E. Coli And The Future Health Of America

US - In 2006, Americans learned that a salad could be hazardous to your health. The media flurry and the elected official posturing that followed the September 14 outbreak of E. coli 0157:H7 associated with spinach, is still fresh on American minds and making daily headlines thanks in no small part to the brisk recalls associated with tainted beef.
calendar icon 3 August 2007
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So is our food supply less safe and are the growers, shippers and various groups and agencies tasked with oversight not doing all they can to protect the consumer from deadly microbes as some believe? While the media and the public at-large lays blame at the doorstop of industry and government, might the brunt of this burden be misplaced? Simply, are we so involved in finger pointing, fences and hairnets that we don’t see the forest for the trees? An evolutionary perspective on the problem suggests, maybe.

Forgetting for a moment that the latest deadly microbe on the scene originates in cows, one needs to come to grips with the fact that the microbes have us out numbered. When a handful of rich soil contains tens of millions of tiny microbes, and that a single leaf of spinach may be covered in millions more, you start to get a feel for the germ warfare we are up against. Even worse, our so-called modern diet which is dominated by highly-processed grains and added sugars and fats, is putting us at significant disadvantage in the battlefield that is us.

But evolution has equipped humans with an ingenious system for defending against this daily microbial onslaught, most of which are harmless. Our very own microbial foot soldiers, which set up shop in our guts the minute we entered this world. There are so many microbes in the human body that if you added up their total number of cells, they would out number our human cells 9 to 1. In other words, we are more microbe than mammal.

Source: OpEdNews
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