No, this isn’t the usual holiday “beware of hormones” story, although those play a part. Here’s a brief excerpt: In May, it was reported “that half of U.S. meat from major grocery chains ... harbors antibiotic-resistant staph germs commonly called MRSA. Turkey had twice and even three times the MRSA of all other meats.” Well, isn’t that nice? Happy holidays in the hospital!
Oh, and in June, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced it’s going to stop using chicken feed containing arsenic — which no one knew they were eating anyhow — but, guess what? They’re still going to feed it to turkeys. In addition, salmonella outbreaks in turkey processing plants are at an all-time high — 36 million pounds of ground turkey were recalled by just one company, Cargill, because of a salmonella outbreak which killed one person and caused 107 illnesses in 31 states.
Now, it’s true that germs in turkey and other meat are neutralized by cooking. Unfortunately, though, drug residues are not. Rosenberg reveals that a report from the USDA's inspector general accused American slaughterhouses of giving the public foods with excessive drug levels in them, and charged that, "The effects of these residues on human beings who consume such meat are a growing concern." So, keep all this in mind when you gather 'round the table on Thursday. I know I will — which is why I'm giving thanks this year that we're not having turkey.