This post is sponsored by Coleman Natural, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
To say my family loves bacon is an understatement. It has become a weekend tradition around here, and my kids turn into bloodhounds as that delicious smells starts to fill the house. I never used to put much thought into choosing quality pork, or how the meat we consume is raised.
As I get older, the foods I eat and things I drink seem to have a bigger impact on how my body and brain function. It can definitely be tough to accept that eating any old thing without a second thought is a thing of my youth, but it has definitely become a reality. Feeling my best so that I am the best version of myself, starts and ends with how well I take care of my body.
I’m pretty sure my family would riot if I told them I wouldn’t be buying bacon anymore, so the compromise was finding a better-quality bacon. This means that I am paying more attention to the quality of the pork I purchase, which led me to discover Coleman Natural. Their commitment to no antibiotics ever was exactly what I was looking for.
what do antibiotics and pork have in common?
You may be wondering what on earth choosing quality pork products has to do with antibiotics. As a mom, my first thought at the mention of antibiotics is ear infections. But it turns out the conversation about antibiotics is much bigger than just human medicine. That’s where pork and meat come into the conversation.
I recently had the opportunity to sit in on a call with Dr. Lance Price, a a professor at the George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health in Washington, DC. and founding director of the Antibiotic Resistance Action Center to learn more about Coleman Natural’s antibiotic stewardship, the importance of purchasing meat raised without antibiotics, and why making that choice helps me feed my family better.
65 percent of the antibiotics sold in the US are administered to animals that are not sick.
This greatly increases the risk of antibiotic resistance, and the development of
antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can transfer from those animals to people if meat is not
handled or cooked correctly.
The antibiotics our families depend on to treat dangerous infections are rapidly losing effectiveness due to overuse, posing a particular threat to our children, the elderly, and people with chronic diseases. Treating highly-evolved bacteria, or so-called “superbugs”, often requires doctors to go through their arsenal of antibiotics before finding effective drugs for treatment, if they can find it at all.
It’s no secret that the way our food is grown and produced has drastically changed over the last few generations. One major change in the meat industry is that animals raised for meat are preemptively treated with antibiotics. This is to compensate for overcrowding and dirty living conditions. In fact, antibiotics are used twice as often in farming than in the medical field. It has been reported that 65% of the antibiotics in this country are sold for use in animals raised for food that are not sick.
Many people are misinformed and believe that if they consume meat or poultry products from animals raised with antibiotics they will become immune to antibiotics. This is not the case.Meat and poultry products should be free of antibiotic residues per federal regulation. Instead, consumers should be concerned about the bacteria on meat and poultry products contaminated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can infect people on products brought home from the grocery store.
The impact of this to consumers is that these animals harbor antibiotic resistant bacteria that creates more opportunities for contamination and the presence of other potentially deadly bacteria like staph, salmonella, and e. coli to spread from the meat to your kitchen, and then to you or your family.
As the bacteria in our environment become stronger, the antibiotics we have to fight them become less effective. Some “superbugs” that are impervious to the current antibiotics we have already exist, which makes it even more important to reduce antibiotic use in all settings.
what can we do?
If living through a pandemic and a climate crisis has taught me anything, it’s that we need to pay attention to what scientists say before it’s too late to do anything about it. So, while all of this may seem scary, there is still time to course correct and head off antibiotic super bugs with a few easy choices.
- Vote with your dollar. Choose quality pork and beef products, like Coleman Natural. Coleman Natural is committed to working only with farmers that never use antibiotics in the raising of their livestock. As I mentioned above, most meat producers administer antibiotics as a way to offset the poor sanitation and overcrowding that is all too common.
- Read labels. Look for pork and beef products that specifically say they were raised without antibiotics. They should say, “no antibiotics ever.” Look for the “never, ever” part!
- Be a good consumer of antibiotics. Antibiotics are a medical marvel, and an important part of medical care. However, they are often over prescribed. Take them sparingly when you truly need them, and don’t push a medical professional to prescribe them.
- Brush up on food safety. When cooking, be conscious of surfaces and utensils meat has touched. Clean them thoroughly, or use dedicated cutting boards for meat to reduce the chances of spreading bacteria from the meat to you or your family.
Learn more at http://battlesuperbugs.com/.
How to make bacon in the oven
Now that we know about the importance of buying quality pork, here is the ultimate bacon hack, as promised. No more bacon splattering everywhere and cooking unevenly!
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. You’ll want to use a rimmed baking sheet for the grease.
- Lay the bacon in on the baking sheet.
- Place the bacon in the cold oven, then turn the oven on to 400°. This helps the bacon cook uniformly.
- Let the bacon cook for about 15-20 minutes, depending on how crispy you like it. Keep a close eye on it though because it can crisp up quickly!
- Remove the bacon from the baking sheet, and allow to cool. Let the grease congeal, and then throw away. Easy clean up!
Reading food labels and choosing quality foods can be confusing. But, the better you get at reading labels, the easier it is to find brands and products you can trust. So, here’s to (antibiotic free) Saturday mornings filled with bacon!