The Up Side to the Egg Recall

Although I would never want anyone to contract Salmonella, the recent massive egg recall from two Iowa farms does, possibly, have an up side: People can no longer ignore human health risks from animals raised for food or their by-products. 95% of all eggs are produced at just few massive factory farms. Perhaps now people will get the message that their eggs comes from huge industrial complexes, not from some idyllic setting with rolling green hills, a pretty red barn and chickens happily pecking in the yard. That’s only for the outside of the carton or for television commercials.
Maybe people will become aware that the chickens whose eggs we eat live in row after row of prefabricated metal housing lined with shelves of battery cages holding often 6 birds each. There is no sunlight, no fresh air, no where to stretch, move or get away from your cage-mates. The Wright County Egg farm alone houses a mind-boggling 7.5 million egg-laying chickens. How can you expect animals crammed into these tiny cages, living in their own excrement, to produce healthy food?

How does Salmonella, bacteria, invade an egg? There are two ways: first via contaminated feces absorbed on the egg shell and also by contamination inside the chicken before the egg is laid. Infected ovaries, in otherwise healthy-looking hens, can produce eggs with these potentially deadly bacteria.

Fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhea are classic Salmonella symptoms. If you are elderly, an infant, a child or have an impaired immune system, you can die from Salmonella. Antibiotics can usually curtail this virulent infection. But if not caught in time, a Salmonella infection can spread from intestines thru the blood stream and kill you.

Because of this recall “scare”, I expect a media blitz extolling the virtues of “organic” “humane” “free-range” “cage-free” eggs---“Salmonella-free and safe to eat”. Save your money. You could still get a Salmonella infection. “Organic’ means they do not treat sick animals with antibiotics so you are eating eggs from both healthy and sick birds. Campylobacter jejuni and Listeria (which are attributed to food poisoning) can still be acquired from undercooked or expired eggs as well as Staph. aureus, transmitted by humans to food and prevalent in eggs.

Eating these “healthy” eggs, you still ingest cholesterol and eat a food determined as 60% fat. “Organic”, “cage-free”, “free-range” chickens still lead awful lives---they are still de-beaked, all male chicks are still killed upon hatching and hens still slaughtered and used in animal feed when they no longer produce eggs. To learn more about “humane” myths, check out:

Instead of eggs for breakfast, try Scrambled Tofu: 1 T. vegetable oil, ½ chopped onion or 2 chopped scallions, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 lb. firm tofu, drained & crumbled, 1 chopped tomato or ½ c. sun-dried, 1 t. turmeric, ½ t. garlic salt, ½ c. sliced mushrooms. Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the onion/scallions, garlic & fry till browned. Add the tofu, tomato, mushrooms, tumeric, garlic salt & sauté 5 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Foods get recalled all the time, including fruits and vegetables fertilized with contaminated factory farmed animal manure. Factory farming is bad for everyone. For emailed USDA food recall alerts go to:

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