer May 8, 2014, 6:30 pm

        I am trying to avoid all potentially tainted meats. I believe that a daily dose of dog hair, a few little bugs, and grime off of your hands helps keep your system healthy. My Mom would disagree, but so far so good.

  • irishdutchuncle May 9, 2014, 4:42 am

    are our immune systems any more or less robust, compared with those people in the past? (we know a bit more about germs now)
    doctors and midwives are more inclined to wash their hands today…
    is there a more natural position for a woman giving birth, other than flat on her back? where are infant and maternal mortality the lowest? (can we learn any other survival skills from there?)

    • Calamity Jane May 12, 2014, 8:28 pm

      Squatting is much better than flat on her back. Walk as long as possible.

      • late2theParty May 19, 2014, 12:42 pm

        The survival books ‘Where There is No Doctor’ and ‘Where Women Have No Doctor: A Health Guide for Women’ appear to be great assets. On child birth, the latter includes instructions and diagrams for ‘how to’ on a lot of things related to basic medical information. I understand we should be using the lavatory in similar fashion (squatting.) Is that why they call it ‘squatting’?

        My understanding is that the “legs in the air, stirrups on” setup in labor is for the doctor, not for the patients and CAN increase the chances of complications.

  • Chuck Findlay May 9, 2014, 8:37 am

    I have several kinds of fish antibiotics put away. Other then staying clean and following good procedures handling meat and cooking it completely I don’t know that I can do much more.


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