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Antibiotics and Your Food

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Did you know that 80% of antibiotics sold in the US are used for animals? Specifically, they are used in poultry, cattle and hogs to prevent disease among animals living in overcrowded conditions and to make the animals grow faster. These animals are then slaughtered for food. When we consume meat products, we are also consuming the antibiotics that were fed to the animals. Ultimately, we need stronger and stronger antibiotics to recover from bacterial or viral infections. At the same time, new strains of bacteria are developing which are resistant to the existing antibiotics. According to Nicholas D. Kristoff, each year, 325,000 people go to the hospital due to a food-borne illness (“When Food Kills,” The New York Times, June 11, 2012). Therefore, it is becoming more and more important to be mindful of what we are eating and how it was produced.

What to do:

  1. Make sure your poultry or meat is produced without the use of antibiotics or hormones. Organic cattle, poultry, and lamb cannot be fed antibiotics or growth hormones.
  2. Limit your use of antibiotics to only when absolutely necessary.
  3. Because 80% of your immune system it’s also important to build up your immune system by eating immune-supportive foods:
    1. Eat plenty of probiotics—foods which contain beneficial bacteria that can help support your immune system—such as yogurt, cheese, sauerkraut, kimchi, olives, miso. Probiotics are foods that help support the beneficial bacteria in our gut—bacteria which help us digest food, absorb nutrients, and produce certain vitamins.
    2. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables that are full of important vitamins and minerals. They also contain lots of fiber, which helps eliminate toxins and waste from your body.
    3. Use immune-supporting herbs such as Echinacea, Astragalus or Licorice.

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Quote of the Month

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“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves—slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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I am the mother of four daughters and a Certified Health Counselor, as well as a passionate advocate of organic and local food and a healthy lifestyle. I decided to become a health counselor to fulfill my passion of working with children and parents to improve their health and family life. Learn more about me at

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In this issue:


Summery Sauteed Carrots, Asparagus & Peas

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 1 lb asparagus, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 lb carrots, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 lb English peas (frozen are fine)
  • 1 cup basil, sliced thin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. Heat olive oil in a medium sauté pan. Add shallots and sauté until soft, about 4–5 minutes.
  2. Add carrots, asparagus and peas and continue to sauté until fully cooked, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add basil, salt and pepper.

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