Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Posts Tagged ‘chicken’

Oregano As A Replacement For Antibiotics? Livestock Farmers Are Trying It

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 26, 2012

This sounds interesting:

The smell of oregano wafting from Scott Sechler’s office is so strong that anyone visiting Bell & Evans these days could be forgiven for wondering whether Mr. Sechler has forsaken the production of chicken and gone into pizza.

[…]

Off and on over the last three years or so, his chickens have been eating a specially milled diet laced with oregano oil and a touch of cinnamon. Mr. Sechler swears by the concoction as a way to fight off bacterial diseases that plague meat and poultry producers without resorting to antibiotics, which some experts say can be detrimental to the humans who eat the meat. Products at Bell & Evans, based in this town about 30 miles east of Harrisburg, have long been free of antibiotics, contributing to the company’s financial success as consumers have demanded purer foods.

But Mr. Sechler said that nothing he had used as a substitute in the past worked as well as oregano oil.

There are skeptics, a notable one being Scott Gavura. But a few studies exist (such as this one and this one) that indicate that oregano may well have actual medicinal uses.

UPDATE: Gavura’s post was from May of 2011, and the materials he cites are of course from before 2011, the latest one being a 2010 review of studies from past years. This October 2011 study indicates that 3% oregano oil helps to fight against Staphlococcus aureus infections. To my mind this would fit in with the results of a 2001 study that seems to indicate that oregano oil as extracted from the plant works better at fighting bacteria than does carvacrol alone, which is thought to be the chief antibacterial agent in oregano oil. The other chemicals in oregano oil apparently possess antibacterial properties that work with carvacrol’s to reduce bacteria in the test subjects.

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“Eat Sh*t And Die” The New USDA Watchword? Not If You Raise A Stink To Congress

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 5, 2012

If you haven’t already sworn off most industrial chicken, you might want to consider it now — or call your Congresscritters — after seeing this:

Under the current rules, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is responsible for inspecting all chicken and turkey carcasses for things like bruises, bile, and yes, shit, before they’re sent for further processing. The proposed HACCP-Based Inspection Models Project (HIMP) would remove those USDA inspectors from the lines, leaving poultry plant employees, who already stand in a fast-moving, I-Love-Lucy-style line, to flag unsanitary or otherwise flawed birds.

[…]

[Federal food safety inspector Steven] Clarke [describes the shift as “ plain and simply a job cutting measure.” And in the end, cutting jobs means cutting dollars. In an article from early March, Food Safety News dug up a study [PDF] showing the program is projected to save FSIS up to $95 million over three years, and to give a $250 million boost to poultry companies.

That’s why a number of poultry workers joined Food and Water Watch, the Government Accountability Project, and the National Consumer League in protesting the proposed changes outside the USDA on Monday.

Why is this being done? Because, as David Dayen shows, even USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack has stated that the Pentagon’s beyond-bloated budget is a sacred cow, and since Congress is too (pardon the pun) chicken to let the Bush tax cuts expire, that means that what’s left of the non-DoD parts of the government will get shredded. Again. And again. And industry lobbyists will take advantage of this to ensure that Big Business has a tighter grip on the parts of government that remain.

Let Congress know that you don’t think “Eat Sh*t and Die” is what the USDA (or the companies influencing it) should be telling Americans. If enough folks raised the stink over this that’s been raised over pink slime, we can stop this in its tracks. Furthermore, we can use this as a teachable moment to explain to our friends and relations the deeper reasons why this is being done.

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